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2021 FFN Game of the Week preview: McCrory at Marked Tree

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. 22, 2021 at 7:19 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Our next Game of the Week marks the start of conference matchups across the state. In 2A, the first of four conference matchups are set to begin Friday, September 24.

Our Game of the Week features McCrory at Marked Tree.

Last Marked Tree win over McCrory: 2018

Last McCrory win over Marked Tree: 2020

Marked Tree Indians (2-1, 0-0 2A-3)

The message preached at Marked Tree’s practices this week is to keep building momentum as the Indians prepare to play their first conference game of the season.

The Indians are coming off of a huge 44-24 road win at Piggott. The 44 points scored is a season-high.

Defensive Coordinator Michael Wages says the team needs to keep up the intensity as they prepare to face McCrory.

“We just happened to get stuck with McCrory as our first conference game, it’s a tough one and the rest of the conference is going to be tough too, I don’t see any easy wins anywhere,” Wages said. “Just being disciplined on the defensive side of the ball, McCrory is going to put us in a bind with their running backs, their athletes, their offensive line, there’s really not a weakness, they’re just a solid football team. We’re real competitive, we get after you a little bit, we’re low on numbers but the kids we’ve got here, they play hard, they do what we ask them to do, and I mean that’s all you can ask of them.”

“We’re pretty good, we show heart when we’re playing, we never give up regardless of the situation we’re in,” senior quarterback Aidan McGuire said. “We don’t have many people but we keep going regardless. I feel like this is going to be the biggest game we play this year.”

“Last week was a big game for us and we have to match their physicality, if they score, we came back and we scored. Willie Marshall, he was a big help for us and my teammates, we came to fight,” senior cornerback Devonte Daniel said. “We have game of the week, so with us having game of the week we have to be physical, we have to be very physical, and this team, it’s not going to be no easy game, it’s not going to be a walk-on.”

McCrory Jaguars (3-1, 0-0 2A-3)

We would be talking about an undefeated McCrory team but they lost to Baptist Prep, 31-24, in overtime Friday.

Head Coach Chris Kennon says he’s looking to get his team back on track.

The Jaguars have had success offensively this season, putting up over 24 points in every game they’ve played.

Coach Kennon says the team has to put last week behind them and focus on their first of four conference opponents.

“Most of (the Baptist Prep loss) was self-inflicted, with five turnovers and different things and some kids missing and we just didn’t play good,” Kennon said. “We made some mistakes and that’s what we’ve addressed this week is getting our game cleaned up, not making those mistakes, and taking care of the football. We got to deal with their speed, I think they do a great job and their offense is tough to defend, those guys have a great system that puts you in some difficult binds. Just a great matchup, another conference game -- our first conference game of the season -- it’s going to set the tone, obviously, it has conference championship implications right off.”

“Conference play, that means everything for playoff seeding and everything and we haven’t won a conference championship since 2015, so it would be big to win that conference championship and that’s what we’re striving for right now,” senior linebacker and offensive lineman Lathan Briley said. “First three weeks, we came out really hot, we played together, we played like we wanted to be there. Last Friday we didn’t and that came back to get us but this week we’re going to regroup and get a win.”

“Right now our offensive line is just playing really well, our backs are running perfect routes, our two running backs are getting after it and our defense is playing great ball so it makes my job easy when you have these guys to play with and we’re just playing really good right now,” senior quarterback and Arkansas State baseball commit Cason Campbell said. “We know it’s going to be a good atmosphere, that’s what we love, and we’re just ready to get back to going and playing how we play.”

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