Competing at a high levelPublished 11:56am Friday, September 7, 2012
Benjamin Russell High School football got off to a strong start in the 2012 season with last week’s 14-7 victory over Opelika at home.
With the victory against the Bulldogs now behind them, the Wildcats (1-0) now turn their focus to their first Class 5A Region 2 matchup against Marbury (0-1) tonight at the Sportplex.
“Marbury is the first game on our Region schedule, and we want to start off the Region with a win no matter who it is,” said BRHS head coach Danny Horn.
“They are going to try and spread the field and then lull us to sleep with a quarterback draw play at times. We’ll need to be prepared.”
More often than not in high school football, teams have the tendency to play up or down to their opponent on a weekly basis, however Horn wants to stress to his guys that playing to a certain standard needs to become a regular occasion at Benjamin Russell.
“The process is to learn how to be competitive, then learn how to win, then handle being a winner,” Horn said.
“We’re getting closer to learning how to handle winning, but we want to always play to the same high standard every week and I think our guys understand that.”
Leading the charge heading into the second week will be junior quarterback Bryant Horn, who comes into tonight’s game third in the local area in passing yardage, finishing with 83 yards on 9-of-13 passing attempts for BRHS vs. Opelika.
Helping Horn offensively will be tailback Quez Alvies and junior Labrenikin Johnson, who emerged as a serious threat for BRHS in the win over Opelika with 52 yards on eight carries for the Wildcats.
“At times, we did well with the option, but we can get better as a whole offensively,” Horn said.
“We’re going to try and get Alvies more carries so that we can establish the run this week.”
Senior linebacker Javion Banks bursted onto the scene for BRHS, finishing the Opelika game with 15 tackles, one interception and one sack on the way to earning AHSAA Spotlight Honors in the first week of his senior season.
Banks, along with fellow linebackers Woo Varner and Tabias Russell, defensive end Javoskie McNeal and nose guard Deangelo Brooks combined to hold a strong Opelika offensive front to just over 200 total yards, including only 40 total yards in a dominant first half showing.
“For one of the first times since I’ve been here, I finally saw a defense that I’ve been working to put on the field,” said Horn, now in his fourth year at BRHS.
“The defensive performance against Opelika was one that our coaching staff has the reputation of putting on the field and that is really good to see, but there is always still work to be done.”
With last weeks defensive performance behind them, Benjamin Russell will look to not let up against a Marbury offense that only scored seven points against Class 6A Stanhope Elmore in a 53-7 Mustang rout last week in Millbrook.
Benjamin Russell and Marbury are set to kick off Region play at 7 p.m. tonight at the Charles E. Bailey Sportplex.