After scoring just a single touchdown in each of their first two ballgames, the Monroe City Panthers (0-2) will be out to get their offense on track Friday night when they travel to Macon (1-1).
For the Panthers to succeed offensively it will mean doing more than running between the tackles, according to Monroe City Coach Tony DeGrave.
“We have to get outside more,” he said. “Obviously the rain didn’t allow us to do that last week. That’s kind of our goal, to see what we can do as far as rushing outside the tackle box.”
Monroe City’s inability to reach the edge was not its only offensive shortcoming in last Friday’s 26-7 loss to Mark Twain.
“We turned the ball over four times and had a tough time trying to get them out of the mud. That was a challenge for sure,” said DeGrave.
Despite the conference loss, DeGrave saw improvement in his team between week one and two.
“We’re still trying to find the right mesh of people to put out there. Who is going to retain the fastest and play hard at the same time?” he said. “We’re playing with a lot of youth and trying to educate them as fast as we can.”
DeGrave acknowledged that his team is entering a rugged part of its schedule. After Friday’s game with Macon, the Panthers will face Brookfield, South Shelby and Centralia, who are all 2-0 entering week three.
After notching a last-second victory over Palmyra in the season opener, Macon fell 14-0 against South Shelby last week.
Despite that setback to the state-ranked Cardinals, DeGrave is impressed with the Tigers.
“They’re pretty athletic,” he said.
DeGrave is optimistic his team will be able to hold its own.
“They’ve lost some key people as well. We hope it’s going to be a good matchup and our kids improve over this week and give us a shot at being competitive,” he said.