A pair of teams hungry for their first taste of victory this season will collide Friday night in Monroe City when the hometown Panthers host the Mark Twain Tigers.
Both teams fell to tough opponents in Week One. Monroe City was upended by state-ranked Clark County 36-7. Mark Twain dropped its game 34-12 against Brookfield.
“We lost to a pretty nice Brookfield team,” said Mark Twain Coach Matt Hudson. “They didn’t take out their starters, so we fought their starters the whole 48 minutes.”
A lack of consistency hurt the Tigers, according to Hudson.
“At times we were very aggressive and at times we were able to stop them. At other times we had a letdown here or there on defense and a missed block here or there on offense,” he said. “They have a real nice linebacker that seemed to elude us a lot. It seemed like little things plagued us all game.”
Hudson anticipates a battle Friday night.
“It’s been a very competitive series over the past five or six years. They’ll be ready, we know that,” he said. “I think as long as we execute our plays, find a way to make those blocks and keep the aggressiveness and passion, it will be a dog fight over in Monroe City. We’ve got to prepare ourselves for a terrific ball game.”
Offensively, the Tigers must account for Monroe City senior, Blake Grice.
“Blake Grice is their middle linebacker and if you don’t block him he’s going to make every tackle, so I would think blocking Blake Grice would be a real nice thing for us offensively,” said Hudson.
On defense, Mark Twain will have to control the edges.
“They run the Wing-T so it will be a lot of trying to get outside of us. We’ve got to keep them inside of us and let our middle linebackers do some tackling,” said Hudson.
Monroe City Coach Tony DeGrave could not be reached for comment.