Playing a ‘perfect’ game

Published 12:03 am Thursday, October 20, 2011

Red Level will face No. 1 Elba this Friday night in its last region contest of the season. | Kendra Bolling/Star-News

Red Level head football coach Tony Ingram knows just about as much about top-ranked Elba as anybody.

That’s because every week when he has looked at film to get ready for his team’s next opponent, Elba’s been on the screen.

“I’ve been watching them for weeks,” Ingram said. “Every time I watch them, they get better. They’re scary good. I don’t see a weakness anywhere.

“They’re athletic, and fast, oh my goodness, are they fast,” he said.

Ingram said the dominance on Elba isn’t just from one player, but several.

“It’s not just one guy,” he said. “You’ve got the No. 5 (Darrean) Burks kid. He’s a sophomore, and you can just go down the line. No. 4 (Jeffery Wright), No. 8 (Donta Rogers) — there’s no shortage of speed over there.”

Burks has rushed for 428 yards on 34 carries, and scored two touchdowns on the ground. In the air, he has added 454 yards on 13 receptions and six touchdowns.

Leading rusher Michael Lindsey has rushed 548 yards on 58 carries and scored 15 touchdowns for Elba.

Additionally, Ingram said Elba’s junior quarterback Austin Johnson will be the best Red Level (1-7, 1-2 in Class 2A, Region 2) has seen.

“He’s good at running and throwing,” he said. “So, they’re not one-dimensional by no means.”

This season, Johnson averages 149.9 passing yards per game, and has racked up 18 touchdowns in the air.

Red Level enters Friday night’s contest coming off a 35-29 loss to Zion Chapel last week. The Tigers scored 22 unanswered points in the second half.

Ingram said in order to show that kind of defensive effort, he hopes the players keep Elba’s offensive weapons in front.

“We can’t run by them,” he said. “We’ve got to contain them some how.”

While watching film on Elba throughout this season, Ingram can say, without a doubt, that there are no weaknesses, and his team will have to play a flawless game tomorrow night.

“They’ve gotten consistently better since the first week,” Ingram said. “We have to maintain drives and keep our offense on the field. Those three-and-outs — you can’t do that.

“We’ve got to play a perfect game,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity. If you play this game, you want to play the best. It’s an opportunity to set yourself against the best in the state. That should be why you play the game to see how you stack up against the best.”

Kick off at Bobby Dye Stadium in Red Level is at 7 p.m.

Injury update:

RLS lost another offensive lineman to injury last week. Bobby Throgmorten, an offensive and defensive linemen, injured his shoulder in the Tigers’ loss to Zion Chapel last week.