NIXON — It’s been a tough season for the young Nixon-Smiley Mustangs (2-6, 0-3). Inexperience has been a problem, as the Mustangs are still in search for their first district win. Tonight they take on Poth (7-1, 3-0) who have an unblemished district record.
“They’re a good football team, very few weaknesses,” Nixon-Smiley Head Coach Carlton McKinney said. “They’re solid on the offensive end, very experienced skill kids. Lots of returners on the line. They do things the right way.”
Poth have been unbeaten in district for a reason, McKinney said, but last year the Mustangs were able to pull off the upset against the Pirates.
“We embraced the situation last year and really jumped on them early and they didn’t recover,” McKinney recalled.
But many of the players on the Mustangs did not play a big role in that game. Despite that, the coaching staff hopes they can take the positives from last week’s Dilley game and improve on it moving forward.
Poth runs multiple formations on offense, with a quarterback similar to Nixon-Smiley’s, McKinney noted.
“He’s probably their best runner out of the backfield,” he said.
A lot of what the quarterback does is run-pass plays.
Some options for Dilley include senior Cole Harris (7) and senior tight end Heath Dunn (42).
“They have some skill kids that have been on the varsity team for several years,” McKinney said. “Seniors now, at least three-year starters.”
The offensive line has some size and the Pirates utilize their strengths.
“They cause a lot of problems for you,” McKinney noted.
Defensively, the Pirates run a 4-3 front, with man coverage in the secondary. However, the Mustangs are expecting to face a “50” defense, when the Pirates put down a nose guard to frustrate their offensive line.
McKinney believes the team will have to win a lot of the “individual battles” to knock off the team up top of the district.
“Hopefully at the end, we have a lot of wins in those individual battles,” McKinney said, which will give the team the opportunity to win the football game.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Poth.