Across the developmental football landscape this time of the year, fans can expect to see the dominoes fall week after week as playoffs approach. Some teams simply aren’t built to last 10 to 15 games and can be seen quickly getting out of the way of the teams that are.
Meanwhile, the top teams continue to plow through everything in their way and build more and more momentum as the image of holding that trophy gets nearer and nearer.
So what happens when two top teams meet? Well, we’ll find out on Saturday as the unbeaten North Carolina Rebels meet the one-loss Fayetteville Commandos in the Coastal Football Alliance Game of the Week.
“Since the Rebels are so well coached, it will take execution of the game plan and keeping our heads on straight without making mistakes,” Commandos owner Alan Caudell told Developmental Football USA. “If we do make them, we have to keep our heads up and keep fighting. Details will win this one.”
Out of the entire South Atlantic Region – a geographic area that covers more than six leagues and more than 80 teams – the Rebels are currently ranked No. 6, while the Commandos come in at No. 14.
“I think the Rebels ranking is pretty accurate,” Caudell said. “They only lost two games last season, with one being the championship, and no one has gotten close to beating them this year. They’re a solid organization with yet another solid team this season.
“Being biased, I believe we should be ranked higher, but we aren’t concerned where the rankings have us. We have to prepare and execute with a fire that shows we want to be number one. We have to keep battling each week to get there.”
When two teams familiar with one another face off, it’s always interesting to see if each team will simply stick to what they do, even though it’s expected, and attempt to out-execute their opponent – or, will they throw in some new gadgets the other hasn’t yet seen?
“The Rebels are a run heavy team that can pass effectively off of play action and screens,” Caudell said. “They have a couple of quick and mobile quarterbacks, some of the best backs in the league and a line that can go against anyone in the country.
“Defensively, they run multiple coverages and sets on their defense and their defensive line is huge and smart, paired up with athletic linebackers and defensive backs. They’re always a solid group.”
Will the Rebels keep rolling or can the Commandos knock them out of rhythm? Either way, this game should be an indicator of how close the top of the CFA really is.
“I firmly believe that the CFA is one of the toughest around,” Caudell said. “We are slowly building a strong base, and have some of the best in the state and surrounding areas. It’s gonna take a lot of focus to pull off the championship.
“I think any of the top five or six teams have a legitimate shot at the championship, if little things here and there are fixed. The Rebels can easily get back, we can put it together and make a run, the Mayhem have championship experience, the Chiefs, Bulldogs and Ducks are young and hungry. And the Dragons and Force can still put it together make a run at the championship. There’s still plenty of time in the season.”