Central will try to remain undefeated in Class A District 8 play when the Tigers travel to play the Pocola Indians today at 7 p.m.
The Tigers are coming off a 22-19 squeaker win last Friday at home against Haskell in their first district game of the season, upping their record to 3-1.
Pocola defeated Canadian in a decisive 54-6 victory last week on the road in its first district game of the year, which boosted the Indians‚ record to 3-2.
Central head coach Jeremy Thompson knows Pocola is going to be another tough road game for his charges, but he has a plan for beating the Indians.
“They‚ve got A.J. Lyons[-Jerrell], number 6, at quarterback and running back,” Thompson said. “He‚s a big weapon for them that they like to go to, and probably their main weapon offensively.”
As a freshman last year, Lyons-Jerrell accounted for more than 1,200 yards of offense, and is accompanied by senior running back Zac Jones, who accumulated 300 yards last season.
Wide receiver Garret Scott is one of Pocola‚s main targets along with Kolby Masterson, and the Tigers will need to see how things unfold on the day to know if they‚ll be able to play man-to-man or zone defense to stop the Indians‚ passing game.
“The main thing is we‚ve got to tackle well this week. They‚ve got a good strong running back,” Thompson said. “Don‚t give up the big plays like we‚ve been doing and continue to get better on both sides of the football.”
The Pocola‚s defense allowed just under 14 points a game last year, and is returning the core of that unit this season, led by linebacker Tucker Thompson, who had 67 tackles last season, with 15 of those for a loss.
The Indians will line up in a 3-4 defensive stance, with Lyons-Jerrell making the Tigers work for every reception in the backfield.
With both teams in a tough district, making it to the playoffs means winning and getting better every week, and neither of these two competitive teams are going to lay down tonight.
“We‚ve focused on what we need to do across the board to get better at what we do offensively and defensively. We have to do the little things right and play hard, the way we are, and good things will happen.
“I like the way our guys are playing, and it‚s going to be another big night for us.”