BY RICK WRIGHT –
The Bearcats suffered a 42-7 loss to the Nashville Scrappers last week. A game that quickly got way from Mena. However, that one game does not define the 2016 Bearcats and Mena looks to prove that fact when they travel to Fountain Lake to take on the Cobras Friday October 28 with playoff seeding on the line.
“We’ve got to believe in ourselves,” said Bearcat Head Football Coach Tim Harper. “We’ve got to quit beating ourselves. We’ve got to overcome adversity every week. 50 to 70 percent of the time the team we are playing is bigger, faster and has more players than we do. But when we believe in ourselves and play our game we are alright.”
“I can take a loss if everybody on my team gives it all they’ve got,” said Harper. “If they give their all and the other team is better than us, then we can move forward from there. But when we don’t give our best effort, then that’s us beating ourselves. That’s us just giving up, not believing and I take that personal. Because the one thing we’ve got is the willingness to give all we’ve got. And if you don’t give all you’ve got, then we have some serious issues. We talked about it with the team. We promised to give 48 minutes and not five.”
“Last week, I had the best players Mena had to offer,” said Harper. “This week I still have the best players Mena has to offer. Therefore we are moving forward.”
“If we play like we are capable, we should beat Fountain Lake handily,” said Harper. “But we may be in for the Dog Fight of our lives. I really don’t care, I just want to win. I just want us to play with passion, heart and I think we will.”
“Fountain Lake is a good football team,” said Harper. “They are a lot better than what their record indicates. They’ve played the same schools we’ve played. We could very easily be in that same boat. So we better not look at records, they are just one game behind us in the conference race. Our game should be the biggest game in the conference, should be the biggest game for us all year. We win, we’re no worse than a fourth seed, if we loose we could be eliminated if Malvern beats Nashville. I don’t expect that, but it could happen.”
“Fountain Lake is scrappy,” said Harper. “I think our kids will come out and play with a chip on their shoulder from Friday night, feeling like they’ve let each other down, their coaches down, the community down. Once we realize that, I think our kids will come a long ways. I think we’ll play more like we are use to seeing.”
“Fountain Lake is primarily a run oriented offense,” said Harper. “Wing-T football, which typically runs the ball 75 to 80 percent of the time. However, this year they are not quite as good at that. If you’re able to slow them down, get them behind they will abandon the run very quick and go to a spread formation and throw the ball quite a bit. They are actually pretty good at it, they throw the ball well.”
“I think we will be a lot better this Friday night than we were last week,” said Harper.
The kickoff is set for 7 p.m. in Fountain Lake.