Riverdale at Prairie View, Friday, 7 p.m.
Watching Riverdale on film, Prairie View coach Reagan Morrison is reminded of his own squad. The two teams open regular season play Friday at 7 p.m. at Dr. E.D. Baker Field.
“They're kind of like us — they don't have a lot of size,” Morrison said. “They have a couple of kids around 250 (pounds), but they seem to get to the ball pretty good.”
Another noticeable similarity between the foes is the size of the rosters. Wholesale substitutions are out of the question for either side.
“As far as depth, they're in the same boat we are,” Morrison said. “They have 20 kids on their roster (Prairie View carries 18 players on its roster). You'll see a lot of people going both ways — actually three ways, counting special teams.”
The former MAIS District 3-2A rivals — the Rebels dropped down to Class 1A this season — have proven to be evenly-matched in the past two meetings. Riverdale won a 2012 shootout in Coushatta, 41-32, with the Spartans prevailing 14-6 last season in Bastrop in a game that went down to the wire.
With the score tied 6-6, Josh Daigle caught a blocked punt in mid-air and raced 38 yards to paydirt for the game-changing score with 29 seconds remaining.
Morrison expects another hard-fought game tonight.
“Coach (Ronnie) Powell will have them ready,” Morrison said. “They are pretty much going to play smash mouth football. We have to play aggressive on defense and stop the running game. We can't let them gash us between the tackles. We have to get to the ball in a hurry and it has to be a bunch of us.”
Riverdale tied Claiborne Academy 6-6 and lost to Glenbrook 12-0 in last week's jamboree action.
Prairie View, meanwhile, defeated Tallulah 8-0 and bowed to Riverfield 30-8.
Morrison says the Spartans have some glaring mistakes to clean up on offense.
“We have to protect the ball,” Morrison said. “We had some botched snaps and turnover issues in the jamboree. Hopefully, we have been able to get that solved in practice this week so we can limit our turnovers.”
Quarterback Dylan Carroll, running back/linebacker Hunter Green and left guard/defensive lineman Preston Goodson all missed the jamboree.
Carroll, who is recovering from major knee surgery, had not been cleared to play as of early Thursday afternoon. Barring a last-minute change, Lucas Crockett will remain at quarterback this week.
Morrison said Green (bruised hamstring) will likely be limited to playing defense tonight.
“Hunter was able to do some hitting Wednesday,” Morrison said.
Goodson returned to practice Monday and is good to go.
Prairie View travels to Cenla Christian next Friday and returns home to play Claiborne on Sept. 6.