This week, the 2-2 Marceline Tigers travel away from the friendly confines of Chester Ray Stadium, and head down Highways 5 and 24 to Salisbury for a Lewis and Clark Conference battle with the Panthers. These teams have had quite the rivalry over the years, with Salisbury ending Marceline's season in the playoff's last year in a torrential downpour.
Head Coach Paul Thomas notes a pair of injuries for the Tigers, and that the team is having an outstanding week of practice heading into this contest.
From the LCL's football preview edition: The Salisbury Panthers are in their seventh season under Head Coach Kirk Stott. Coach Stott is 27-7 in his tenure as Head Coach, all at Salisbury.The Panthers return 22 lettermen, with nine offensive starters, and eight defensive starters. “I was proud of the character the team showed throughout the year, even coming back twice in the second half of games down by two scores to win,” said Coach Stott. “We showed lots of poise that we expect to carry over to this year.”
Offensively, Salisbury will run any type of offense, from a double-tight to a four-wide receiver set. Last season, they averaged 42 points, 305 rushing yards, and 82 passing yards per game. “We are bringing almost all of our offensive line back form last year, as well as quality subs,” said Coach Stott. “We still look to run downhill and be physical, but will look to air it out a little more this year. We will game plan for each team, and try to pick on their weaknesses and use it to our advantage.”
Defensively, the Panthers will run out of a 4-4 formation. Last year, they allowed nine points, 12 rushing yards, and 43 passing yards per game. “Our secondary and middle linebackers are going to be our anchor early, as we find our starting four defensive linemen,” said Coach Stott. “We hang our hat on being solid tacklers who fly around the field looking to make plays regardless of situation or score.”