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Assignments are a must

Red Level will host Samson Friday night in a region contest. | Kendra Bolling/Star-News

Playing assignment football is a must this week as Red Level will play host to the Samson Tigers in an important region contest to decide who will have home field advantage in the playoffs.

Samson is an option-oriented football team, which can cause problems for defenses, Ingram said.

“With the option, you’ve got to account for the quarterback, full back and pitch man,” Ingram said. “If you’ve got a pitch man, you’ve got to go to him every time. You can’t fall in on that quarterback, and he’s going to pitch it.

“If you blow your assignment, then we’re in trouble,” he said. “The option, if it’s run right, is hard to defend because it ignores every basic instinct of trying to make a play and do what your coached to do. You’ve got to hit the quarterback to make him pitch it.”

Red Level (2-3, 2-1 in Class 2A, Region 2) will meet Samson this week. Last week, Red Level fell to McKenzie 30-0, where it had plenty of opportunities to score, but didn’t, Ingram said.

“It goes back to when they scored,” he said. “We’d drive to the one-yard line, and didn’t get it in. I think that took a lot of the wind out of us.”

Ingram said the team needs to sustain drives on the offense to keep up with Samson and improve upon mistakes from the McKenzie contest.

“With as good offensive team like that, especially the best thing you do is keep the offense off the field,” he said. “We put ourselves in holes all night.”

Samson (4-1, 2-1) battled back from a 12-0 deficit against Pleasant Home last Friday to win the game 14-12. Currently, Samson and Red Level are tied with Goshen for the No. 2 position in its region.

Samson’s and Goshen’s only losses this season are to Elba, and Red Level has its one region loss to Goshen.

Ingram said stopping the run game and being more physical are a must this Friday.

“I don’t think they’re as fast as McKenzie,” Ingram said about the similarity between Samson and McKenzie. “I don’t think they’re slow. I don’t think that we’ll see that much speed on the field again. Then again, McKenzie has a good football team, and then again Samson is a fundamental, hard-nosed football team.

“We’ve got to be prepared to stop the run, and make them throw,” he said. “They’re going to be physical. We’ve got to be prepared and play our assignments. Offensively, we’ve got to find a way to move the ball and score some points.”

Ingram said he hopes there will be a big “crowd” this week to support the team.

“We’ve had good crowds every time at home,” Ingram said. “We want a big crowd because it’s a region game. We want them out there to support these kids, they feed off the crowd.”

Injury update:

Senior quarterback Preston Ryce will have an MRI on his knee today to check for either a knee sprain or high ankle sprain.

“We won’t know anything about him until Thursday,” Ingram said.

In addition, senior right tackle Colton Nixon has been cleared to play this week.