Marion welcomes Parkview for home opener

Marion welcomes Parkview for home opener

Marion welcomes Parkview for home opener Two Patriots teams clash tonight in Marion

After starting the season on the right foot, squeaking out a one-point overtime victory in Wynne last week, the Marion Patriots (1-0 overall) look to build on that winning momentum tonight, welcoming Little Rock Parkview (01).

As the Patriots of Marion prepare for the Patriots of Little Rock, Marion head coach Keith Houston is focusing on Parkview’s run game, noticing not a single player but the entire opposing Patriots backfield.

“They have some really special running backs that do a good job of being patient and waiting on their blocks,” Houston said. “The offensive line does a really good job.

There’s no one (running back) in particular.”

Facing a similar rushing attack last week against the Yellowjackets of Wynne, the Marion defense should be familiar with how to limit Parkview’s explosiveness on the ground. The effectiveness of the Marion game plan, however, will still lie on the team’s execution.

“I wouldn’t say we’re comfortable,” Houston said. “But, I would say, if all 11 guys do their assignments, it puts us in a good position on the defensive side of the ball. So, we’re just stressing the small things with our guys and everybody fitting where they’re supposed to fit.”

Look for Marion to unleash a similar rushing attack to that of Parkview, as Anthony Price continues to feel better from a hamstring injury that held him out of Week 1 and the duo of Kenta Jones and Brandon Hayes already rolling with steam out of the Marion backfield.

“They looked great (last week),” Houston said of Jones and Hayes. “Those guys flew around all night and did everything we asked of them. We were very pleased with their play, for sure. (Price) got some more reps this week. He say’s he’s feeling a little better and he’s not feeling any pain in there anymore. So, we’re going to try to get him some more reps but we’re not going to rush anything because we want ot make sure he’s at 100 percent and healthy once we get into the meat of the schedule.”

Houston hopes that run game will set up the Marion passing attack, a rookie barrage led by sophomore quarterback Daedrick Cail and sophomore receiver Markel Wynne, who last week ran a fly route, tipped a bomb from Cail over the hands of a Yellowjackets defender, caught the tip and continued on towards the Wynne endzone for a touchdown.

“He’s a big play waiting to happen at every moment,” Houston said of Wynne. “Even though he’s a young kid, he has a lot of athletic ability. He worked his way into being a starter and we’re looking at big things out of him.”

Of Cail, Houston was most impressed with how the young Patriot responded after turning the ball over a couple times last week.

“We knew that he would make some mistakes with his first time being on varsity,” Houston said. “But, all in all, the kid never got down. That’s the main thing. Playing the quarterback position, if you make a mistakes, you can’t get down on yourself. You got to bounce back and make the plays you need to make. So, we were very pleased with him.”

Parkview comes into tonight’s contest fresh off a 35-24 loss to the Springdale Bulldogs (2-0) who currently rank 15 overall in the state of Arkansas, according to MaxPreps.

Tonight’s home opener for Marion at Patriots Field between the Marion Patriots and the Parkview Patriots is slated for 7 p.m.

By Collins Peeples