The Falcons and Senators begin SOC play coming off what could be described as “bad” loses.
Last week Minford (3-2) battled Columbus Bishop Ready for four quarters, however, a couple of miscues cost the Falcons a chance to win in regulation. Minford eventually fell 12-6 in double overtime.
Falcons head coach Brent Daniels was pleased with his team’s effort in the loss.
“Last week was a very hard fought game by our kids,” Daniels said. “The effort was there for four quarters and two overtimes. We’ve just got to take care of a few little things and we come out victorious. It’s one of those games where you win the game, you just don’t win it on the scoreboard.
We’re not into moral victories but the one thing we took away from the game is we can play with the better teams. The probably have one of the better backs we’ll see this year in Devin Dukes. For the most part, our kids did an outstanding job of playing against him.”
Last week West (1-4) led 14-13 at Raceland with 1:41 left in the first half, however, two Ram touchdowns left the Senators with a 21-14 deficit at the break. West ended up losing 41-21.
Senator’s head coach Ben Johnson has preached to his kids the importance of finishing each play and cleaning up the mistakes.
“We want to focus on finishing, whether it’s on drives or making stops on third down,” Johnson said. “We want to finish each half. Last week, we killed ourselves with turnovers and penalties. We’ve got to eliminate those.”
Since week six officially kicks off conference play for both teams, it gives West an opportunity to hit the rest button.
“We try to tell our kids, it’s like our season is starting over right now,” Johnson said. “Forget about everything that’s happened to this point, we’re undefeated in the league. We’ve got to have an attitude that we’re undefeated in the league and want to stay that way. One of your goals each year is to win the SOC championship. That is still up for grabs for everybody.”
Due to a rash of injuries, West hasn’t fielded the same starting unit for two consecutive weeks. The lack of continuity has been a problem at various times this year.
“It’s been tough but at the same time, a lot of our young guys are getting experience,” Johnson said. “And we’re improving each week, even though it might not obvious to everyone, we are improving.”
For the Falcons, Daniels believes his team has the components to make a conference run.
“Our offense is getting better each week. Our defense is playing steady. Last week’s game against Ready was something we need to build off of and we feel we can compete with anybody in the conference,” Daniels said
If the Falcons want to begin SOC play with a victory, Daniels said Minford has to control the trenches, which includes picking up a vast array of different blitzes from West.
For the Senators, Johnson said his squad has to be prepared for the Falcons’ multiple offensive formations.
“They’re very multiple on offense,” Johnson said. “They’re doing a lot of different things, which makes them tough to prepare for. You’ve got to be ready for anything. The key for us is making sure we get lined up correctly so that we’re sound on defense.”
Kickoff is scheduled at 7 p.m. Friday night.
Reach Chris Slone at 740-353-3101, ext 1930, or on Twitter @crslone.