The Minden Crimson Tide (4-0, 1-0) put together their most complete performance of the season last Friday at Independence Stadium against Fair Park.
The Tide defense continued their dominance to begin the season, recording their third shutout of the season through four games. On offense, things came together in a 40-point performance that featured quarterback Antonio Rivette spreading the ball around to his plethora of capable pass catchers.
Minden has another favorable matchup in week five against the Huntington Raiders at Independence Stadium.
The Raiders (1-4, 0-1) are scoring 18.7 points per game while allowing 38 through the first half of the season.
Minden is averaging 29 points per contest while allowing just 5 points per game to opponents.
Minden will be going for their fourth shutout in five games while the offense hopes to impress in their final tune-up before week six’s showdown with Benton.
For now, the Tide and head coach Spencer Heard are staying focused on the Raiders.
“(Huntington) has a pretty big front on both sides of the ball,” Heard said. “As usual, they have several guys with some speed; a couple guys on offense who they like to get the ball in their hands. They’ll throw a lot of formations at you, so you have to be ready for all of them. Defensively, they run a couple different formations as well, so we need to be ready for both inside the box and everything. They’re athletic on the back half of the defense too. I think this game will be a challenge.”
Like last week, Heard says if the Tide stay focused on their own execution, the outcome should take care of itself.
“It’s similar to last week,” Heard said. “Take care of what we’re supposed to take care of. We want to be clean in the way we play. Watching Huntington on film they’ve made some big plays. They definitely have more potential for those explosive plays than Fair Park.”
While Heard heaps superlatives on the Raiders, the Minden defense is licking its’ chops for a crack at their fourth shutout.
“I don’t think it’s something they walk around talking about all the time,” Heard said. “My challenge to them before the season wasn’t about keeping other teams off the scoreboard. We challenged them to not let teams get first downs. Maybe they took that to heart. One of the things this defense has going for it is speed. Some of the better ones I’ve been around all had that speed, where it looks like a play is there, and all the sudden that open space closes up.”
Speaking of open space, the Tide offensive line has been a bright spot in recent weeks after gaining valuable experience in the first two games of the season. Veterans Brandon Jackson and Darian Mitchell have led the way for three newcomers. Minden’s rushing attack was crucial to their 23-20 win over Haughton early in the season. Kolby Jackson, Jamin Oliver, Patrick Heard and Antonio Rivette have had room to run whenever they’ve needed it and Rivette has had clean pockets to throw from.
“All the little details matter with this unit,” Heard said. “Hands and pad level and where you’re putting your shoulder; we’re striving for perfection up there, and we think we can reach some really high levels. We’re going to see some really good fronts, so it’s important they keep progressing.”