Longhorn stampede

Published 11:09 pm Wednesday, October 8, 2008

LINDEN — Marengo Academy (4-3, 2-1) looks to continue its hot streak Friday night when it hits the road to play Prattville Academy (0-7, 0-3). After a lackluster 1-3 beginning to the season, the Longhorns appear to have found their stride as they have assembled three consecutive blowout victories.

“It helped us not to get overconfident,” senior fullback Josh Montee said of the difficult way in which the team kicked off the season. “It helped u realize we needed to play better and we weren’t as good as we thought we were.”

Since dropping games to Patrician Academy, Glenwood Academy and Morgan Academy, the Longhorns have rebounded to hang more than 150 total points on its last three opponents.

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“The (early season) teams were strong, but we’ve gotten better every play,” Marengo Academy head coach Jesse Little said. “The attitudes are good. (Marengo Academy players) haven’t quit trying.”

That effort in practice is seemingly paying off as Longhorn players look toward the tougher portion of their schedule.

“(Losing) helped us out a lot. We’ve come a long way during practice and we’ve gotten a whole lot better,” senior quarterback Jesse Morgan said. “Tuscaloosa and Bessemer are really good teams. The O-line’s going to have to step up a little bit and come off the ball real hard.”

The Longhorns’ final three games of the regular season will be against a veritable murderer’s row. The trio of Tuscaloosa Academy, Bessemer Academy and Southern Academy has combined to go 17-2 thus far this season and all are currently ranked among the AISA’s Top 10.

“Tuscaloosa and Bessemer both like to spread out and throw it,” Little said. “So we’ve got to work on pass defense. Southern will line up and run it right at you.”

Armed with the knowledge that his team will soon be forced to run a gauntlet of some of the best the AISA has to offer, Little and his coaching staff will look to shore up the Longhorn defensive unit against the Panthers Friday night.

However, that task is proving more formidable than would be expected considering Prattville’s 0-7 record. Little has not been able to secure game tapes from the Panthers’ most recent contests, leaving him in a precarious position in regards to strategy.

“It makes it tough on you, on your blocking assignments and on getting your defense line up,” he said of the task of game-planning almost blindly. “Although, people could change on you every week. You’ve still got to adjust to it.”