WEB ONLY: Chester goes for 5-0 tonight against Lancaster

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By Travis Jenkins

Both features power running attacks and complimentary passing games. Both may bend here and there on defense but they rarely break and both are 4-0 as a result.

“In a lot of ways they are very similar to us,” Chester Coach Victor Floyd said of Lancaster.

The Cyclones and Bruins will face off tonight in a game moved up to get ahead of Hurricane Florence. Lancaster is off to a good start with wins over Indian Land, Fairfield Central, Fort Mill and Nation Ford. The dedication to the run Lancaster has embraced since Bobby Collins came to the program as coach a few years ago remains intact, but Floyd said new offensive coordinator Ed Susi (formerly the head coach at Fort Mill) has brought some new dimensions.

“They are a big power run team, but they are much improved in the passing game. Susi has made a big difference. They are a lot more balanced now,” Floyd said.

Kemarkio Cloud is the triggerman for the offense. The senior is a big-time threat with his legs (he has a 175 yard, three touchdown game on his resume this year) but has improved greatly throwing the ball.

“They work in a lot of play action, a little more of a quick game than they used to. They’ve done a good job with him. He’s a lot more efficient,” Floyd said.

The team uses a couple of backs, including Nygel Moore.

Defensively, Floyd said Lancaster has given up some yards, noting that both Nation Ford and Fort Mill moved the ball well on them. When it matters, though, they always seem to make plays, he said.

“They don’t give up the big play,” he said. “They’ve made plays when they had to make them.”

Chester is coming off a 26-16 win over Columbia High (Ga.) in which Floyd was disappointed with his team’ performance in the second half. After holding the ball for nearly 16 minutes in the first half and scoring touchdowns on all three possessions, the Cyclones turned it over twice, lost big yardage on errant or mishandled snaps, had a penalty that took away an interception and 30-yard return and allowed two late scores. Floyd said he isn’t using a very long bus trip or any other external factor for the sloppiness of the second half.

“We just didn’t play well,” he said.

Still, Chester did get shaken out of its normal routine by the trip to Georgia and is facing the same thing this week. With the hurricane approaching the Cyclones are working on a short week.

“This is a very quick turnaround,” Floyd said.

What he’s hoping to see is a cleaner performance this week. He wants fewer mental breakdowns and a more consistent performance from start to finish. He said his team will have to deliver that to make it to 5-0.

“We’ve got our work cut out for us,” he said.

Chester trails the all-time series with Lancaster 22-9, but has won two straight, including last year’s 43-22 final. Kickoff is set for 6:30 tonight in Chester.