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RLHS preps for region-opener

The Red Level Tigers will go up against a tough opponent this week as they open up Class 1A, Region 2 play on Friday night at home against Houston County.

The series is tied 1-1 with Houston County winning last year’s contest 34-20.

“There is no doubt that Houston County has a very good football team,” Red Level head coach Kenny Skipper said. “They are well coached and they appear to have some good athletes all over the place.”

Red Level enters the contest with a 0-1 record after falling to Class 2A Cottonwood 48-6 last Friday.

“When you turn the ball over three times in the first three minutes, and seven times total, you aren’t going to win,” Skipper said of the game against Cottonwood. “There were times that I thought we played really well. We were still in the game in the second quarter, but the wheels came off and just ran out of gas in the third.”

Skipper said that the players have to handle those situations better in the future.

“We have to get better at responding to adversity,” Skipper said. “In this game, something bad is going happen every week whether you are winning or losing, and we have to get better at how we respond.”

This week, Skipper said that they have been focusing a lot on themselves.

“I just want to see us get better,” Skipper said. “Of course, we are preparing for Houston County, but our main focus is on us. One thing that we have been stressing this week is tackling. Last week, there were several times that we were in the right place to make a play, but we just didn’t make the tackle.”

Houston County comes into the game with a 2-0 record after knocking off Cottonwood 27-12 in week one and then defeating Zion Chapel 44-0 last week.

“They are a run-heavy team,” Skipper said of Houston County. “They will get in the Pistol and some other formations. In the two games of theirs that I’ve seen this year, they line up in the spread to run the football. They will throw it a few times, but they are going to keep in the ground most of the time.”

This week at practice, Skipper said he has been pleased with his players.

“They have done a pretty good job this week at practice,” Skipper said. “They have all had a good attitude and they are coming in ready to work. That is always is positive thing to have guys like that. We are still a very young team, but these guys are going to get there. They are getting stronger in the weight room and we will eventually reap what we have sown.”

Red Level and Houston County begin at 7 p.m., Friday in Red Level.