Tuesday, September 06, 2011

SPORTS >> Carlisle set to avenge bad defeat at Bauxite

Leader sports editor

Carlisle had a great season last year, especially once conference play got started, but there were a couple of nonconference games that it strive hard to correct. It gets a chance at the first one this Friday when the Bauxite Miners host the Bison. The loss to Bauxite was the first of two consecutive nonconference losses for Carlisle before it went on a streak, winning the rest of its regular-season games, plus two playoff games.

Ironically, it was the only win of the season for the class 4A Miners, an anomaly for the tradition-rich program. Bauxite won the game 42-21 with the help of a few Carlisle turnovers and a blocked punt returned for a touchdown.

This year, Bauxite coach Shance Clancy doesn’t expect as much help when the Bison rumble into town.

“You can’t count on those things,” Clancy said. “Carlisle is a great program with a lot of tradition and pride, and we’re sure they’re coming in here wanting to pay us back for that loss.”

Bauxite will definitely be riding a wave of confidence as it prepares for the Bison. The Miners beat fierce rival Glen Rose to start the season Friday. It was a win Clancy says his program and players needed.

“That was a great win for us,” Clancy said. “We had a tough go of it last year and to beat our rival, that was a big victory. We just have to make sure we don’t have a big drop off after a big emotional win like that.”

Carlisle had a senior-laden team last year and this year’s team is replacing several starters. Some expected the Bison to be a little down this year, but week one’s rout of Riverview can’t be ignored by any future Bison opponents, and it didn’t go unnoticed by Clancy and the Miners.

“They didn’t look very down to me at all,” Clancy said. “They have two sophomore running backs that are as big as all get out. They have great speed. The little quarterback does a great job of running that offense. The offensive line is physical. Our defense is going to have to step up to the challenge and hold them to three and out as much as we can.”

With both teams bringing a run-first offense to the game, possessions may be limited, and capitalizing on possessions is what Clancy believes will be the key to the game.

“Each team is going to have to take advantage of each possession it has,” Clancy said. “Their offense is good, and as good as they eat up the clock, our goal has to be to try to score every time we have the ball.”