Bobcats hit road to challenge Saints

Friday, September 26, 2014

It's been 10 years since the Berryville Bobcats defeated the Shiloh Christian Saints. On Friday night, the Bobcats hope to change that. They know it won't be easy.

The Saints have won seven state championships since 1998 and they boast a solid offense again this year. Berryville has played well offensively, too, with sophomore quarterback Jacob Graham taking the snaps.

Graham, who has started for the Bobcats all season and ran for two touchdowns in last week's 36-34 victory against Green Forest, said he doesn't feel any added pressure facing Shiloh Christian.

"I'm just going to go play to the best of my abilities," Graham said. "I have worked all summer and I feel confident in what I need to do."

Berryville has been primarily a running team this season, but Coach Lee Atkins said the Bobcats will have to pass the ball more this week.

"Against good people we have to have success throwing the football, short and deep," Atkins said. "This week we are going to try that. Instead of running the ball 80 percent of the time we are hoping to pass the ball 60 percent of the time."

A good start is essential, Graham said.

"We got to start out fast right out of the gate," Graham said. "We can't have any slow first halves like we did against Green Forest or Decatur."

Defensively, Berryville will have to keep an eye on Shiloh Christian sophomore quarterback Connor Reece and his favorite target, Adler Goode. Through two games, Goode had 12 catches for 130 yards and a touchdown. Kyle Freeman has also rushed for 202 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries for the Saints.

Atkins said this game could be pivotal in the Bobcats' bid to win a conference championship.

"This is the closest we have had an opportunity to win this game," Atkins said. "We have to have a good first half to stay in the game and then we have to limit our mistakes and we can win the game."

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