BV faces 'must-win' situation

Friday, October 10, 2014

Berryville Coach Lee Atkins calls Friday's game at Lincoln a must-win if the Bobcats want to make the state playoffs.

After a disappointing 21-6 loss to previously winless Gentry, the Bobcats (2-3, 0-2 4A-1) face another struggling opponent in Lincoln (1-4, 0-2).

"We got one extra game on them, but that doesn't mean anything because that's non-conference," Atkins said. "We are both sitting at the same conference record and it is a must-win for both of us to get in the playoffs."

Friday night is homecoming for Lincoln and while the Bobcats shouldn't need any extra motivation to play well, Berryville might be able to find it from that.

"Homecoming games shouldn't be this way, but they are generally against conference rivals," Atkins said.

Atkins acknowledges that his team didn't do many things correctly against Gentry on Friday night. One thing that hurt the Bobcats was their inability to get Aiden Brummett and Deonte Payton involved in the game. If the Bobcats are to get back on track this season, the running game will be a key.

"If we don't establish a running game, it will be tough for us to win football games," Atkins said.

Atkins believes the Bobcats took a step in the wrong direction last week but he hopes the young team is able to learn from the mistakes and become a better team.

"There is an old adage that says every time you start a freshman or sophomore you lose a game, but on the flip side, every time you start a sophomore or freshman, they get another game of varsity experience," Atkins said.

Atkins said that although his team is young, it has the talent to fix its problems before the season is over.

"It is nothing but fundamentals," Atkins said. "Just about blocking and tackling, and until we can execute our running and passing schemes, which aren't that complex, we will struggle. Sometimes at the point of attack we don't win the game and that is what we have to do. People have beaten us on very simple plays or we have gotten caught in some very bad spots or made some very poor decisions."

Lincoln will try to stop the Berryville running game by putting eight defenders in the box and bringing blitzes for most of the night. Offensively, the Wolves will mirror Berryville in an attempt to run the ball and mix in an occasional pass.

Kickoff at Lincoln is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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