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Longhorns look to ground TA

The Longhorns (5-3) make no bones about what they will see from Tuscaloosa Academy (7-1) Friday night.

“I’m expecting to see about 40 throws,” senior Parker Pruett said.

“We expect to see them throw the football,” head coach Jesse Little said. “The quarterback is real good in the pocket. Plus, he can find his receivers when he’s on the run.”

“They’re going to come out and they’re going to try and throw it,” senior Jesse Morgan said. “They’re going to throw it a lot.”

By the same token, the Longhorns are also not bashful about what it will take to slow the vaunted TA offense.

“If we get a rush on their quarterback, we’ve got them whipped,” Pruett said.

In addition to strong secondary play and a formidable pass rush, the Longhorns hope their ground attack will enable them to hold, the ball, run the clock and keep the Tuscaloosa Academy offense on the sidelines.

“We feel like we need to contorol the football and keep their offense of the field,” Little said. “We feel like we can do that.”

“It will be real big if our offense stays on the field more and keeps theirs off,” Morgan said. “It’s going to be a big factor in the game.”

“The less they have the ball, the better it will be for us,” Pruett said. “I’m pretty sure our offense is going to do the job.”

A big part of Marengo Academy’s ability to run the ball will be the success of its offensive line.

That group, which hit its stumbling blocks in the early part of the season, has steadily improved throughout the year.

“We did some moving around after the first couple ball games,” Pruett said. “That helped us out.”

Pruett also said the group rectified its early chemistry difficulties.

“Communication was a big issue,” he said.

That offensive front will look to keep defenders off the Longhorns’ stable of backs which includes senior fullback Josh Montee, senior halfback Kyle Schroeder and sophomore halfback Rabe Hale.

MA is also likely to spring Morgan loose a few times on keepers and options.

The Longhorns have won five of their last six after an 0-2 start.

“We started playing better ball the second half at Glenwood and we’ve continued to improve since then,” Little said.

His team now faces the task of upending the state’s No. 7 team in a key region game.