FLORENCE, S.C. – Carolina Havoc coach Anson Yarborough remembers playing Cape Fear in the season opener.
He won’t forget the ending – a 60-59 win on backup quarterback Daryll Clark’s TD pass to Alex Coleman on the final play.
The two teams will meet again, this time in Tuesday’s first around of the American Arena League playoffs 7:05 p.m. at the Florence Center.
The Heroes’ 59 points in the opener was the most any team has scored against the Havoc this season. In the Atlantic Division champion Havoc’s lone loss this season, the Carolina Energy won 52-29.
But Yarborough said he knows why the Heroes scored so many points in that opener.
“(Cape Fear) has a good pretty good quarterback in Garrett Sutphen and a pretty good group of wide receivers, but we were shorthanded in Week 1,” Yarborough said. “We played without our starting defensive backs. So this time, we’ll be at full strength and ready to go.”
According to Yarborough, that’s why Cape Fear was able to throw multiple TD passes against the Havoc in their last meeting.
“We had guys out of place. Cape Fear scored five wide-open touchdowns because we had receivers playing at defensive back,” Yarborough said. “Our receivers playing defensive backs didn’t know where they needed to be. But when we play Havoc football, we’re fine.”
Then Yarborough took it one step further as he looks to the rematch.
“I don’t think it’ll be a close game,” Yarborough said. “But that’s just my opinion. I’m not supposed to say that as a coach. With all due respect to Cape Fear, they’re really good, they’re going to come to play football. But I have the utmost confidence in our team and our abilities.”
Yarborough especially trusts the ability of his starting quarterback, Jesse Scroggins.
“(Scroggins) is doing a great job,” Yarborough said. “If we continue to get the ball in his hands and trust in him, we’ll be fine.”
Whether it’s Scroggins or Clark behind center, he has a bevy of receivers to throw to.
“There’s not a defensive back in the league that can match up with our wide receivers,” Yarborough said.
And who’s to say 6-foot-3, 380-pound Michael Pitts won’t get the ball again after scoring a rushing TD earlier this season against the Southern Steam?
“Nobody can be prepared for that,” Yarborough said. “Nobody knows he’s that athletic.”
Tuesday’s winner will advance to the next round against none other than the Energy. Although the playoff bracket has the Energy set to host, Yarborough said it’s possible that game could be played in Florence because there is uncertainty whether a playing site can be found in the Charlotte area where the Energy is based.
But before the Havoc can think about that, it has to beat Cape Fear on Tuesday.