EUREKA – After years of toiling with the double wing-T, Ridgeview/Lexington has abandoned that offensive scheme this season in favor of the pistol.
“I had heard over the summer. I’m not really sure I expected it,” admitted Eureka coach Jason Bachman. “They’re a lot like us. It’s one thing to try to get your athletes out in space. It’s a little more of a challenge for our DBs (defensive backs).”
The Hornets (3-1) travel to Colfax to meet the Mustangs in a crossover Heart of Illinois Conference encounter Friday night at 7 p.m.
R/L won their first two both at home, but has dropped the last two, both on the road. The Mustangs return six starters on offense including senior quarterback Jared Leake and running back Grant Van Vickle. R/L has scored 71 points on the season.
Seven starters return on defense including a trio of linebackers in Van Vickle and classmates James Breese and Ethan Wissmiller. They have allowed 77 points through four games.
In last season’s 48-14 rout, Eureka rushed for 280 and tallied 549 yards of total offense. This past week, the Hornets gained 204 yards on the ground against Deer Creek Mackinaw.
“The run game got going. Being able to re-establish the trap makes me very happy,” Bachman said. “I do feel better about our offense.”
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One area Eureka must improve on is penalties, as they were guilty of eight versus DCM.
“A couple of those were questionable,” pointed out Bachman. “For the most part, I’m pretty confident we’re starting to get those cleaned up.”
The Hornets will try to duplicate the 28-0 start they had last lining up against R/L.
“I think that’s key especially with teams that can hang around. That happened against Dee Mack,” Bachman said. “It’s also their (R/L) homecoming. We cannot let teams hang around and gain some confidence.”
Jake Kennedy is in his fourth season at R/L with a 12-19 record. The Mustangs went 4-5 in 2018. Eureka leads the all-time series three to zero.
Notes: According to Bachman, junior lineman Conner McDonald (bone bruise on foot) still remains in a walking boot. He will not play Friday and may not return until Oct. 11 when Tremont visits.