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2021 FFN Game of the Week Preview: Pocahontas at Nettleton

Football Friday Night airs at 10:15pm on KAIT, kait8.com, & on the Region 8 News app
Football Friday Night airs at 10:15pm on KAIT, kait8.com, & on the Region 8 News app(Source: KAIT)
Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 7:27 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 16, 2021 at 7:04 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Our FFN Game of the Week for week four features a matchup between two undefeated teams: Pocahontas and Nettleton.

These two teams were originally scheduled to face off two weeks ago, until COVID-19 forced this game to be moved to September 17.

Last Nettleton win against Pocahontas: 2019 (52-35)

Last Pocahontas win against Nettleton: 2020 (35-27)

Nettleton Raiders (2-0)

Nettleton won their home opener against Mountain Home Friday night. Head coach Steven Hampton hopes to build off what was an impressive second half.

The Raider defense pitched a shutout in the second half of their last game against Mountain Home, coming back to win after being down by 14 points.

Hampton says their defense will need to step up again Friday night.

“Obviously we had kind of begun the preparations and then we had to shut it down and move on to Mountain Home,” Hampton said. “Then we got another film of Pocahontas, we got their pair of their games so that kind of added to some things that we saw for the first time and then we saw some new things that they were doing but for the most part, our gameplan was already kind of headed in the right direction, we just had to finalize a few things and so [Monday] we’ll start trying to implement that and see what it looks like against scout teams.”

Our FFN Player of the Week last week was Junior defensive lineman Jordan Pigram. Pigram anchored the D-line as the Raiders stormed back to win.

“We added some new players but the relationship is real good because we’ve all known each other for some good years,” Pigram said of the defensive line. “Coach Johnson, he’s been getting us right, motivating us and working us hard... We’re the ones out there playing, if he could do it he’d be out there with us playing but he’s not so we have to fix it ourselves so we went out there and that’s what we did (against Mountain Home), we fixed it ourselves.”

Pocahontas Redskins (2-0)

Pocahontas and Nettleton have gone down to the wire in the past few years.

Redskins Head Coach Charles Baty expects another tight game Friday night. He says he’s preparing to face an explosive Nettleton team.

The focus this week is on fundamentals, especially on blocking.

“We’re still a very young football team, I think we have 10 sophomores and juniors playing on defense, I think we have one senior. Offensively, we’re all sophomores and juniors at every skill position we have so it’s going to be a very big challenge for us,” Baty said. “What I know about the Redskins, this town, this community, it’s a blue-collar place and these kids expect to go out there and expect to compete, and they’re expected to play hard and I don’t think this group will ever let us down in that.”

Connor Baker did it all for Pocahontas against Paragould in their 45-21 win last week, with over 160 rushing yards and three touchdowns.

“Defensively, [Nettleton has] some big defensive line, some big linebackers, they’re fast, their D-backs are good but if we do our jobs then I feel like we’ve got the best chance to win,” Junior Connor Baker said. “We’ve been working on being a two-fundamental team — passing and running the ball — we run the ball more, of course, but our linemen, that’s our key to our offense.”

Jason Miller (Sr. C): “Our offensive line I feel like is doing really good this year and being able to pass the ball more and more and just getting more comfortable doing that is a big highlight,” Senior center Jason Miller said. “Just getting our assignments and just making sure that we’re getting all of our guys blocked and H’s and stuff just getting fundamentally sound.”

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