Head coach Scott Dean noted there are a significant number of sophomores on the varsity squad, including eight starters.
With sophomores filling spots as linebackers, running back and defensive lineman, the youth of the team has caused some problems with inexperience. However, Dean said things look good for the future.
“[The strength of our team is] the number of reps the sophomores have gotten this year. We’re awful young but they’re learning and getting the experience,” said Dean.
With an 0-5 record, Dean said the youth of his team is not the only issue it faces as the players need to do a better job of blocking and tackling.
Another problem for the Lions has been timing of penalties. While Dean said there have not been a lot of penalties, the ones they’ve received have come at bad times.
“We had a lot of key penalties two games ago [against Paulding County]. We had four big plays on first down, but three were negated on penalties,” Dean said.
In reference to the 41-19 loss to Hiram on Oct. 4, Dean said the kicking game killed them as they had two blocked punts. He also noted the Lions have to do a better job of protecting the quarterback.
“We have to give him more time to make better decisions,” Dean said.
Quarterback Tikal Petty finished the night with 172 passing yards and 56 rushing yards against the Hornets.
Dean also mentioned six other players he thought did a good job in the Hiram game.
Seniors Montrieze Boykin and Sonny McDowell both had three receptions for 76 yards. James Ford had a 15-yard touchdown run, Corinthian Neal had a big interception, Jabius Cooper had a “host of tackles,” and Justin Merriweather “did a very good job containing the edge” – forcing the opposing team inside, making sure the ball didn’t get to the sidelines.
As far as the season is concerned, Dean said, “We’re making progress in some spots but we’re certainly not able to overcome the lack of experience and mistakes.”