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September 20, 2013

Rhodes, Cats back in action

Bruins out to avenge last year’s loss to Cass

Dalton High School tailback Kelvis Rhodes — and presumably his speed, power and production — will be back on the field tonight.

“There are still a couple of guys who may miss the game,” Catamounts coach Matt Land said when asked about injuries coming into tonight’s game with Gilmer at Harmon Field. “But to answer your real question, Kelvis should be with us this week. I fully expect him to play against Gilmer.”

Rhodes, who has been recovering from a lingering preseason shoulder injury, was classified by Land as a game-time decision for Dalton’s first two contests. But two losses and four weeks later, Rhodes has yet to carry the ball.

In other high school football games involving area teams tonight, Christian Heritage welcomes Fellowship Christian, Coahulla Creek will be visited by Sonoraville, Murray County hosts Armuchee, North Murray is at Cartersville and Northwest Whitfield is at Cass. All kickoffs are at 7:30 p.m.

For Dalton, although backup Tyler Noland has averaged more than 5 yards per carry in Rhodes’ absence, the Cats have lacked the explosive element in the running game that Rhodes brought last season as he rushed for 1,529 yards and 18 touchdowns. Dalton’s offense was shut out in a 17-2 loss at Calhoun two weeks ago and it scored just 14 points in regulation against Ringgold in a 33-27 triple-overtime loss on Aug. 23.

Land fully expects Rhodes to provide a boost to the offense.

“Calhoun knew without Kelvis they could stack the middle of the defense,” Land said “We don’t have the speed to get to the corner as well as we do with Kelvis. With him back, a lot of those plays would have been a lot more productive.”

However, Land also sees value in having Noland in the backfield, as well as sophomore Jase Chastain, who has lined up at both quarterback and tailback this season.

“With Tyler Noland, you can’t really complain with a kid who rushed for more than 100 yards against Ringgold. Hopefully, we can now have a two-headed running attack. With Jase, we actually have three guys we feel comfortable with, and that is a good thing.”

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