Red Level seeks homecoming win

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Red Level’s John Lee runs the ball during the game on Friday night. He scored two touchdowns and 182 rushing yards.

The Red Level Tigers (1-3, 1-1) look to bounce back from a last-second defeat when they host the J.F. Shields Panthers (0-2, 0-1) Friday night for homecoming.

Last Friday night, Red Level looked like they might upset Class 1A perennial powerhouse Brantley, but a pass interference call on Red Level gave Brantley one last play for the win.

The loss hurts Red Level, but the Tigers are still alive in the playoff picture. This week’s contest is a non-region game, and has no effect on the Tigers’ playoff dreams.

As of right now, the Tigers are currently tied in the third place in Class 1A, Region 2 with the Kinston Bulldogs. Red Level and Kinston will square off in Kinston on Oct. 16.

As for J.F. Shields, the Panthers have not scored a point through two games. The Panthers fell 76-0 in their opener to J.U. Blacksher and lost 64-0 to Fruitdale last Friday night.

“You can’t be fooled by their record,” Red Level coach James Wise said. “They are fast and athletic. I just hope my guys don’t have a let down.”

This will be the 12th meeting between Red Level and J.F. Shields with the Tigers leading the series 6-5, including a 53-0 victory in last season’s contest.

“Offensively, they are a spread team but they will line up some in a traditional I,” Wise said. “They have a couple of tall and fast wide receivers that they like to get in space. They also do a good job of attacking the edges. The thing that we have been stressing this week is making tackles in space.”

Defensively, Wise said the Panthers will bring a lot of pressure.

“They line up in what is basically a 4-4,” Wise said. “They are going to bring pressure up the middle and do a lot of blitzing. It will force us to protect the inside. We will have to remember our rules of blocking, because I don’t want to give up sacks up the middle.”

One of the biggest obstacles the Tigers face this week is homecoming.

“We are just trying to get through homecoming,” Wise said. “Homecoming is great, but it can be chaotic and cause distractions. I’m just working on keeping them focused.”

Wise said another thing that the Tigers will work on this week, is cleaning up mistakes from last week.

“Yesterday, we started correcting things that went wrong last Friday,” Wise said. “I was proud of the guys Friday night and I thought they played very hard, but I just reminded them that we still lost Friday night and that there are still things we need to work on. I just want to keep them grounded, because we still have to go out there and play to win.”

Homecoming festivities will begin at 6:20 p.m., with float and queen presentations to start followed by kickoff between the Tigers and the Panthers at 7 p.m.