Coming off a lopsided loss at the hands of the Lindsay Knights, Collinsville head coach Garrett Patterson knew the next game against Alvord would be tough for his team to mentally prepare for.
That worry was realized Friday, Oct. 2, when the Pirates squandered a 20-6 halftime lead and were shutout in the second half of the way to a 23-20 loss to the Bulldogs.
“Once you play a big game like we did against Lindsay, there’s always that little bit of letdown to it,” Patterson said. “I know Alvord is a pretty good football team and they were coming off their first win of the year. It was a big game for us to get up for and we didn’t do a very good job doing that. Even though we had a 20-6 lead, we weren’t playing well. They responded and we didn’t respond.”
Finding consistency from play to play and drive to drive was the biggest pitfall for the Pirates and Patterson said it was disappointing to see his team not on the same page.
“It was really frustrating because about half of our kids wouldn’t do the right thing on one play and the next play the other half wouldn’t do the right thing,” Patterson said. “We didn’t play well offensively all night long and defensively, we didn’t tackle their quarterback well at all. I knew he was dangerous and he did what I expected him to do. They played really hard.”
Patterson said his defense and special teams played well enough to win, but the entire team’s performance wasn’t up to par and that it’s hard to win when all three phases aren’t in sync.
The offense didn’t execute, Patterson said.
The loss drops the Pirates to 0-2 to start district, but Patterson said it doesn’t put them in that bad of a hole because if Collinsville is going to make a deep run to the playoffs like it had hoped, the Pirates were still going to have to beat several good teams as each round progressed.
“It keeps us in the same side of the bracket,” Patterson said. “It doesn’t change much for us and it’s really no different because in round two you were going to play a district champion anyways.”
The Pirates (3-3) will face the Tioga Bulldogs, who are 1-5 on the season, this week and Patterson said it’s imperative his team put the past two losses in the rearview mirror.
“You don’t have time to feel sorry for yourself,” Patterson said. “You’ve got to fix the problems that you see and the kids have to understand that every single rep matters and we’ve changed up practice a little bit to reflect that every little mistake affects the team and we’ve addressed that. There was more than just one kid doing things wrong at a consistent rate and we just weren’t focused and ready to play.”
The Bulldogs sport a similar defense to Alvord in that they will try to pressure the Pirates’ quarterback and backfield.
“That worries me a little bit because Alvord did do a good job of stopping us,” Patterson said.
Offensively, Tioga will lean on its big offensive line and try to run the football.
“That’s who they are and that’s their philosophy and they’re going to try to make the game shorter by keeping the ball away from you and limiting your possessions,” Patterson said.
As much as the Pirates might be licking their wounds from back-to-back losses, the bigger threat to their season is a lack of confidence and Collinsville will look to regain that this week against a Tioga team that has been outscored 278-75, including a 76-12 loss to Lindsay last week.
“When you’re winning, you’re pretty confident in yourself and when you’re losing, you’re not and that even goes for coaches too,” Patterson said. “You’re just trying to find a way to build that confidence back. Throughout this week, we simplified some stuff and we’re just trying to get the little things right. We can’t afford to lose this game.”