Strong ready to take on Carlisle

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

The last time Strong and Carlisle met on the grid­iron, the Bull­dogs capped their road trip across Arkansas by win­ning the 2A state ti­tle back in 2011.

On Fri­day night, the schools will re­new ac­quain­tances with each look­ing to build mo­men­tum with the start of con­fer­ence play loom­ing. Game time is set for 7 p.m. from Carlisle. The Bull­dogs (1-0) had to can­cel last week's game at Drew Cen­tral due to low num­bers af­ter hold­ing off Lake Vil­lage 16-14 two weeks ago.

The Bi­son (0-3) will be play­ing against a 2A team for the first time this year af­ter fall­ing to 4A foes Lonoke, Cen­tral Arkansas Christian and La­mar.

Strong coach Sirl Wright said he is ex­pect­ing a very phys­i­cal bat­tle.

“They're an old throwback team of the 60s and 70s where they run a tra­di­tional Wing-T of­fense,” Wright said. “They got a lot of two-tight, a lot of end overs, de­cep­tion by mov­ing one man on side of the ball, just old-school foot­ball. A smash­mouth foot­ball team.”

Al­though the Bull­dogs didn't play last week, their prepa­ra­tion for Drew Cen­tral will help team against Carlisle.

“Just slightly,” Wright said. “The dif­fer­ence is Drew Cen­tral tried to in­cor­po­rate more of a spread dou­ble-wing be­cause they tried to use shot­gun. This team has no shot­gun. Ev­ery­thing is un­der cen­ter. They just run their smash­mouth, Wing-T plays. If you can stop it, great, if you can't stop it, they're go­ing to keep com­ing at you all game long.”

Wright said dis­ci­pline will be a key for his de­fense.

“Dis­ci­pline and just keep­ing that ag­gres­sive men­tal­ity,” Wright said. “It's go­ing to be more so will power and who is go­ing to block and who is go­ing to tackle. They're go­ing to keep com­ing at you. Even though they're 0-3 right now, they're well-coached and they pay at­ten­tion to de­tail.

“It's just the fact that they have small num­bers too. They have roughly 18 kids or so. Ba­si­cally all of them are pretty much like us and play both ways. With the weather cool­ing off, that may help a lit­tle bit too.”

As far as the Bull­dogs are con­cerned, Wright said that low num­bers were some­thing he and his staff were go­ing to have to com­bat this sea­son.

“We knew that com­ing into the sea­son we were go­ing to have a num­bers is­sue due to the pan­demic go­ing on,” Wright said. “It is what it is, but what we're go­ing to do is just play our best and pull out that Bull­dog pride no mat­ter if we have 11 or 77.”

If Strong is to win their sec­ond straight, Wright said the Bull­dogs must win the bat­tle in the trenches.

“We've got to con­trol the line of scrim­mage,” Wright said. “If we can con­trol the line of scrim­mage on both sides of the ball and take care of the ball, I think we'll be fine. That's the whole key. If they es­tab­lish the line of scrim­mage, that's their game and it's go­ing to be a long night for us, but I plan on us step­ping up to the chal­lenge and see­ing if we can pull out an­other win.”

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