Tro­jans set to face Rat­tlers

El Dorado News-Times - - Sports - By Ja­son Avery News-Times StAff

With this week serv­ing as their last non-con­fer­ence game, Park­ers Chapel is treat­ing Fri­day's trip to Murfrees­boro sim­i­larly to one that they may have to make in Novem­ber should they qual­ify for the play­offs.

The Tro­jans and Rat­tlers col­lide at 7 p.m.

The Tro­jans (1-3) have lost two straight, fall­ing just short in a 36-30 loss to Mag­net Cove last week that saw quar­ter­back Trace Shoup throw two touch­down passes to Lancer Clark and run for two more scores.

The Rat­tlers (1-3) suf­fered a 43-6 set­back to Poyen with their lone win com­ing two weeks ago against Ho­ra­tio.

Murfrees­boro has been ad­just­ing to play­ing with­out sopho­more quar­ter­back Sloan Per­rin, who is out for the sea­son due to an in­jury.

“They're try­ing to find their iden­tity,” Park­ers Chapel coach El­liot Ja­cobs said. “They're still a good team, a team that made the play­offs last year, so what we're telling our kids is that we're treat­ing this like a play­off game. We've got to drive two hours to play, so if we can make a run, we might have to make a trip like that, and we would have the ex­pe­ri­ence of mak­ing that two-hour trip.”

Ja­cobs said his team must have the proper mind­set to have the trip be a pro­duc­tive one.

“I think they're very com­pa­ra­ble to us,” Ja­cobs said. “So for our kids, we've got to have a good week this week. Then we've got to be able to han­dle that travel. It's a long two hours up there, so we've got to be in the mind­set that this is a play­off game, and that way when we get to the play­offs, we'll have that ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Ja­cobs said get­ting the game this week was sim­ply a mat­ter of who was avail­able to play.

“It's re­ally the way it worked out,” Ja­cobs said. “It was just one of the

games we had to sched­ule. They just hap­pened to have the same week avail­able we had. It’s just the luck of the draw with the way it worked out.”

Al­though Park­ers Chapel came up short against Mag­net Cove, Ja­cobs lauded his team’s ef­fort.

“We played hard. We didn’t al­ways play sound, but our kids played hard. That’s what kept us in the game,” Ja­cobs said. “There’s a few things we’ve got to cor­rect. We left way too many plays on the field Fri­day night. Mag­net Cove is a good team. Their run­ning back (Lan­don Stone) is a darned good one. He has some of the best vi­sion and bal­ance I’ve seen for a 2A kid. We had our chances, we just didn’t make the plays.”

Ja­cobs said there were a cou­ple of mis­takes that hurt the Tro­jans against the Pan­thers.

“Just blown as­sign­ments and not be­ing where we’re sup­posed to be,” Ja­cobs said. “If we’re there, we stop a cou­ple of their big runs. Of­fen­sively, if we run some right routes and block the right peo­ple, it prob­a­bly would’ve scored us a touch­down.”

Al­though the Tro­jans may be 1-3, Ja­cobs said he isn’t con­cerned with his team’s record at this junc­ture.

“We don’t care about our record right now,” Ja­cobs said. “It doesn’t af­fect any of our goals this year. We want to be a bet­ter team this week than we were last Fri­day. That’s all we care about.

Wins and losses, if we han­dle our busi­ness, those will take care of them­selves. We just want to be a bet­ter team this Fri­day.”

If the Tro­jans are to snap their two-game skid and head into con­fer­ence play on a high note, Ja­cobs said it would come down to one fac­tor.

“We’ve got to play harder and want it more than they do,” Ja­cobs said. “We tried to do it last week. For a cou­ple of quar­ters we did, a cou­ple of quar­ters we didn’t, but we’ve got to play harder and want it more.”

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