The Bethlehem Christian Academy football team will look to move one step closer to the playoffs when the Knights host Nathanael Greene Friday.
BCA, coming off its bye week, has two GISA Region 1-A games remaining this fall. A win in both would certainly put the Knights into the state playoffs for the first time in program history and could possibly set up a home postseason contest.
During its open week, BCA held three practices and worked on offense, defense and special teams on separate days.
“The bye week is a good time to experiment,” coach Lance Fendley said. “We also tried to work on the basics. We had good energy during practice and had some physical workouts.”
Nathanael Greene enters the game just 2-8 overall, but more importantly 2-3 in region action. BCA is 4-4 overall and 2-2 in 1-A. The Knight coaching staff watched the Patriots defeat Dawson Street 53-22 last Friday.
Nathanael Greene is not very complicated in what they do,” Fendley said. “Dawson Street turned the football over a good bit and that helped them. Nathanael Greene is a good team and deserves all of our attention. We have struggled at times with teams who run the ball downhill. They are going to pound it and pound it, especially down the middle.”
A win in at least one of the next two games could qualify BCA for state, but Fendley does not want to simply earn a playoff bid.
“The goal is to host,” the coach said. “In order to do that, we need to win our last two and then have a little help. David Emanuel has the tie-breaker on us head-to-head.”
Playing sound defense will be a key for the Knights this Friday.
“We can’t allow them to get on the edge and break long runs,” Fendley said. “We have to play sound fundamentals on defense.”
On offense, the coach wants his team to use tempo to its advantage against NGA.
“Nathanael Greene is big with size, but they are not very quick,” Fendley said. “We hope to take advantage of that with our tempo and getting plays off quickly.”
Being sound on special teams is also important this week.
“This is one of those games where it may be won on special teams,” Fendley said. “We also have to play turnover free football. That hurt Dawson Street against Nathanael Greene. We need to eliminate any turnovers and keep possession of the football.”
BCA continues to build its football program and its coach likes where the team is at this point.
“The team is really starting to play together,” Fendley said. “We have size, speed and some intangibles. We still may not be the better team each week, but we believe in each other. Everyone sees what’s at stake now. This is when football gets fun. You get to see how you react when you have to rise to the occasion.”
One of the key reasons for the Knights success in 2013 has been the play of senior Ben Morgan, who has scored at least one touchdown in all eight games.
“That’s a rare accomplishment,” Fendley said. “You don’t hear of that too often.”
Morgan is the team’s leading receiver and has touchdown receptions as well as interception returns and kickoff returns.