Chicks host 6A power West Memphis

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

The Blytheville Chickasaws (1-0) started the 2018 football season off with a big 26-21 victory over rival Osceola. The Chicks will host 6A powerhouse the West Memphis Blue Devils Friday night. The Blue Devils (1-0) are coming off a bye week after beating the Little Rock Central Tigers, 35-0, on August 21. The Blue Devils are ranked second in the 6A classification in the Arkansas Sports Media High School Football Poll.

“We’ve been calling them the University of West Memphis,” said Chicks head coach Ben Fisher jokingly. “I think they had 98 or 100 kids on their roster. Their D-line is ridiculous. I mean they’re big, they’re fast, they’re strong and they are hard to move. Their offense is very similar to ours. I mean defensively, they’re not going to trick you, they are just going to outman you. Offensively, they are going to mash you with inside zone, with power and counters. They are also going to throw the [run-pass-option] stuff. So, we know what they’re going to do; we just have to try and man up and stop them.”

The Chicks will have to execute their game plan to pull out a victory.

“It is what it is. We’ve got to play them. Whether they’re smaller than us or bigger than us we’ve got to go play,” Fisher explained. “They are going to be able to rotate more guys than we are obviously. I think it’s a double-edged sword. We want to use tempo so they can’t rotate, but on the other hand, we don’t want to wear our guys out. We’ve just got to have our game plan ready and go execute our game plan and do what we got to do.”

Concerning for Fisher in last week’s victory over the ‘Noles was the number of penalties.

He also spoke about getting the players more prepared before game day by drinking water to help reduce players catching cramps.

“We had a ton of penalties, which I didn’t like but hopefully we get those corrected,” Fisher added. “We cramped up way too much and to me, that isn’t much our conditioning, more so than we just need to be ready a little bit better. We got to cut out the sugary drinks and make sure we are drinking more water, just to stay hydrated. Also cutting out the sugary foods we eat and getting more fruits and vegetables in us and that will come. You can’t ever simulate game-like situations until you play a game. So the more our bodies get used to it, the better off we will be.”

Fisher was happy that his team played with a purpose even after going down early in the game.

“I did like the fact that we got down early and we came out after halftime with a purpose and that’s what I want to see. [Osceola] got the ball coming out of halftime and I think the second or third play of the half, we came out and forced that huge turnover and so that kind of set the tone for the rest of the ball game,” Fisher said. “You know to me the most important time of the ball game is the first six minutes of each half. So, I don’t think we won the first six minutes of the first half but I think we did win the first six minutes of the second half and it showed for the rest of game. The defense came up with the huge stand. [The Seminoles] had first and goal at the one and we held them. Then the offense had the ball back with six and a half minutes and we held it for like five minutes so they didn’t have much time to do anything once they did get the ball back. Those types of things were big for us.”

Kickoff is at 7 p.m. Friday at Haley Field.

For live game updates follow Joseph Fondren on Twitter, @CN_JosephF.