The Glenbrook Apaches are hard at work this week trying to get ready for the biggest game of their season.
Friday, the Apaches will travel to River Oaks in Monroe for their second and most pivotal district matchup to date in a game with major playoff implications.
Beyond that, the Apaches and Mustangs have had a pretty good rivalry going the past 15 or so years, with both schools claiming a state championship in that time frame. It’s a matchup that certainly has Glenbrook head coach Caleb Carmikle buzzing.
“The energy level is higher,” Carmikle said. “The kids are flying around practice, excited about Friday night. River Oaks has a good team. Coach Hannah has been doing it a long time and had a lot of success. It’s another week against a run heavy offense. We have gotten a lot better over the course of the season in our front six or seven.”
Carmikle said the Mustangs will use a lot of “smoke and mirrors”, using a plethora of formations to run a small package of the same plays.
“We have to makse sure we line up correctly on defense,” Carmikle said.
While Glenbrook is on offense, the key will be on the offensive line and whether or not they can open holes in the running game. In the passing game, quarterback Hunter Vaughn has been good when he has had time to set his feet, another tough ask of the line against a physical River Oaks front seven.
“We have to be establish the ability to run the football,” Carmikle said. “If we’re able to do that it gives us more options, but we also have to be able to make plays and throw and catch under pressure.”
Another point of emphasis at practice this week has been special teams, an area Carmikle believes could be crucial on Friday.
“It’s a phase of the game that often gets overlooked,” Carmikle said. “Sometimes it’s due to lack of time to prepare, but we’ve spent a lot of time this week working on special teams.”
At 0-5, the Apaches are in dire need of a win, not only for their confidence, but for their playoff hopes.
Glenbrook fell in their first district game to the Prairie View Academy Spartans, who many believe to be the 6AA front runner. River Oaks has yet to play the Spartans, meaning a Glenbrook win would likely put them in solid playoff position.
Even with a loss Friday night, Glenbrook wouldn’t be out of contention, as they have district tilts against Claiborne Academy, Union Christian and Riverdale Academy remaining on the schedule.
The Apaches will take the field Friday at 7 p.m. in Monroe.