It took 12 years, but the Muenster Hornets have finally lost two games in a row. Muenster fell Sept. 4 against Lindsay and Friday, Sept. 11, the Hornets dropped a 27-16 decision to Blue Ridge.
The Hornets have been outscored 61-30 the past two games and head coach Brady Carney said the wins or losses are not as upsetting as the lack of effort the Hornets showed against Blue Ridge.
Hours after their loss Friday, the Hornets had to be at practice at 6 a.m. Saturday and Carney and his coaching staff weren’t coaching with their typical relaxed attitudes.
No more Mr. Nice Coaching Staff.
“It’s not the winning and losing that upsets me because I’ve always told them from day one to be the best team they can be with their effort,” Carney said “If we finish 5-5, then we finish 5-5 knowing we gave everything we’ve got and I just don’t think we’re doing that. I wanted to prove my point and we normally get up here at 10 on Saturday.
“We ran 40 40s to begin the workout and then we hit the weight room for another 45 minutes and then we usually watch half a film, but we watched the whole film so we could point out how we’re lacking intensity and effort play after play for four quarters.”
Carney had more of a terse way of communicating when he first got to Muenster, but he said that has trailed off a bit in the past several years.
Winning a state title in 2017 has something to do with that, but it’s time for Carney to take a new approach.
“I’ve seen it in myself,” Carney said. “All the guys that used to play for me tell me that I’ve gotten softer because I am. I can feel it. I told the boys that if I have to go back to the way I used to be when we first started this thing, then that’s the approach I’m taking and we’ll carry that into this week and see what happens.”
Carney said all the players were on time Saturday morning ready to face the music and not a word was said as the Hornets slogged through the tough workout.
While Blue Ridge was 0-2 headed into Friday’s tilt, Carney knew its record wasn’t indicative of the team’s talent.
“I knew going in Blue Ridge throwing the football scared me and they threw it 40 times,” Carney said. They had three big plays for touchdowns. We had chances to make the plays and we didn’t. You look back and see that the other team made plays and we didn’t. The teams that make the big plays win and right now we’re not making the plays.”
Carney admitted he underestimated just how good Blue Ridge’s defensive line was and that significantly contributed to the Hornets’ stagnant offensive game.
“We had a hard time moving the football,” Carney said. “They were solid, big kids that could move a little bit and were stronger than I gave them credit for. They dominated our offensive line all night. Those parts of our game has to improve if we’re going to be a good football team and the season isn’t over. That’s what I told our boys because the important games are in front of us, but our inability to make plays and being solid on the offensive line has to improve.”
The Hornets, now 1-2 on the season, have just four seniors on the team with a wealth of sophomores starting this season. While Carney doesn’t want to use youth as an excuse, he said there is a lack of senior leadership on the team right now.
“They need to understand how serious practice is and how hard they need to work and how that translates into Friday night,” Carney said. “Right now that’s just something we’re not doing so hopefully that changes this week.”
Muenster did have some bright spots in the game as the Hornets’ defense held Blue Ridge to -2 yards rushing and coupled with how they held Lindsay’s rushing attack the week before, Carney feels that can be something to build off of.
The Hornets will host Electra at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 18.