• Dave McKenzie

Trying To Go 2-0 - Carterville Lions at Herrin Tigers

Friday night football will be a battle between the Lions and Tigers at the graveyard in Herrin, with each team trying to run their record to 2-0 on the young season.

Last week, it took the Lions about a quarter and half to finally get things going, but going they got. With 2:42 remaining in the second quarter, QB Keaton Pestka put on his running shoes and broke the longest run of the game, a seventy-six yard scamper to put the Lions up 7-0 after the extra point by Colin Laczynski.

Laczynski got into the action two possessions later when he took off on a 67 yard run and with ten minutes left in the third quarter, the Lions took command of the game. They go on to beat the Benton Rangers 20-6 as the Rangers scored with just :50 left in the game.

Here are the highlights from the week one win over the Benton Rangers.

This week the test will not be any easier when the Lions face the 1-0 Herrin Tigers. Coach Jason Karnes and the Tigers beat Waterloo a week ago 23-7. The Tigers got off to a slow start as well, as they trailed at the half 7-3.

Offensively, the Lions are going to have to find a way to put points on the board early in the game. You have to remember that this Lions offensive backfield has limited varsity esperience, but last week as the game went along you could see that Pestka and Laczynski became more and more comfortible.

But the key to the Lions running game this week will be dependent the Lions ability to complete passes. A week ago the Lions were one of seven throwing the ball. If the Lions are not able to move the ball in the air this week, that Tigers defense will start packing in and will make difficult to move the ball.

Defensively, the bend-but-don't-break defense will have their hands full, as this Tigers offense has several weapons. At quarterback will be coaches son Chance Karnes. Look for the Karnes to throw the ball to his main target Tate Johnson. Running the ball will be Jackson Yates, who will take over for Jase Gosha as the featured running back. If you remember back to last year, Yates had a HUGE game against Tolona Unity, finishing with over 170 yards in the game.

Bottom line is the Lions need to keep the mistakes at a minimum against the Tigers. This Lions team needs to be productive on every possession in the game. Everyone know that the Herrin/Carterville game is a big rivalry game, but the Lions can't get caught up in that.

I sat down with Head Coach Dennis Drust to talk about tonight's game against the Herrin the Tigers.

Scott Hudson and I will have the call on NewsRadio WJPF starting at 6:45 PM. You can watch the game as well on our YouTube livestream.