The Collinsville Pirates no doubt had a disappointing loss to Alvord on Oct. 2, dropping a 23-20 decision despite leading 20-6 at halftime.
They found themselves in a similar position Friday, Oct. 9, against Tioga, as the Pirates held a 20-0 lead at halftime.
This go around, Collinsville answered with a dominant second half to roll to a 61-0 victory for the Pirates’ first district win of the season.
Head coach Garrett Patterson said it was a good win, but he admitted his team didn’t play very well in the first half.
“We came out in the second half as a completely different team,” Patterson said. “We were playing very fast and very physical. That was the challenge at the halftime. They guys had to find themselves. I said, I can beg, I can plead and I can dress up in a cheerleading uniform to try to get you fired up, but it boils down to getting yourself motivated. I walked out and told them to get it fixed.”
When the Pirates came running out onto the field for the second half, Patterson stopped them at the 30-yard line and pointed to the scoreboard.
He reminded his team of its second-half letdown against Alvord and asked it if it was going to respond.
“They responded really well,” Patterson said. “We got some key turnovers on their end of the field and scored really quick. It went downhill from there. This was a no-doubter. We had to win this one. It would have put us in a bad, bad situation if we didn’t win.”
The win improved Collinsville to 1-2 in district play with two more games against Trenton and tom Bean to finish out the regular season.
It was the first shutout of the season for the Pirates and Patterson said the defense was good from top to bottom.
“Our coverage was really good and our run stops were pretty good,” Patterson said. “We played pretty good and Grayson Ward played well at inside linebacker. I was really happy to see that out of him. The sky is the limit for him and he hadn’t reached that level yet. Lance Stone at defensive end, both he and Grayson played their best game of the year.”
The offense saw several players get in on the action and the Pirates ran for over 350 yards.
Collinsville will go back out on the road again Friday, Oct. 16, and the Pirates have lost their last two road games so Patterson wants to see his team bring more energy and a better start to their road tilt against Trenton.
“They’re going to be a good test for us,” Patterson said. “They’re 5-2 and that’s a big concern for us. We haven’t played well on the road and we’ve got to be mentally prepared for this game. We can’t be complacent and let them stay in the game because the longer they stay in the game, the more confident they’ll get and the more they’re going to battle.”
The Tigers will lean on their ground game and Patterson said many players will get opportunities to run.
Defensively, the Tigers will employ a 5-1, 3-4 and a 4-3 scheme. Patterson said his team will have to be ready to make adjustments to each formation.
“We win by winning all four quarters,” Patterson said. “We can’t start slow. We have to start fast. They’re a big, physical team that is going to try to keep the ball away from us. They’re going to try to eat the clock up. That shortens the game and you have fewer opportunities to score. We have to maximize our chances because we may not have many of them.”