For Fayetteville-Manlius football, an away victory over Rome Free Academy this week would be huge. It would support it as it hunts for the three seed in the playoffs. It would rejuvenate the team and energize it for a run at a sectional championship. And then it would raise its confidence level, which has been manipulated over the past few weeks.
When F-M (3-3, 3-2) takes the field on Friday night at 7, it will be attempting to end its two-game losing streak and will look to break some of the bad habits that it developed in those losses to Indian River and Central Square.
F-M, which could secure the No. 3 seed with a win, needs this game to be the confidence booster and dominant performance that it has the potential to be. RFA (1-5, 1-4) is out of the postseason and has failed to score over 14 points five of six games this season, so F-M could restart the engine and regain its identity in this contest.
In order to do that, the Hornets have to play better than they have been throughout the past two games. The coaches have spent the past two weeks working on getting the offense to be able to be more diverse and helping the defense bring runners down on the first point of contact.
That’s going to be important when they take the field against RFA. Although there isn’t anybody specific who the Hornets have to beware of, they have to fix the tackling problems that they have had all season and solidify the offense.
Though the Mitchell “Seabiscuit” Seabury-led running game is what keeps the motor going for the Hornets, moving the ball through the air still is a possibility. In the game against Central Square, there were a few occasions where quarterback Mikey Porter just came inches away from leading his receivers into the end zone on deep balls.
With all that said, F-M head coach Paul Muench has a simple, but powerful, message for his guys ahead of the battle against RFA. He is just reminding everybody that you have to “finish — finish what you do in life; that’s what you’ll remember. Finish the regular season, playoffs, your time at school.”