Trojans set to face Rattlers
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.”