The regular season has ended and the LHSAA playoffs begin Friday. The pretenders are all gone now and there are no easy games on the road to the Mercedez-Benz Superdome.
Minden High finished the regular season off last week with a 48-14 beat down of Northwood. The Tide run game was sharp in the win, as was the defense.
Head coach Spencer Heard and the Crimson Tide now roll into a first round match up with Peabody.
Both teams finished the regular season with 7-3 records.
“I think everyone’s excited about it,” Heard said. “There’s a buzz in the community and it’s exciting for me as well.”
Coming into the season Minden wasn’t a trendy pick to be in this spot. Heard credits the willingness to learn and compete of the Crimson Tide players.
“We didn’t really know how long it would take for these guys to grow up,” Heard said. “But these guys grew up in a hurry and adapted to a lot of change. I’m proud of them.”
It’s been a good week of practice for the Crimson Tide as they prepare to face a Warhorse team that has plenty of weapons.
“It was pretty cool today (Tuesday),” Heard said. “Monday was kind of an install day and it was a little more teaching. Today was a very good practice, maybe one of the better ones we’ve had in a while. I was hoping we’d get it in and we did. Hopefully we’ll have another good one tomorrow, polish it up Thursday and be ready for Friday.”
The Warhorses are riding high as they enter the playoffs fresh off a 76-56 shootout victory over Leesville.
Heard doesn’t believe the game plan will be similar to some he’s implemented already this season.
“They have a really good, athletic quarterback,” Heard said. “They spread the ball out and throw it and we’ve faced some teams like that before. It’s similar to what we faced against Huntington and Fair Park. We have to try and contain him the same way we did those guys. Defensively they come off the ball hard and are really athletic inside the box.”
One factor in Friday night’s game will be the weather.
High temperature for Friday is 48 with the low dipping down to 28.
“One thing about people in Louisiana is we’re generally not used to this type of weather,” Heard said. “This is our first cold stint. It’s hard to say how it will affect us I’ve seen it work both ways. If it becomes a situation where they feel the cold is affecting their passing game that could play into our hands.”
Another thing to keep an eye on is how the Crimson Tide sophomores react to the raised stakes of playoff football.
Heard found out just how unfamiliar his team was with the situation at practice Monday.
“We already talked to the guys about it some,” Heard said. “One of the guys asked me if we had a bye week. That was the point where I realized we need to talk about how this whole thing works.”
Even without any playoff experience, Heard and the Tide will be ready to roll on Friday.
“This is what everybody’s trying to get to,” Heard said. “Either you win and move on to the next level, or you lose and we take up the stuff and start thinking about next year.”