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Longhorns trying to stop skid

LINDEN — Robby James is in some unfamiliar territory. The accomplished head coach has watched his Marengo Academy Longhorns stumble out to a 1-3 start. Short-handed to start the season, the Horns have since suffered injuries to a handful of key players including Alan Flowers and Hunter Crouch.
With the junior high players away playing their own game Monday evening, the varsity Longhorns had only 11 players remaining for practice.
“We did some one-on-one tackling and tried to work on some stuff,” James said of the session.
But, as dire as the situation seems, it is not the numbers that make it unfamiliar territory for James, it is the record.
“When I first started coaching, numbers wise, we didn’t have many,” James said.
Marengo Academy’s head man knows the future just may be now for the Longhorns. Given the circumstances, a number of the junior high players will be forced to step in and contribute earlier than expected. That prospect would be disconcerting to many, but James understands the necessity of the situation.
“Some of these younger guys are going to e able to step up and help us some,” James said. “The biggest thing is we’ve got to play hard. We;re going to win some games, we’ve still got good talent.”
Still, James and his players have grown weary at the struggles and should head into Friday’s Homecoming game against South Montgomery County Academy with a little extra resolve.
“I believe we are going to come out and play hard,” James said. “We’re going to play with some pride about us.”
The challenge for the Longhorns will be to limit SMCA’s ground game, which is executed through a variety of sets.
“They’ve got some really big backs that are hard to tackle,” James said. “The biggest thing I see with them is they run more formations than anybody we’ve seen. They line up in some unorthodox looking sets.”
The Longhorns will try to get back on track Friday at 7 p.m. at Linden Athletic Field.