The George Rogers Clark High School football team isn’t dwelling on the first month of the season. The Cardinals are moving forward.
“That’s the good thing about it,” Clark coach Steven Collins said earlier this week. “You get to move on to the next one.”
The Cardinals are still searching for their first victory of the year after opening with three consecutive losses, including a 54-7 setback to Bryan Station in the team’s home opener last week at Cardinal Stadium. Clark will try to rebound from the 0-3 start Friday night in a 7:30 p.m. kickoff at Henry Clay.
The Cardinals scored on their first possession last week, but couldn’t overcome four turnovers and failed to capitalize on a scoring opportunity before the half in the double-digit setback to the Defenders.
“There were a lot of things that you want to forget about (from last Friday), but there were things (after) we looked at film that we did OK,” Collins said. “We just can’t give other teams the short field and opportunities the way we did. We feel like it was a game of ‘what ifs.’ If we score there before halftime and we don’t put the ball on the ground, it could have been a different thing, but once we got behind, you could see the air come out of our balloon a little bit and it kind of deflated us, but we’ve got to be able to overcome those things. That’s part of teaching and learning right now. When adversity happens, a lot of people are looking for a guy to make that play, instead of just making that play and taking ownership (of making a play).”
Collins said his team’s biggest issue is getting over the proverbial hump.
“It’s the mental aspect and we’ve got to get over that hump,” he said. “We’ll make things happen, but the biggest thing is don’t let a negative play beat you twice.”
The Clark coach was disappointed in his team’s inability to score in the red zone and the four miscues that hindered the Cards’ offensive production last week. Collins said the two glaring issues from last week’s loss were miscues and failing to score before the half ended.
“We went back to emphasizing finishing,” he said. “We did a great job of getting (the ball) down there, now let’s put it in and get points out of it.”
Despite last week’s performance, Collins said his team is making progress.
“Each week we solidify something a little bit more,” he said. “All these games that we’re playing, we want to win them, but it’s also preparing for district (play). We’ve still got a lot of things we need to iron out and do and hopefully these next few weeks, we can get those rectified.”
The Blue Devils (2-2) opened with two straight losses, but have since won two straight, including a 43-25 victory over Tates Creek last week. Henry Clay notched its first victory of the season nearly two weeks ago with a 40-20 win over Belfry.
Collins is expecting a mirror image of last week’s opponent.
“They’re a lot like Bryan Station,” he said. “They’re athletic. They don’t throw the ball quite as much (and) they like to run the ball. They’re a solid, well-coached team and they play good defense. I’ve seen them live a couple of weeks ago. Again, you look at them on film, they’re a solid football team. If we go in there and shoot ourselves in the foot, it’s going to be a long night, but if we go in there and take care of ourselves and make them earn things, we could be right there at the end and have a chance to win the football game.”
GRCHS at Henry Clay
When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Records: Clark 0-3, Bryan Station 2-2
Last week: Bryan Station 54, Clark 7; Henry Clay 43, Tates Creek 25.
Last meeting: 2011 - Henry Clay 34, Clark 14
Radio:¿107.7 FM WKYN