After a perfect and often dominant opening four weeks of the season, the Marceline Tigers seek to remain undefeated through the season's halfway point in Friday night's game against Paris at Chester Ray Stadium.
After opening the season with a pair of victories, Paris finds itself at the .500 mark through four weeks. Knox County dumped the Coyotes in Paris last Friday, 26-14. Scotland County dominated the week prior, 35-8.
Paris finds itself in a unique situation in recent seasons, with participation now being down in the low teens. Frankly, the fact that the program has not collapsed is a testament to the will of the coaches, administrators, and especially the kids that did elect to come out. In comparison, Marceline dresses out over 40 on Friday evenings.
Marceline coach Greg Hough knows this discrepancy works to his advantage, but he isn't overlooking the strengths his adversary will be bringing into Marceline.
"I got some film on them this week, and they do some stuff offensively that's kind of similar to us. They try to be a run-oriented team out of the shotgun. Their quarterback, (Breck) Hancock, was an all-stater at linebacker last year, so he's their heart and soul. On defense, they'll run a 4-4 look and I believe they'll give us a six-man box. We'll try to establish the run game early, and Chase Billups and our receivers have done a good job."
Hough said that his team had plenty of cleaning up to do, and he felt that the lion's share of his team's woes early in the game last Friday were self-inflicted.
He said that his team has been fortune to avoid injuries, and had none to report entering the midway juncture of the regular season.
"The biggest thing for us is to get back to reality that we're vulnerable," Hough said. "Fayette definitely exposed that last Friday. Basically, our vulnerability was playing out of our character, which is being a disciplined team. For a quarter and a half, we had guys doing their own thing on the defense side especially. We don't necessarily have that one guy who is a standout all-stater or anything, but our team success has been proven. Nothing changes for us, we've just got to get better."