Red Level steps up practice, to meet Samson

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 29, 2011

Red Level head football coach Tony Ingram said this week’s road game against Samson is the most important game the team will play all year.

“There’s no doubt about it,” Ingram said. “We’re over midway through the season, we’ve got one region win and Samson’s a region opponent.

“We need a win for the team,” he said.

The Tigers have only won one game this season — a 33-30 win over Calhoun on week four.

For the past five weeks, Ingram said he’s trying to pinpoint what exactly is the reason why the Tigers are “struggling” this year.

“I don’t know what it is,” he said. “We’re struggling right now. In every phase of the game, we’re struggling.

“We’re not taking care of the football. We’re not tackling. We’re not blocking, and we’re not executing,” he said. “It’s my fault and it’s the only person’s fault that it can be. If I’m on the field Friday night, and they’re not ready, then that’s a reflection on me and that I can’t get the job done.”

Samson is coming off a close 14-13 loss to Class 1A’s Pleasant Home last week. SHS enters this week’s contest with 2-3 overall, and 1-2 in Class 2A, Region 2.

Ingram said his offense will have to give senior quarterback Troy Nolen some time to throw the ball.

“They’re going to stack the box on us, and we’ve got to be able to throw the ball big,” he said. “We’ve got to be able to protect long enough to be able to pass.”

Practice this week for RLS had been pretty upbeat, Ingram said.

“We’ve turned it up at practice this week,” he said. “We’ve been tackling and tackling and tackling. We went Tuesday and didn’t really focus on anything (Samson) did.

“We lined up, and we tackled for about an hour without stopping,” he said. “We found some kids that wanted to step up and play.”

When asked what were some of the specific tackling drills the team has been doing this week, Ingram said they were the “basics.”

“We’re too high when we’re tackling,” he said. “We’re stopping our feet, when you stop your feet, they go by you and you’re reaching. We’re not wrapping up, and we’re not running through the tackling. We’re at the point of tackling and one of two things happens — that guy runs around you or through you.”

Because the season is going like it is for Red Level, Ingram said he’s had to cut back his offense to the “very basic” of plays.

RLS started out the season with more than 20 plays on offense. Now, there are five running plays and five passing plays being executed on offense right now, Ingram said.

“Usually, we to try new things out (at this time of the year),” he said. “I always say that we’re going back to the basics, but we’re going further back.”

With all of this on the Tigers’ plate right now, Ingram said there is one primary focus leading to this week’s game.

“Forget the playoffs and everything. We need a win for a confidence boost,” he said. “With the way this region is shaking out, one win puts you right back in the picture. If we get a couple wins, we’ll be right back in it. You’d be surprised what a couple wins will do.”

Injury update: As of Wednesday, senior running back Raheem Bullock will be out of this week’s game due to a deep thigh bruise, Ingram said.

Red Level will face Samson this week to begin the second half of the regular season. The Tigers have only won one game this season so far, and a win tomorrow night is a must for the team, head football coach Tony Ingram said. | Andrew Garner/Star-News