Panthers fixing problems, prepping for Jags

Published 3:29 pm Wednesday, August 25, 2010

DIXON’S MILLS – As Friday’s regular season opener with Wilcox-Central approaches, James Rutherford’s Panther squad is looking to improve from its less-than-stellar showing last week against Flomaton.

“We looked like the Bad News Bears of football Friday night,” Rutherford said of his team’s struggles.

Marengo had a strong offseason in Rutherford’s program, but the second-year MHS head coach said his players appeared timid at times in the contest. Still, Rutherford indicated he was pleased with the results despite the fact his starters lost the first half of the game 16-0.

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“Flomaton is a pretty good football team. I wanted to play a team that was going to come and get after us so we could figure out what our weaknesses are,” Rutherford said. “It’s a good thing we played somebody good who has had some success.”

Even with the struggles, Rutherford is happy with what he has at his disposal in Dixons Mills.

While young, the Marengo High roster consists of a number of talented skill players. Given the athleticism of their skill players, the Panthers should have no problem athletically matching up with or surpassing a number of teams on their schedule.

That may not necessarily be true, however, in the case of Marengo’s regular season opener. This week the Panthers will take on a Class 5A Wilcox-Central team regarded for having athleticism up and down the roster. To counter the Jaguars talent at the skill positions, the Panthers will need to execute their game plan with precision.

“We’re just going to have to play fundamental football and not make any mistakes,” Rutherford said. “It’s not going to be smash mouth, but we’ve got to make sure we control the ball, play good defense and see what happens.”