Crimson Tide looks for first win in last home game
As the 2012 football season comes to its conclusion, the Minden High Crimson Tide have one more chance to give the home crowd a win as they host the Benton Tigers tonight at the Pit at W.W. Williams Field at 7 p.m.
Next week the Tide will close out their season with a game at Northwood.
The Tigers, usually a 4A playoff team, have struggled this season as they have broken in a number of new starters. Benton comes into tonight's game with a 3-5 record, 0-2 in District 1-4A play.
The key to beating Benton is as usual, stopping the running game.
Tailback Zach Pierson, who rushed for more than 1,000 yards and 18 touchdowns a year ago, is closing in on those numbers this year. He has 767 yards and nine touchdowns in eight games this season.
The Tide defense will have to take away the run and force the Tigers to pass. They did a good job against Huntington's Damien Jiggetts for the most part last week, and another good outing could bring the Tide their first win.
In a look at common opponents, neither the Tide nor the Tigers have fared well.
Both teams lost to Haughton (Benton 49-20, Minden 42-6), North DeSoto (Benton 38-0, Minden 40-0) and Woodlawn (Benton 30-26, Minden 20-2), while Benton beat Huntington 41-38 and the Tide lost to the Raiders, 42-25.
The Crimson Tide showed big improvement last week against Huntington.
Minden only trailed by three points with just over two minutes left in the game and were just a stop on third and six from getting the ball back. But Jiggetts broke off a long run to set up a Raiders touchdown, and then as the Tide was poised to score on the last play of the game, a Raider defender intercepted a pass and ran it back all the way for the score, making the difference in the two teams seem larger than it was.
Minden will look to the passing game for big plays. Last week, quarterback Turner Francis went 24 of 46 for 233 yards and two touchdowns.
Benton has been susceptible to the pass this season. Two weeks ago in their 56-21 loss to Northwood, Benton allowed Falcons' quarterback to complete 21 of 33 passes for 311 yards and four touchdowns.
The Tide passing game will be the key for Minden on offense, but the Tide defense's ability to shut down the Benton Wing-T will the difference in the ball game.