By Stan Sadler
RISON – Following an open date last Friday due to a cancellation by the Strong Bulldogs, the Rison Wildcats have not seen action since that stinging 29-28 loss to the Fordyce Redbugs back on August 28. In some ways, it seems like that was weeks ago. But today, things aren’t ordinary, and that’s the way it goes for the time being.
But this Friday night at Gaylon Gibbs Stadium at England, the Wildcats will finally get back in action when they take on the Lions of the 6-2A Conference. England opened the 2020 season with back-to-back losses to Mineral Springs, 20-57, and Fountain Lake, 18-54. Kickoff is set for 7 o’clock. A story on tickets and admission to the game can be found elsewhere in this issue of the Herald.
So, with the ongoing pandemic having an impact on the atmosphere for the start of the football season, and with the Lions already having taken it on the chin a couple of times, don’t expect Friday’s game to generate anything near the hype than the last time these two schools met back in 2015, a 38-22 Rison victory here in the state 2A playoffs. Rison leads the overall series with England, 7-0.
However, do expect head coach Clay Totty’s Wildcats to be ready to play after a two-week layoff from the narrow setback to Fordyce, a game Rison feels like it should have put in the “W” column.
“For the most part, I think they’ve handled it well,” Totty said this week, as he commented about his squad’s recent practices and an anticipated rebound from the season-opening defeat, a bitter pill to say the least. “They are anxious to get back out and play.”
While England is capable of scoring points, it’s defense that has been the Lions’ major problem, dating back to last year. England posted a 5-6 record in 2019, losing to Carlisle in the first round of the state 2A playoffs. During their 2019 campaign, though, the Lions gave up an average of 35 points a game, and already this season have been exploited for 111 points in two outings.
To read the full article, see the Sept. 9, 2020 print or eHerald edition.
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