All the pre-season practices, scrimmages and jamborees are over with, and barring any further inclement weather, the Minden Crimson Tide will kick-off their 2012 football season tonight at the Pit at W.W. Williams Field.
The Crimson Tide will host the North DeSoto Griffins, who have 13 starters back from last year's 4-7 playoff season.
The Crimson Tide struggled in the second half of last week's jamboree with Ruston. After moving the ball some in the first half, the Tide failed to muster a first down after the break.
North DeSoto's defense is led by 6' 4" 250 pound DE Hakim Gray and four-year starter at linebacker Dustin Brossette. Gray had nine quarterback sacks a year ago and has committed to play at Louisiana Tech next season.
The Tide offensive line, which played well at times against Ruston, will have to account for these two players if the offense expects to move the chains.
The line will have to give quarterback Turner Francis time to find receivers Marshal Frye, Mikey James, Jacob Johnson and Bailey Pettit. They will also have to open more holes for running backs Taylor McKissack and, LaDarrius Joseph if they want to get the running game going.
Defensively, the Crimson Tide defense played very well at times last week.
Safety Elgin Moore, cornerback Dominique Walker, defensive end De'Vontrez Jackson and linebacker Hutton Leppert all made plays, with Walker's 45-yard interception return for a touchdown being the biggest.
The Griffins will feature a strong running attack that could be dominate this season. Senior and three-year starter running back Aurron Cooksey rushed for 1,104 yards and seven touchdowns in '11, and backfield partner Enone Thompson added 549 yards and six touchdowns.
The Tide intends to defend their 1-4A district title and return to the playoffs, and it all starts tonight.