If it isnâ€™t broken, donâ€™t fix it. That could be West Lincoln head coach Butch Parkerâ€™s mantra after his team improved to 2-0 on the season.
The Rebels will host the Bessemer City Yellow Jackets on Friday night. The Yellow Jackets, despite having an 0-2 record has arguably the best running back in the area Shane Whitlock.
The Rebels had nearly 300 yards total offense against the Mustangs. After outgaining their first two opponents, Parker wants things to stay the same.
â€œI would like to see us be able to do the same things weâ€™ve been doing. I want to establish the run and throw when we want to and not when we have to,â€ he said.
West Lincolnâ€™s senior tailback Will Tallent, who has fought injuries over the past couple of years, sprained his ankle in the third quarter against East Lincoln. Parker pointing out Tallentâ€™s toughness believes heâ€™ll play Friday night.
â€œHeâ€™s seen our orthopedist and heâ€™s getting treatment and he will practice leading up to the game. We plan for him to start.â€
So can junior running back Gene Arp expect more carries against the Yellow Jackets coming off a 13 carry 104 yard performance?
â€œWe have plays that are designed for him. Weâ€™re going to get the ball in his hands one way or another, but weâ€™re not going to change what were doing,â€ Parker said.
The main concern for Parker, other than the aforementioned Whitlock, is the size Bessemer City has upfront.
â€œYou can take any two of our guards and put them together and they donâ€™t weigh as much as a couple of their linemen. Their size is a major concern,â€ he said.
Whitlock has rushed for over 400 yards in just two games for Bessemer City. Parker feels he was one of the major reasons the Rebels lost to them a year ago.
â€œHeâ€™s a tailback in a fullback body. Heâ€™s very muscular, solid as a rock and is hard to bring down. He started running over us last year. Heâ€™s an outstanding football player.â€
Parker has several areas of concern entering week three. Some of Parkerâ€™s anxiety stems from the belief that itâ€™s just a matter of time before Bessemer City turns it around.
â€œTheir 0-2 record is a factor because theyâ€™re much better than that. They put a bunch of young kids in a tough situation when they find out their coach is getting fired, you canâ€™t make things happen over night,â€ he said.
The second area Parker wants to focus on is the Rebelsâ€™ coaching staff, including himself, is getting his team to re-focus.
â€œI want our kids to understand that weâ€™re 2-0, and they should be proud of that, but we have to play this one like weâ€™re 0-0. We have a playoff team that weâ€™re facing that has one of the premier running backs in the area, so we have to focus on that and put the past behind us.â€
by John Mark Brooks