West End (0-1) at Ider (1-0)
Last week: Susan Moore 41, West End 12; Ider 27, Addison 7
Last meeting: 2009 – Ider 33, West End 7
Series record: West End 3, Ider 1
By Gene Stanley/Messenger Sports Correspondent
Turnovers plagued West End last week in a rivalry loss to Susan Moore.
The Patriots gave the ball away seven times, including three turnovers while inside the Bulldogs’ 20-yard line.
“We’ve got to improve that to beat anybody,” coach Randy Hallmark said. “Controlling the game and holding onto the football are what we’ve talked about to the kids this week.”
This week opens Class 2A, Region 7 play with a trip to Ider.
“Coach [Brent] Tinker has done a really good job up there,” Hallmark said. “They play like they expect to win. They’ve gotten to the point where they have that confidence in every game.”
Leading the Hornets attack is a rarity in high school – a left-handed quarterback. Landry Gaddis is getting his first year under center and is impressing people.
Matthew Collins is the main running back.
“[Collins] fits in their offense well,” Hallmark said. “He’s not very big and he kind of hides between those big linemen. It’s easy to lose him.”
Passing or running, Ider is used to getting the yards it needs.
Tinker, an All-State player, came back to coach his alma mater in 2004. At that time, the Hornets were not very good, averaging three wins a year.
That trend continued for a couple of years, but since Tinker’s system has become ingrained, Ider has started winning. The Hornets won at least seven games – and made the playoffs – for the past three seasons, including an 11-win season in 2009.
If the Patriots are close in the fourth quarter, Hallmark feels they’ve done their job.
“If you’re able to hang with anybody until the fourth quarter, you’ve got a chance to win the game,” he said.