Tuesday, September 27, 2011

SPORTS >> Clarendon is a more talented opponent

Leader sportswriter

As the 2011 high-school football season reaches its mid point, the Carlisle Bison are still looking for their first true test. The undefeated Bison may get that test this week when an athletic Clarendon team visits Fred C. Hardke Stadium this Friday.

The Lions (1-3) have been inconsistent in a string of four non-conference games, including last week’s 38-28 loss to Woodlawn. The road trip to Carlisle will serve as their 6-2A Conference opener after a schedule realignment.

“We’re kind of surprised at their start, but these are the ones that count,” Bison coach Scott Waymire said. “Their kind of a spread-type team, and they’re athletic. Their quarterback Jameson Jackson is a question mark for them this week. He’s an explosive back if he’s healthy. They may have a speed advantage over us, so we’re going to have to control the line of scrimmage.”

Carlisle (4-0, 1-0) opened league play on an impressive note with a 55-8 clubbing of Marvell last week in a game that was at mercy-rule status at the end of the first quarter.

Waymire has assessed the Lions to be much like Riverview, Carlisle’s opponent to start the season.

That could bode well for the Bison considering they downed the Raiders 42-6, but the head Bison said he believes strong defense will be the key in this one.

“Our guys know they’re going to have to fly to the football and follow through on their assignments,” Waymire said. “And to be honest, we’re a little faster team wise than what we have been in recent years. But we will still have to play fundamental football.”

The Bison running-back corps will also see more action this week after a light night against Marvell last week. Braxton Petrus carried just three times for 78 yards while Bo Weddle had two carries for 37 yards.

“They didn’t get a lot of carries, but they all did a good job,” Waymire said. “We’ve been real fortunate to have a good group of kids who practice hard Monday through Thursday.”

As for the Bison’s string of blowouts through the first month, Waymire is quick to point out their 30-21 victory over Bauxite in Week 2 was as close a finish as they would like to see from an opponent.

And with England, Des Arc and Hazen all waiting down the road, he said the remainder of their schedule does not get any easier.

“Bauxite gave us all we wanted,” Waymire said. “We know those games where we have to play all 48 minutes are coming – I promise they are. We have Clarendon this week, England next week, so our guys know we’ve got some tough ones coming.”