#CFC50 HS game preview (NS): 4-0 Cheetahs ready for matchup with Warriors

The #CFC50 No. 41 Charles P. Allen Cheetahs are heading on the road this Monday to square off against the 1-2 Halifax West Warriors.

The Cheetahs head coach, Mike McPherson is keeping his team focused on eliminating mistakes while looking to see improvement every week. Coming off another big win after a 48-0 steamrolling of the Cole Harbour High Cavaliers, the 4-0 Cheetahs are progressing as a well-rounded team that can beat you in multiple ways.


The Halifax West Warriors, led by head coach Dave Kelly have started slow since their week 1 win against Cole Harbour. Coming off last week’s 37-13 loss against a formidable opponent in the Citadel Phoenix, coach Kelly knows that his team is more than capable of competing with the stronger teams in the league.

“I just think we learned that we have to be more focused,” the Warriors head coach said. “I think the kids weren’t as focused or as committed as we should have been. I think we could compete with these guys, and I think we’re not as focused as we should be as a team to reach our goals.”


The Cheetahs have been led in large part by their stalwart defence, a group that just put together their second shutout performance in a row.

“I think our defence as a whole has been obviously very consistent week to week,” the Cheetahs head coach said. “I expect and hope the defence continues a collective effort on that side of the ball.”

But it is the group effort from the entire team and coaching staff that accounts for the Cheetah’s strong start.

“Obviously, continuity with a good returning group and certainly our coaching staff, just sort of familiarity with what we do programmatically,” coach McPherson said. “Guys have put a lot of effort into their off-season as well as practice.”

Warriors head coach, Dave Kelly sees his team making progress and knows the potential is there for much more as the season moves forward.


“I would say it’s been a slow progression at times, but it has been a progression,” coach Kelly said. “The first 3 games we played 2 of the better teams in the league, so it’s been a little slower than I would probably like. I think we should be a little bit farther ahead than we are.”

The Cheetahs are preparing this week the way they normally do, but coach McPherson knows the offence must continue to make strides as a balanced unit for their success to continue and grow.

“I think in order for us to have success towards the end of the year we are going to continue to try to improve the balance,” coach McPherson said. “We would like to see a balanced attack and continue to work at it so we don’t become one dimensional and teams can’t treat us as such.”

One of the main storylines surrounding the Cheetahs impressive season thus far has been the on-going development of new starting quarterback, Ian Oyler. Coach McPherson has been pleased with what he’s seen out of the new starter.

“He’s also a captain of ours so look for him to continue to evolve as our starting quarterback,” coach McPherson said. “I’m confident that certainly he’s up for that challenge,”


“To date he’s been a phenomenal leader and done everything we’ve asked,” added McPherson.

On the other side, the Halifax West Warriors understand what needs to be done in order to slow down the Cheetahs powerful offence. Coach Kelly is preparing his team to focus on containing all aspects of the Cheetahs balanced offensive attack, while also making sure they bring more physicality on Monday.


“I think we have to shut down their run, and get them in 2nd and long situations and don’t give up big plays,” the Warriors head coach said. “The bottom line for us is we just have to be physical both offensively and defensively and we’ve kind of struggled in that area a little bit.”

The Cheetahs will continue to rely on their three-headed rushing attack made up of Dan Spilman, Ethan Tucker and Josh Geddes. This running game is boosted by a veteran offensive line and complimented by an efficient passing game that includes talented wide receivers Michael Forsey and Ben Smith.


Halifax West’s coaching staff is well aware of the Cheetahs offensive personnel and they are aiming to counter it with a balanced defensive approach that focuses on neutralizing the Cheetahs go-to guys.

“They have a couple very good receivers and they have three kids that run the ball for them, and they all run the ball pretty hard,” coach Kelly said. “Our focus is shutting down their two receivers that they kind of rely on, and limiting their run game.”

Despite sitting at an imposing 4-0, the Cheetahs are not overlooking the Warriors one bit. Coach McPherson’s Cheetahs have gotten to where they are by constantly staying focused on the task at hand and treating every game with the same level of importance.

“We’re preparing like usual, I mean the big message is we don’t look into a team’s record or what our history may or may not be with a particular team,” coach McPherson said.


“My area of focus with our team has been making sure that we do not take any opponent lightly week to week and we prepare every week doing scout team offence and defence for our opponent. The message is making sure that we’ve put the proper effort into preparing for all personnel on Halifax West and then just making sure that the guys are aware of their assignments as per the game-plan.”

Like all team’s at this point in the season, the Cheetahs and Warriors are banged up and dealing with various injuries. Heading into this week’s matchup the Warriors expect to be without starting offensive lineman Hakim Abdulaziz, while the Cheetahs have been dealing with a case of the flu that has been going around for a couple weeks.

We fully expect the Cheetahs to continue to show more balance on offence and enjoy further success in this matchup against Halifax West. The Warriors will certainly bring a competitive game and present a physical challenge for the Cheetahs after making improvements, but It will be extremely difficult for the Warriors offence to penetrate what looks to be the best defence in the league.

This exciting matchup between the #CFC50 No. 41 C.P. Allen Cheetahs and the Halifax West Warrior kicks off Monday at 4pm at the Halifax Mainland common.

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