‘Guessing game’

Published 2:51 pm Thursday, August 27, 2009

Following a 6-6 preseason tie against Crenshaw Christian, Pike Liberal Arts will open its 2009 football season Friday against Morgan Academy.

Head Coach Steven Kilcrease said the team is unsure as to what it should prepare for due to Morgan Academy’s new head coach, Brian King.

“It’s a guessing game at this point,” Kilcrease said. “We’re trying to work on some things that their offensive coordinator has done in the past. We’re just trying to make sure our guys on defense are lined up right, and from there, just let them play football.”

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Kilcrease said it would be easier to prepare for the Senators if it were later in the season, but a week one game means there is little game film to review.

“It’s a lot easier when you get into week three or four of the season and you’ve seen some film on the guys on the opposing team,” Kilcrease said. “It makes it tough because it’s the unknown. You don’t know what they’re going to give you. But, we’ve been expecting that. We’ve been working all preseason on just trying to get lined up right in certain formations.

The Patriots must also focus on improving themselves, rather than just preparing for the schemes of Morgan Academy.

Pike Lib debuted its new offense in last week’s tie with Crenshaw Academy and will hope for increased production from the offense this week.

“It’s coming along,” Kilcrease said. “The guys have got to buy into it. That’s the number one thing.”

Kilcrease said if his team can keep its composure Friday night, the offense will have a chance to be successful.

“Penalties hurt us. We were driving the ball and we’d have a hold or we wouldn’t be lined up right,” Kilcrease said. “But, those are things that can be corrected. That’s what we’ve really worked hard on doing this week, so I’ve got a lot of confidence in our offense being able to put some points on the board. We’ve just got to erase those mental mistakes.”

Part of early-season football is also getting the fundamentals down pat, something PLAS will need to do in order to come out with a victory Friday.

“We’ve just got to work out those kinks,” Kilcrease said. “Offensively, we’ve got to block better, and defensively, we’ve got to tackle better. It’s just the basics.”

While the Patriots were unable to come out with a win in their preseason game and face a tough test in the first regular season game, Kilcrease said he has confidence in his team.

“I feel good about our team,” Kilcrease said. “We’ve just got to do the little things to get better. We need to play with a little more intensity. We’ve still got a long way to go, but we feel a lot better now than we did this time last week.”