SPRINGHILL – North Webster head coach John Ware speaks for most of the parish when he talks about how excited he is for Friday’s Webster Parish showdown between his Knights and the visiting Minden Crimson Tide.
“There’s no reason this game should have ever stopped,” Ware said. “No doubt, it’s definitely a game the parish needs between these two good football teams. We’re excited about it.”
Ware said he can’t tell if his players are treating this game any different than the next, noting the preparation has been quiet and crisp.
“We don’t get too hyped up in practice,” Ware said. “We’ll let that come out on Friday, but it’s obviously a big game and we understand the significance of it.”
The Knights will have the luxury of homefield advantage, a place where North Webster has been nearly unstoppable. Just ask Patterson High School how hard it is to win in Springhill. The Lumberjacks watched as the Knights erased a 20-point fourth quarter deficit last year in the playoffs, so the Tide have their work cut out for them.
“We’ve been on the road three weeks in a row,” Ware said. “I don’t know how much of an advantage it will be. After about one quarter, football takes over. It will be a huge crowd and a great night for football in Webster Parish.”
Ware was very complementary of the Minden team and coaching staff.
“Minden is a tough team,” Ware said. “They put a lot of pressure on you and they’re well-coached. It’s one of those things where you have to prepare correctly and be disciplined. Our guys have been doing a good job of that in practice.”
Ware said the matchup that could have the biggest role in determining a winner will be the Minden passing game against a North Webster secondary comprised of mostly newcomers.
“They can hurt you there,” Ware said. “They do a lot of play action stuff and put you in a lot of different formations that make it tough to line up against.”
North Webster’s offense will counter with a heavy dose of runs with Devin White and Jalen Smith, but don’t sleep on the Cameron Huff to Wesley Franklin connection that has been good for the Knights’ passing game so far this season.
“Their defense puts a lot of pressure on you,” Ware said. “They attack and are always in good position. We have to take care of our business because I’m really impressed with their defense; they get after it.”
The battle for Webster Parish bragging rights begins at 7 p.m. in Springhill.