09/12 - Chargers face bigger challenge - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

09/12 - Chargers face bigger challenge

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Posted: Friday, September 12, 2003 10:09 am | Updated: 2:02 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

McClintock first-year coach Steve Campbell sure didn’t get much time to enjoy his debut, a 34-12 whipping of cross-town rival Tempe last week.

Right after the game, Campbell and his Chargers had to turn their attentions to a daunting task awaiting them tonight: a game at No. 2 Glendale Cactus.

The game presents McClintock with a quick way to establish itself as a 4A power.

"I don’t know if that’s a good thing," Campbell said. "I don’t know if you want to be on the map. That just puts a bull’s-eye on your chest. But it is a good situation. Cactus is a good football team, and we’re going to go out there and hopefully play hard like we did last week. If it turns out in our favor, that’s great. It definitely will add a boost to our program.

"I don’t think by any means is our season going to rest on if we beat Cactus."

While Cactus, which beat Saguaro 31-0 last week, has been a 4A power the last two seasons, McClintock played the Cobras tough both years, losing each time by one point. Campbell thinks that gives his Chargers confidence.

"I hope so," Campbell said. "I hope that’s kind of an indication of how we match up."

McClintock star receiver Rudy Fleming thinks the Chargers may be able to sneak up on the Cobras.

"We’re going in as the underdog. No one is expecting us to win," said Fleming, who led the state last season with 79 receptions. "So we’re going to show them what we are about."

Fleming said the Chargers are flying high after their season-opening victory.

"It was very important," he said. "Not only because it was Tempe but because it was the first game. It’s a new coach, a new season and we’re starting it different."

While Fleming caught a touchdown pass against Tempe, the Chargers also showed they could run, amassing 248 yards on the ground.

Cactus coach Larry Fetkenhier is wary of McClintock.

"They have a lot of quickness," he said. "They’re impressive. We need to execute and improve a lot on fundamentals."

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