Tigers to tangle with Lincoln tonight
ELKINS — After playing at home the last two weeks, the Elkins High Tigers will take to the road tonight as they travel to Class AA No. 11 Lincoln.
EHS (3-4) played well last week in a 21-3 loss to the Bridgeport Indians. In defeat, the defense played perhaps their best football of the season.
Head coach Evan Hott attributed their solid play to one thing, belief.
“They believed in the game plan and they believed in what I told them. They had 362 yards last year (2016) and 188 yards on four plays that we messed up assignments. They were confident in executing the game plan and the proof was in the pudding from the previous year. It’s so cliche, but I told them if every person does their assignment, the success will come,” he said.
EHS kicker/punter George Triplett set three school records on one made kick last week when he made a 45-yarder in the second quarter. The kick distance broke his own mark of 44 yards, and it was his seventh make of the season and the 19th field goal of his career, all school records.
This week the Tigers will take on a spread attack offense in the Cougars (5-2). Last week they cruised out to a big lead of 43-8 and then held on for a 43-30 win at Roane County. They are led by quarterback Kobie Carpenter, who threw 4 touchdown passes and ran for another score last week. One of the best to ever do it at Lincoln High, he is the record holder of several Harrison County passing marks.
Spread offensive teams have been a challenge this season for the Tiger defense, and Hott and his staff know that by sticking to the basics, it will help them play better against the pass.
“We have to get better at doing things properly. When you look in the backfield, you get burnt. Hopefully, that is something that we won’t see tonight. I think putting pressure while containing Carpenter will be essential for our defense to succeed. He can hurt you with his arm and legs. We can’t allow him to do both,” Hott said.
The offense, which struggled last week, was held to under 100 yards of total offense, and needs to have more production, but Hott doesn’t think it’s anything special that needs done. The team just needs to get back to the basics, and with that, he feels they can be successful.
Hott said, “I don’t think we need to establish anything. I think we need to keep improving on pad level, driving and communicating. We were very close to scoring multiple times last Friday. It’s frustrating to say that in your seventh game. Sometime that is the nature of the beast. I really think we will have an offensive breakout this Friday. “
The Tigers, who are still alive for a playoff berth at season’s end, must continue striving and pushing toward the best. For Evan Hott and his team, his message hasn’t changed much since this past off season.
“When we started lifting in December the goal was 10-0. During those winter months, it was to win every single day that you are in the weight room. If we handle the small things, then the big picture will come. I was honest with the boys that we must win out to have a chance at the playoffs,” he said,
“There have been five playoff teams in school history. When you talk about those teams, they are followed with ‘playoff team.’ We’ve been 5-5 the last two seasons, and we want more than that. The kids are hungry and have a great desire to be a part of that playoff lineage.”
The Cougars and Tigers kick off their Big 10 clash at 7 p.m.