Tuesday, September 06, 2011

SPORTS >> Hornets present different challenge

Leader sports editor

North Pulaski’s Falcons didn’t have a good first outing under first-year coach Teodis Ingram. The Falcons committed six turnovers and lost 41-13 to Searcy. Still, there were things from which to build as it prepares to face Maumelle at 5:30 p.m. Friday at Pulaski’s Robinson High School. The game was moved because the new artificial turf surface at the new Maumelle field is not yet complete.

One of the things Ingram liked about Friday was the run defense. Searcy was not able to get anything going on the ground, and got less than 50 rushing yards in the game. Even the pass defense was good most of the time. It was lapses that led to big gains that ultimately cost the Falcons.

“You’d look at that score and think they just manhandled us,” Ingram said. “That’s really not the case. We more than held our own with the run defense, and that was with being out-sized by quite a bit. It was the big plays that we gave up that made the difference.” Ingram says trying to run the spread against Searcy after practicing the wing T for most of preseason contributed to the turnover problems.

“We had worked on the spread and I really felt like we were going to need to do that to have a chance because they were so much bigger than us,” Ingram said. “So really, the turnovers, I have to take a lot of the blame for that. We haven’t turned the ball over in the wing T offense. In the spread, Marvin (quarterback Marvin Harris) hadn’t really taken a lot of live snaps from the gun. So some of it was my fault, some of it was focus too. We’re going to work on that.”

Ingram said one way he hopes to improve the turnover problem is going live all week in practice. From special teams work to offense and defense, it will all be against live competition.

As for the opponent, Maumelle, which consists primarily of the same players from Oak Grove last year, presents a completely different set of challenges than Searcy.

The Hornets aren’t as big but are quicker than the Lions.

“They’re not as big, but there’s still some good size up front on that team,” Ingram said. “The main thing with them is their athleticism. They’re a lot more athletic than Searcy, particularly on defense. I’m also really impressed with their guards. They can really run and get out front and block really well.”

Blocking is something Ingram thought should have been better from his team’s performance and something he’s anxious to see how it improves on Friday.

“We watched the film, and the things we worked on in practice, we didn’t do very well,” Ingram said.

We missed some assignments that would’ve allowed us to move the ball a little bit better. We came back, had a great practice Monday.

We looked at film, pointed out the mistakes, and you could see on their faces that they knew they could’ve played better and done some things differently. We had a good conditioning practice. I think we’re going to be OK. I look forward to getting back on the field to correct some things. I think we have a chance.”