The Valley View Eagles trounced the Tom Bean Tomcats 40-0 last season. The Eagles close out the regular season with Tom Bean on Friday, Nov. 9, so they’ll need to beat the Tomcats to improve their playoff seeding.
The Eagles are 3-5 on the season and 1-2 in district play while the Tomcats are 5-4 and 1-2 in district, so each team is battling for the third district seed behind Collinsville and Celeste.
“Consistency is going to need to be as important this Friday night as it has been any other Friday night,” Valley View head coach Alan Kassen said. “They don’t have quite the depth that Collinsville or Celeste has.”
The Tomcats employ a two-quarterback system that Kassen said his defense needed to make sure both of quarterbacks didn’t get to the edge so they could utilize their speed.
“They have a couple of pretty good athletes,” Kassen said. “They’re pretty mediocre up front, so it’s kind of hard to tell what they run sometimes because they’re very inconsistent, but their main quarterback throws the ball well and has speed. We’re going to have to make some adjustments when it comes to that because their two quarterbacks are probably the two fastest kids in the district.”
Defensively, the Tomcats use 4-2 split and 3-3 stack formations, so if the Eagles can execute on offense, Kassen said he feels confident that they can move the ball.
But moving the ball hasn’t been the problem for the Eagles this season. It has been polishing off their drives that they have struggled with.
The Tomcats use stunts on defense to confuse the offensive line, so communication has to be key for the Eagles to be able to block.
“One of the thing we tell our kids is to communicate,” Kassen said. “They’re afraid of giving the play away. We’d rather give away the play and them be in the right spot instead of being in the wrong spot because that puts kids at risk. I’d rather them stop us for a 4-yard gain instead of a 5-yard loss.”
The Eagles are coming off a bye week following their 51-0 win over Trenton — the Eagles’ first district win of the season.
Kassen said the time off has treated the team well.
“We’ve worked on a lot of different things,” Kassen said. “We’ve done a lot of weight lifting and this week we have gone right back to work. We’ve had some good practices.”
Patrick Hayslip can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @PatrickHayslip