‘... it won’t be a nice en­vi­ron­ment’

Q&A: Banks speaks on fac­ing Lown­des again

The Covington News - - SPORTS - SHA­KEEM HOL­LOWAY shol­loway@cov­news.com

Com­ing up this Fri­day is prob­a­bly the big­gest re­match in New­ton his­tory. The Rams are trav­el­ing down to face Lown­des — cur­rently ranked No. 11 in the state by maxpreps.com — again after beat­ing them 15-14 last year on the fi­nal play of the game that saw Davonta Jones catch a pass to tie the game be­fore the ex­tra point was good. The Cov­ing­ton News talked with Rams’ head coach Ter­rance Banks about play­ing in that hos­tile en­vi­ron­ment and his prepa­ra­tion for another shock­ing win down in Valdosta.

The Cov­ing­ton News: Coach, you’re go­ing down there in South Ge­or­gia, to play that team again (Lown­des). The team you got your first vic­tory as a head coach against. What’s the en­vi­ron­ment like down there? Be­cause I imag­ine it’s un­like most high school games.

Ter­rance Banks: It’s not re­ally high school games down there, and it won’t be this time. The en­vi­ron­ment this time will be 5,000 times what it was. It’s home­com­ing for Lown­des. Coach (Randy) McPher­son, if he wins will get win 200 and that’s a mile­stone for any coach. And we beat ‘em so they’re out for blood. So you add those three things in and it won’t be a nice en­vi­ron­ment.

CN: Last year, I heard you guys were mis­treated to an ex­tent after the game, any truth to that?

Banks: I mean, they cut the lights out and told us to go home. I’m not mad at ‘em. Hope­fully, he’ll cut the lights off, and tell me to go home and never come back. That’s the hope.

CN: You talked about this a lit­tle al­ready, but I know Coach Randy McPher­son is go­ing for his 200th win on Fri­day and like you said it’s home­com­ing. Is that fuel for you guys to go down there and pre­vent that 200th win and a vic­tory on home­com­ing?

Banks: Of course. It’s fuel for them to have it that night. He picked that night, hope­fully for win 200 and home­com­ing. He could of had home­com­ing against any other team he played this year, one that he knows prob­a­bly would’ve been eas­ier, but he se­lected us. So we thank him.

CN: Dez­mon Copeland has over 300 yards rush­ing, through four games. Is he some­one you want to fo­cus on de­fen­sively?

Banks: Their of­fense has ex­plo­sive guys on it, and they’re a wing-t of­fense. You can’t fo­cus on any­body. Every­body gotta read, and if we do that and we tackle every­body that can run the ball we’ll be fine. So we can’t re­ally fo­cus on one per­son.

CN: Rock­dale went down there and tried to make them one-di­men­sional, but Lown­des re­sponded with a suc­cess­ful pass­ing game. What will you do dif­fer­ently to stop that wing-t of­fense, but also not get beat over the top? Banks: Rock­dale pretty much did what we have to do. You gotta make them one-di­men­sional. You have to make them beat you in the pass. That’s not nor­mally what they do. I’m not about to let them run for 300. So if they throw for 300 and beat you, you shake their hand and say good game. CN: Speak­ing of Rock­dale, look­ing at their film did you see any­thing that they did suc­cess­fully on of­fense that you might want to use? Banks: Yeah. Rock­dale did a lot of stuff suc­cess­fully against them, they just weren’t able to fin­ish drives. That’s go­ing to be key for us, fin­ish­ing drives. Same thing Rock­dale. Same thing even for Drew. Drew moved the ball on them, but they couldn’t fin­ish drives. Lown­des got turnovers, so we can’t turn the ball over and we gotta fin­ish drives.

Sha­keem Hol­loway/The Cov­ing­ton News

New­ton head coach Ter­rance Banks and Rams’ quar­ter­back Ro­mario John­son work on plays in prac­tice. New­ton will play Lown­des on Fri­day night in Valdosta.

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