Saints take road to face Sidney Lanier

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Selma-Journal

The Selma football team leaves the friendly confines of Memorial Stadium for the first time this season to take on Sidney Lanier on the road.

The Saints (1-1, 0-1 Region) will try to take advantage of a team that lost 19 seniors from last year.

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But in order to do that, they have to slough off the one piece of dead weight around their necks.

“We’ve got to eliminate turnovers, period,” coach Brian Montgomery said. “(Jeff Davis) scored their first touchdown last week because we fumbled the ball. They had 40 yards of field to work with. Despite all the other things, we’ve got to stop that. This is a much better squad than we’ve had in the past. The kids don’t quit.

“They’re a good team now. They’re trying to be a great team.”

The oddest part for the Saints is who is giving the ball up. Senior players have committed all but one of Selma’s turnovers this season.

But when they keep the ball in their hands, they do something with it.

The team is so far accomplishing its goal of throwing a balanced attack at opponents. Last week, Selma threw for a total of 186 yards and rushed for 130.

“We’re managing the entire game, which keeps the defense fresh,” Montgomery said. “We’re not getting three-and-outs and having the defense jump back on the field. The main thing we’ve got to work on, though, is our special teams.”

As expected, the Saints’ defense is doing its job. Even through a sub-.500 season last year, that unit kept the Saints in ball games.

“The defense is always going to show early signs at the beginning of the season because the offense is more of a gradual thing,” Montgomery said.

Montgomery feels confident about his offense’s ability to match up well with a Lanier defense lacking experience.

Still, the Saints know better than anyone there are no guarantees.

“Until we see a game where we don’t have key fumbles, everyone won’t see just how good a team this really is,” Montgomery said. “We’ve got to capitalize on everything and take advantage of situations. We’re going through the growing-up experience of a young team. We can do nothing but get better.”