Concordia takes to road again

Published 10:19 pm Thursday, August 28, 2008

Two old adversaries reunite on different terms when Concordia College and Livingstone butt heads Saturday.

The two will play in the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Classic at 7 p.m. on Saturday in Greenville, S.C.

Concordia coach Shepherd Skanes matches wits with Livingstone coach Lamont Massie.

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The two coaches last faced each other in 2006 when Massey was the coach at Edward Waters. His team escaped Selma with a 7-2 win over the Hornets. It was the Tigers’ lone win in a 1-9 campaign.

Massie took over in 2007 at Livingstone, an NCAA Division II school, and the Blue Bears struggled to an 0-10 season. Massie will look to returning players such as defensive lineman Ryan Reese and running back Rashaad Flucker to right the ship this year.

Concordia hopes to build on last Saturday’s win over No. 6 NAIA powerhouse Bethel College.

But the first step in the continuing construction process may be forgetting the win.

“I want to make sure everybody, even the bus driver, forgets about last week’s victory,” said Skanes. “The players are looking at me like I’m crazy because I’m pushing and driving them a little harder than they’ve known.”

Livingstone may prove to be a tougher opponent than Bethel simply because it is not an NAIA school.

But playing a team from a higher classification does not worry Skanes.

“I don’t see a difference between NCAA and NAIA,” said Skanes. “They’ve got to put 11 people on the field just like we do.”

The teams did not swap game tapes, so neither really knows what to expect from the other’s current team on Saturday.

However, both coaches have an idea of what to expect from each other. Massie prepared with old Concordia tapes, and Skanes was able to pull a couple of Edward Waters games from his archive.

“We spoke earlier. I’m not gonna change nothing, he’s not gonna change nothing,” said Skanes. “We each pretty much have an idea of what to expect.”

And based on prior knowledge and game film, what does Skanes expect on Saturday?

“I’m expecting a hard-fought football game,” said Skanes. “They’re going to try to blitz the daylights out of us.”