Several teams looking to bounce back from losses

Published 9:01 am Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Four of the five local teams that were in action last week weren’t able to come away with wins.

Demopolis, Linden, A.L. Johnson and Marengo Academy lost to their opponents last week. The Marengo Panthers were the only team to come away with a win.

This week, A.L. Johnson has a bye week and the other five teams in the county open region play.

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Demopolis hits the road to take on Calera, Linden hosts Keith, Marengo Academy hosts Clarke Prep, Sweet Water travels to St. Luke’s and Marengo heads to Fruitdale.

Demopolis looks to rebound

The Demopolis Tigers (0-1, 0-0) travel to Calera (1-0, 0-0) to open their region schedule Friday night.

After a loss to rival Thomasville, DHS head coach Tom Causey said he expects his team to bounce back.

“I expect us to bounce back and be ready,” he said. “This is what we worked all summer for. This is where playoff seeding starts. We start to set ourselves up for November football this week. This is what it’s all about.”

Causey added that he expects his team to mature and grow up each week. The focus for this week in practice, he said, is the little things.

“We have to execute better, tackle better, block better and just do the little things better,” he said. “We aren’t far away, but we have to keep working. If you aren’t far away, you’re still too far. Once we get better at the little things, the other things will start falling into place.”

He added that Calera has a lot of talent across the field.

“They’re great on both the offensive line and defensive line,” he said. “They’ve got a great running game offensively. They have a senior running back that runs hard and runs really well in their system. He’s got speed, great vision, and he runs with power. He’s a really good back.”

He added that the Tigers will have to tackle well to come away with a win.

“We’re going to have to by physical to match them,” he said. “This will be one of those games that doesn’t take long to play because both teams will be running it a lot.”

Linden hosts Keith for Thursday matchup

The Linden Patriots (0-1, 0-0) will host the Keith Bears (0-1, 0-0) to open region play Thursday night.

Linden is coming off of a loss to Washington County in a game that head coach Andro Williams felt his team could have won if they had made fewer mistakes.

“I thought without the mistakes, it would have been a real good ballgame,” Williams said. “We put ourselves behind eight-ball, and they capitalized on our mistakes. We really aren’t hurt one way or another with the loss. We just have to come back and continue to do what we do.”

Williams added that Keith is a team that’s always athletic and can put points on the board quickly.

“They’re a team that can beat you in one quick little spurt,” he said. “They have guys that can go the distance and a quarterback that can drop back and chuck it. Our skill guys are going to have to play sound and fundamental football. If you allow them to breathe early, you’re giving them a chance to beat you.”

Sweet Water returns to field

After having a week to rest and recover from a physical opening contest against Thomasville, the Sweet Water Bulldogs (0-1, 0-0) open region play against Class 2A newcomer, St. Luke’s.

Sweet Water head coach Pat Thompson said the week off was needed for his team.

“It allowed us to heal up and work on Sweet Water and some of the things we saw wrong against Thomasville,” Thompson said. “It’s really going help us as our region schedule begins.”

He said the Bulldogs have been working on their assignments and execution.

He added that St. Luke’s plays a physical game with a talented quarterback and a strong running game.

“They’re a big, physical-looking team,” Thompson said. “I think it’ll be a hard-fought game up front. They’ve got good running backs, but their quarterback is who makes them go. I think we match up well, but we need to keep the quarterback in pocket and contain him.”

Longhorns host Clarke Prep

Marengo Academy (0-1, 0-0) opens its region schedule against Clarke Prep on Friday after falling to Bessemer Academy last week.

MA head coach Robby James said mistakes and turnovers plagued his team against Bessemer, and they’re working to correct that this week.

“We didn’t play very well last week,” he said. “Bessemer played a good game, but I feel like we really beat ourselves. We don’t like losing, and our guys want to come out and redeem themselves.”

James added that this week’s game against Clarke Prep will be completely different from last week’s game.

“They run a two tight end Wing-T offense instead of a spread option,” he said. “I think we match up better in this style of game.”

He said Clarke Prep is a physical team that will challenge the Longhorns.

“They’re a strong and physical, running football team,” he said. “Nobody shuts them down. They always get 3 to 4 yards a play and move the chains. They run the Wing-T very well and it will be a challenge to try to stop them. We’ll have to play our best football to win.”

Panthers travel to Fruitdale

The Marengo Panthers (1-0, 0-0) opened their 2014 campaign with a convincing win over Choctaw County last week and look to continue that success on the road this week.

MHS head coach Bernard Myrthil said the team set goals for themselves before the season that they’re working to accomplish.

“We came in Monday, looked at film, and looked at what Fruitdale can do,” he said. “Any time you go into an away game for a region game, you have to be focused and our guys know that. We set some small goals we wanted to accomplish, which was to finish first or second in the region, so we aren’t satisfied with just one win.”

Myrthil said Fruitdale spreads the field, but focuses on the running game.

“They spread you out to run, and we need to be ready for that,” he said. “With good preparation this week, I think we’ll be in good shape. We need to pick up their blitzes because they send a lot of guys. We ran the ball well last week, but I want us to improve our passing game.”