Trinity not looking past solid River Oaks team

Published 12:02 am Thursday, October 1, 2009

NATCHEZ — Trinity Episcopal School is battling through mid-season bumps and bruises headed into Friday’s game against River Oaks.

“We’ve got a couple of people out with sicknesses,” Trinity head coach David King said. “Six weeks in, you’re going to be banged up, but it’s nothing anybody else isn’t accustomed to. We’re just having to work through it.”

King said he’s taking Friday’s game against River Oaks very seriously, and hopes his players understand why.

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“They’re an outstanding football club,” King said. “They’re 5-1, and I think they’ve already clinched their AA district. It’s been a big rivalry game for the last 10 years, and they would love to take one from us.”

Saints senior Brandon Daggs said he could tell King isn’t taking a win for granted this week.

“This game is really important,” Daggs said. “Coach is worried about River Oaks. After Central Private gave us a good contest, he was scared we’d come out relaxed, but we’re not letting up.”

Home field advantage is something King said would be a big factor in favor of River Oaks. He was also very complimentary of the Mustangs’ coaching staff.

“Robert Hannah has done an outstanding job,” King said. “He’s got one of the best staffs in the state (of Louisiana). They’re outstanding on defense and have very good line play. They’re accustomed to winning.”

In terms of team strengths, King said the Mustangs have a couple of fast skill players, and run mostly out of the spread offense, although they like to run too.

“We have quick defenders, and we’re just going to have to play sound football and not let them get loose,” King said.

One thing the Saints are working on in practice this week is making sure the players stick to their assignments.

“We had a breakdown or two last week against Central Private,” King said. “We’re still a work in progress.”

If the Saints want to have any offensive success against the Mustangs Friday, King said they would have to sustain drives and not rely on explosive plays as much.

“They won’t give up big plays,” King said. “They won’t let our skill players just run wild. We’ll have to be more methodical in our approach.”

Daggs elaborated on what is to be expected out of the Mustangs defense.

“They play 15 yards off of you,” Daggs said. “We’re going to have to hit the underneath, short routes. Hopefully, if we do, they’ll tighten up a bit and open up the deep ball.”

Trinity (6-0) will kick off at 7 p.m. Friday.