The Minden Crimson Tide will be back in The Pit Friday night.

Things might look a little different, but that shouldn’t change the Tide.

The Southwood Cowboys will be the opponent, a team that has given Minden tough games the past few seasons.

“They’re a better team than they were last year,” Minden head coach Spencer Heard said. “Defense is probably their strength. They were pretty good on that side of the ball last year; they really didn’t have a lot of points scored on them and they have a bunch of guys back.”

“Their offense is good also. They got a new offensive coordinator who’s put in the Wing-T. They’re not looking too bad. They come off the ball hard and they have a big quarterback. It’ll be a challenge but we’re prepared for them.”

The Tide have had a solid week of practice in getting ready for the Cowboys.

“It’s been a good week of weather,” Heard said. “We had some good days, giving each other looks. The guys have been flying around, so I think they’re ready.”

The Tide had questions answered at unsettled positions in their jamboree against Haynesville. One unit where starters have been set is the offensive line, although Heard said those battles are far from over.

“Right now Darian Mitchell will be our left tackle,” Heard said. “A’ronde Walker will be our left guard, Noah Peters is at center; right guard is Brandon Jackson and right now our right tackle is Ricky Stevenson.”

“We have guys right behind them that are still pushing. I think (Jonathan) Rhodes is still pushing for a spot. That’s kind of what you want. No one can get too comfortable.”

Against a stout Southwood defense, it’s important for Minden to come out hot offensively. Should the Tide suffer through another sluggish start, it could give Southwood the momentum to hang around or even pull the upset.

“We want to score and score in a hurry,” Heard said. “We don’t want them hanging around. Especially with them running the Wing-T, we would like to get several touchdowns on the board and get them out of their element. It’s a ball-control offense, so I’m sure they are going to try and keep the ball away from us. So if we can get a couple of three-and-outs and put the ball in the endzone early, that will bode well for us.”

Fans of the Tide will enter through what used to be the visitor’s side Friday evening at The Pit. The events happening around The Pit are drawing almost as much buzz as the game itself.
Heard says it may feel different, but once the game kicks off it will be home sweet home as usual.

“It’ll be different,” Heard said. “I don’t think it’s going to affect us that much though. We’re playing in The Pit. The crowd is going to be in here, there’s going to be a lot of energy and I think we’re going to feed off that energy.”

The last time Southwood came to The Pit the current Crimson Tide seniors were sophomores making their first starts. Southwood escaped with a 14-13 victory that night, so expect the current Tiders to be ready.

Game time between Minden and Southwood is 7 p.m. at The Pit.