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Home News-Telegram Sports Pirates Up Next -- No. 6-ranked Sulphur Springs must guard against letdown against Poteet

Pirates Up Next -- No. 6-ranked Sulphur Springs must guard against letdown against Poteet

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Beware of people patting you on the back.

Might be the message from Sulphur Springs head football coach Greg Owens.

While Owens likes the success of the 3-0 Wildcats, he hopes the team doesn’t get full of itself.

Especially playing in their second consecutive road game against a team they are favored to beat. The Pirates might be setting a trap.

“We’re 3-0 and glad to 3-0, but we have so much work to do. We are far from perfect or even satisfied with what we’re doing,” Owens said.

“We just don’t want our guys to start reading about us being 3-0 and ranked No. 6 in the state and get the big head,” Owens said.

The Wildcats are listed this week as the No. 16 team in the Harris Poll of statewide 4A teams. Sulphur Springs is favored  by 31 over No. 172 Poteet.

Owens is wary that the Pirates could be primed for an upset if the Wildcats take them lightly.

“We did not tackle well against Wichita Falls Rider,” Owens said. “Poteet has some talent, they have good players. They can hurt us if we are not careful. They don’t have the team speed of a team like Paris, but they’re decent.”

At Wichita Falls, the Wildcats had to come-from-behind in the second half to take a 26-15 win. It was the second straight game where an interception return sparked a victory.

In the Rider game, top tackling honors went to Triston Crook with 15 total tackles with nine solo and six assists. Tyler Higginbotham had 13 total with seven solos and six assists; Joe Scott contributed 10 from eight solo tackles and two assists. Scott, Higginbotham, Seth Harris and Kedrick Dial had two tackles each for losses. Dial had a total of seven as did Sharard Timmons.

Harris returned an interception for a touchdown. Timmons and Keiston Clayton also picked off passes. Halerumal and J.B. Beachem recorded sacks.

For the year, Higginbotham is tops in tackles with 33 while Timmons had four interceptions.

“Poteet is much-improved offensively from last year,” Owens said of the Pirates. “We have to buckle down and make sure we tackle and are in the right place. We can’t afford to have another bad tackling night like we did against Rider. We have to secure and seal it up. They have some guys who can hurt us.”

Owens said that Pirates mainly are an I formation team, like Rider. But Poteet can break the formation and go to a spread for a fast-hitting attack.

“We have decided what they might do,” Owens said. “They can try and control the clock and keep us off the board, or they can try to put up points. Coach (Charles) Hesse will adapt to what we are trying to do.”

The coach continued, “So Poteet could stay in the I formation and try to eat some clock up or they could try to spread us out and get some matchups. We have to be ready for the power game or spread.”

Owens said he is pleased with the  way his team matches up against Poteet. Especially if quarterback Colton Lee is able to return to the starting lineup following a one week absence with an injury.

Last week Justin Owens was called up from the junior varsity into a road start under the bright lights. The sophomore quarterback responded by completing 65 percent of his passes, throwing for about 200 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

In two starts, Lee has completed 37 of 60 passes for 487 yards, three touchdowns, four interceptions.

Top receivers are Garrett Ferguson and Bryant “Day Day” Jackson. Ferguson has 19 catches for 292 yards and Jackson has pulled in 17 for 232 with two scores. Alvin Frazier suffered a knee injury and will not play against Poteet.

The front line of Mason Y’Barbo, Chris Sorley, Beau Carpenter, Tyler Halerumal, Colby Suggs and Alex Peek has been doing a good job of protection.

Holes to run through have been plentiful for senior running back Devion “Thrill” Hill. Hill has rushed for 399 yards on 66 carries and three scores. Suggs switches from center to quarterback and has three touchdowns rushing from the “Tubow” formation.

Lee will be making his first start since suffering a shoulder injury.

“Lee has been throwing without pain. He is working on his accuracy and timing, we are still looking at how well he can play,” Owens said. “We can use Justin again or go back to Bryant for a few plays.”

The coach said the Poteet defense based from a 4-2-5 and is very active. They seldom switch to other sets.

“Poteet’s defensive lineman are very aggressive, they shoot gaps and get up field,” Owens said. “They really come hard. They put pressure on the quarterback and cause headaches.”

Owens said the defense has been active and adjusting to the type of team they play.

“We like the matchups, we just have to play throw and catch,” Owens said. “We can’t be sloppy. We’re playing Poteet and we don’t disrespect them at all. But mainly this game is about us playing better. The game is about   the things we do,” Owens said. “I have not been that pleased with our execution and we’re working on it. That’s why our practice this week has had an edge, we don’t want anybody getting complacent.”

“Our focus is on ourselves and getting our timing down,” Owens added. “We know we have to execute better. It’s still early and everybody wants to be perfect every week.”

Owens said that the rainy weather which hampered practice was a blessing in disguise as it allowed the team to watch video and work on the mental side of the game.

“We slowed down, looked at video. We pulled off them some,” Owens said. “That’s what we are trying to concentrate on this game.”

Things emphasized this week have been tackling and chop blocking.

“Kids can see that they need to get better,” Owens said. “We’re making sure they know it. We want to be better today than yesterday.”




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