One of the biggest rivalries in Texoma takes the field Friday night.
The 2021 Kraut Bowl will be in Muenster as the Hornets host Lindsay. The Knights won last year’s game 34-14, their first win in the series since 2014.
Muenster (1-0) only has three home games scheduled this year, but Lindsay will provide a strong start to an abbreviated home slate.
Lindsay (1-0) has an opportunity to win back-to-back Kraut Bowls for the first time since winning five-straight from 2005-09.
Muenster coach Brady Carney said the Hornets aren’t thinking about revenge, they’re just focused on this year.
“Last year was last year, and that’s past us,” Carney said. “There’s one thing that’s going to happen from this game. Win or lose, whoever comes out on top, whoever the loser is, you’re going to be a better football team for playing. Last year, we lost. No one likes to lose, but I feel like we got better. We found our weaknesses, we adjusted, and then got better throughout the year.”
Both teams are coming off week one victories. The Hornets took down Celeste 38-12 on the road last week. Lindsay trounced Era 71-12 at home and will be playing the second of four-consecutive games against Cooke County schools to open the year.
Lindsay’s new two-back offense made its regular season debut last week. Despite overhauling their playbook, the Knights still looked the part after scoring 71 points, the same number they scored against Era last season.
Coach Jeff Smiley said the players are making steady progress, but it isn’t quite automatic for them yet.
“We’re still thinking a little bit in some areas,” Smiley said. “We’re not at the point yet to where we’re just able to be liberated to go cut loose. We’re still thinking a little bit too much. When you think, it slows you down. We’re not to that point yet to where we can play really just as fast and physical as we want to play right now, because we are having to think a little bit. Now, we’re better than we were day one, for sure.”
The Kraut Bowl is more than a rivalry between neighboring towns. It is also a matchup of two of the best teams in Class 2A. Lindsay has won two-straight district titles, while Muenster is perennially one of the favorites to reach state. For both, the goal is rarely just making the playoffs, but rather seeing how far they can go. Both were ranked in the preseason top 10 of their respective divisions by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football.
Carney said the Hornets must minimize Lindsay’s success on deep passes to win.
“(We have to) take away the big plays, make them earn it on the ground,” Carney said. “From an offensive standpoint, keep playing turnover-free football. Be able to be efficient in the passing game, and then when we need to run the football, we need to control the line of scrimmage. It’s the same game plan every week. It starts up front for us. We gotta be better on the O-line this week.”
Smiley said Lindsay must do three things to beat Muenster.
“We have to win the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, that’s number one,” Smiley said. “Number two, we have to take care of the football. We can’t have turnovers. Number three, we can’t have stupid penalties. We have to play a clean game, and then we have to make plays when they present themselves.”
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Hornet Stadium.