Claiborne (1-1) at Prairie View (0-2), Friday, 7 p.m.
Stopping the run is priority No. 1 for Prairie View this week as it prepares for Friday night's home tilt against the Rebels of Claiborne Academy. Kickoff time is 7 p.m.
Claiborne brings a 1-1 record into the contest. Bouncing back from a 34-0 loss to River Oaks, the Rebels blanked Greenville Christian 36-0 last week.
For the third straight year, Claiborne has a new head coach. Under Ryan Laster, the Rebels have emphasized the running game.
“They try to establish the run to set up the pass,” Prairie View coach Reagan Morrison said. “Defensively, we have to stop the run, put them in passing situations and see where the chips fall.”
Morrison says Claiborne's base formation is a tight double slot, although the Rebels will go to the spread in passing situations.
“They throw some out of the spread, but their main package is the tight slot,” Morrison said. “They run some sweeps and counters, give you an option look and run the jet sweep.”
Morrison says the Spartans must account for the Rebels' quarterback.
“Their quarterback, to me, is one of the best athletes on the team,” Morrison said. “He runs well and has a good arm. He looks like he has decent size on film.
“Their slots/running backs seem to run pretty hard. Up front, they're about like we are size-wise. I don't think they're as big as Riverdale, but they do a good job coming off the ball and staying on their blocks.”
Morrison says the Rebels' left defensive tackle caught his attention on film.
“Against the spread, they go to a 3-4,” Morrison said. “When we go with our power running game, I look for them to walk their linebackers up and go to a 5-2 look. Their left defensive tackle seems to be a real good football player.”
On special teams, Morrison says the Spartans' kickoff return unit has to be aware of the possibility of an onside kick.
“From the two films I've seen, they like to pooch it or go for an onside kick,” Morrison said. “We have to be ready for that.”
Prairie View (0-2) is trying to get into the win column following a 16-12 home loss to Riverdale and a 52-0 loss to Cenla Christian last Friday in Pineville.
“We just have to put that one behind us and get ready for Claiborne,” Morrison said of the Cenla game.
Sophomore Hunter Carpenter was a bright spot offensively for the Spartans last week with a 59-yard reception and four carries for 22 yards. Another sophomore, Nolan Whorton, added a 30-yard catch and rushed for 29 yards on three attempts.
Prairie View will be without lineman Dylan Mewborn (concussion). Running back/linebacker Layne Gray (spider bite) is questionable, while running back/linebacker Hunter Green (ankle) is listed as probable.
Next week, the Spartans travel to Central Hinds.