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Getting ahead of the pack: ‘Cats look for upper hand in region standings

Published 12:48pm Friday, September 20, 2013

The last time the Class 5A No. 8 Benjamin Russell Wildcats faced the Valley Rams, BRHS  handed Valley a 30-3 drubbing, resulting in the most recent of the Wildcats’ nine straight wins over the Rams.
The Wildcats (2-1, 2-0 in region) will try for similar results when they host the Rams (2-1, 2-0 in region) this Friday night.
Behind the play of Bryant Horn  – the quarterback has accounted for nine total touchdowns in the past two games – the Wildcats have lit up the scoreboard.
The team has averaged 57 points a game in region play.
Region foes Booker T. Washington and Marbury didn’t offer much resistance to the Wildcats, but BRHS may find points a little more difficult to come by versus the Rams, who are giving up less than 16 points per game in region action.
“I think we realize that we’re not going to score 50 points every night,” said BRHS football coach Danny Horn. “(The Rams) have played well outside of their first game versus Auburn. They’ve found their zone, so to speak. Offensively, we can’t make mistakes. This is a very important game for us, as the winner will have the upper hand in region standings.”
While the Wildcats have played well in most aspects of the game, Horn said he has noticed that the team has struggled in special teams.
The Wildcats have allowed a kick return touchdown in each of their last two contests –although one was called back due to penalty – but Horn said he has seen some encouraging signs that the team can correct their errors by the time they kick off against Valley.
“We made some adjustments on our kickoff team,” Horn said. “Hopefully, that will help. We had some ninth and 10th graders up there, and our struggles haven’t been their fault. But, we’re going with a bit more experience on our kickoff team.”
Defensively, the task for the Wildcats will be to slow down Valley on the ground.
The Rams have employed a no-nonsense I-formation-based attack to success this season.
“They run it right at you,” Horn said. “They throw some toss sweeps in there too, and their tailback has been running wild over the last two games. Right now, they’ve got a good scheme going. The bottom line is that we have to stop the run, and we have to do a good job of running the ball as well. I think we’ll be able to do that.”
BRHS and Valley kick off at 7 p.m. from the Charles E. Bailey Sportplex.

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