Rest, recovery, rehabilitation and restart. That’s the plan for the Massachusetts Pirates as they get ready to take on the Columbus Lions this Saturday at the DCU Center in Worcester at 7 pm. A win would give the Pirates an identical 7-3 record with the Lions and two wins over Columbus with one game remaining in the series.
As the Pirates enter this week coming off a bye, Head Coach Ameer Ismail say’s the key is to keep up the cardio.
“Coming off a bye week some teams tend to get winded,” the coach said. “You do lose a percentage of your lung capacity. During the off week we watched film, studied and stayed in shape but we’ll start this week with a purpose and focus on extra conditioning. “
Part of that study process is to find a way to slow down Columbus fullback Quayvon Hicks. Last week Hicks ran for 31 yards on 11 carries with three touchdowns and on the season he has 43 rushes for 188 yards and seven scores.
In the first meeting between the two teams, Hicks ran eight times for 34 yards and caught four passes for 26 yards and two touchdowns.
“He’s a very tough runner who plays hard, fast and aggressive,” Ismail said. You have to wrap up a quick and explosive runner like that and if you stop him you can make them one dimensional,” he added.
As far as the Pirates are concerned, the week off gave them time to focus on the little things. Ismail say’s if they can take care of the things that they can control they will continue to be near the top of the standings.
The coach said, “Offensively we need to extend our leads by finishing drives which will help us to finish games. We are addressing the elimination of mistakes, especially in the fourth quarter by reducing penalties. Those mistakes allow opponents to extend drives and you can’t play that way. If we control our attitude and effort we’ll be successful.”
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