John Kassen Stadium will play host to another big Cooke County showdown Friday night as the Valley View Eagles host the Muenster Hornets.
Muenster (4-0) has a chance to match its best start to a season since starting 5-0 in 2018.
Valley View (0-3) has struggled against a tough schedule, and it doesn’t get any easier this week.
Muenster coach Brady Carney said Valley View presents a different challenge than last week’s opponent, Lubbock Trinity Christian.
“Last week, we played a team that ran the ball a bunch,” Carney said. “This week, Valley View’s more of a spread-oriented (offense). (They) throw it a little bit more than what we saw last week, so now, we’re going to be tested more in the back end. So, I like the way the games are lining up as far as what we get to work on. Last week, we worked on stopping the run. This week, we get to work on… defending the pass.”
Muenster is coming off a 35-24 win over a Trinity team that gave the Hornets their toughest test so far. Muenster did not allow any second half points to its first three opponents, but Trinity scored 14, including a go-ahead fourth-quarter touchdown.
Valley View fell to Lindsay last week, 53-18. The Eagles struggled to run the ball but found success through the air. Sophomore quarterback Carson Pickett threw for 217 yards and three touchdowns. The Eagles will need more of that to stand up to Muenster.
Valley View coach Curtis King said the Eagles have played better each week, but they need to keep working on some basic things.
“On offense, we got to make first downs and move the ball and quit punting nine, 10 times a game,” King said. “On defense, I thought we played well at times against Lindsay, we just didn’t make plays on third down. They had a couple of third down and longs that if we could have stopped them, it would have looked a lot different. In fact, we should have had three interceptions. We had one, we should have had three more. We dropped the ball. Three chances to get them off the field, and we didn’t do it.”
Carney said Pickett is one of several Valley View players who stand out to him on film as threats. He also pointed to junior receivers Wyatt Huber and Lawson Links.
Carney said with athletes like those, Muenster needs to control the line of scrimmage to win.
“I think that’s our advantage, and for us to come out on top, I feel like that’s what we got to do,” Carney said. “We gotta put pressure on the quarterback, can’t give him time to throw. Their running backs and their wide receivers are all pretty good athletes, so for us to have success, we need to put a little pressure on him as far as him in the pocket.”
King said Muenster senior Grant Hess is the player who stands out most on film, but the Hornets spread the ball around to a lot of people. He said playing Muenster isn’t about stopping one or two key players, but rather preparing for a complete team.
King said what he wants to see from the Eagles on Friday night is simple.
“Play hard,” King said. “Play hard and make some first downs and get them off the field.”
Kickoff at Kassen Stadium is set for 7:30 p.m.