Minden will face tough test at Haughton
The 2012 football season hasn't started out exactly like the Minden Crimson Tide had hoped.
Injuries, inexperience and a lack of offense has led the Tide to an 0-2 start. With a tough three-game stretch ahead of them, (Minden will play at Haughton this week, host Parkway next week and then Ruston the following week) the Tide needs to turn things around quickly.
Minden head coach Randy Peters thinks the Tide is heading in that direction, and it has shown this week as the team prepares for the Buccaneers.
"Things have been going pretty well this week," he said. "The kids' attitudes have been great. They know the challenge that's ahead of them, and they're working hard."
Peters said that starting quarterback Turner Francis could be back in the lineup this week.
"He's been practicing all week," he said. "The plan is to play him Friday night, barring anything that might come up over the next couple of days."
With only three starters returning from last season, the Crimson Tide has faced some growing pains over the first two weeks.
"We had so many close games last year. It was tough to get some of these kids any experience," Peters said. "And when you go under the Friday night lights, it's different. You can play in practice, in the jamborees and in the 7 on 7's, but when you play under the lights, your best against their best, it's a different game."
Peters said some of his young players have played well at times, but that they need to be more consistent.
"We have to play sound football," he said. "We can't have mistakes or mental errors, and we have to be consistent every play. Because if you don't, when you play good teams they will take advantage of those things."
Offensively, the Tide coaching staff looks for the production to pick up as the season goes on and players return to the line-up. If not, Peters said he's not opposed to making changes.
"We always look at personnel and talk about changes if that's what we need," he said. "We're still trying to shore up some areas, but we're still trying to go out there and eliminate the bad football. You know, like the fumbled snaps, miscues, jumping offsides stuff like that. We need to eliminate those things and play a more fundamental football game to give ourselves to support our defense."
Peters praised the effort of his defense, and wants his offense to take advantage of its opportunities to help out the defense.
"The defense has had to be on the field too much," he said. "Offensively, we've had some opportunities that we haven't taken advantage of. The other night, if we don't fumble the snap on the first play, we had a chance to break it outside with a lot of running room. On film we identified six or seven times where everything is there except one little mistake. Hopefully we can eliminate those mistakes this week."
It would be a good week to play mistake-free, as the Haughton Bucs have been impressive in their 2-0 start. Haughton beat Woodlawn, 58-20, in their opener and then beat Benton, 49-20, last week.
The Tide defense will be tested against the high-powered Bucs' offense, which jumped out to early 21-0 and 28-0 leads the last two weeks.
Against Woodlawn, quarterback James David Almond completed 11 of 21 passes for 150 yards and ran for two touchdowns and passed for one.
Haughton rolled up 244 yards on the ground, with junior Jarred Craft leading the way with 102 yards. Almond had four total touchdowns against Benton.
"Haughton has a good football team," Peters said. "They're well-coached and they have athletes all over the field. But they still only put 11 on the field and we'll put our 11 out there. If we can go out there and play fundamentally sound, we'll just see what happens."