“It is already like a playoff week for us,” Pell City head coach Brooks Dampeer said. “We are in a scenario where we need to win tomorrow night to keep our hopes alive for the playoffs.”
A win tonight for the Panthers will not put them into the playoffs; they will have to win at Oxford to earn a playoff berth.
“I think it may go down to week 10,” Dampeer said. “All that matters is that we have to win and take care of what we can take care of.”
The Panthers (4-3, 3-2) fell last week to Huntsville, 34-24. Pell City led at one point 21-10, but things fell apart for Pell City in the second half.
“We focused on our own game and being detailed in what we are doing,” Dampeer said. “Surrendering our ability and effort to the team. They got beat up last week and it worked in their favor. They tried to pound it on us and we just couldn’t stop it. Offensively, we didn’t convert when we had to convert. Huntsville offensive line was big, strong and physical. They had a good running back, when those kinds of things happen we have to figure a way to slow them down and we have to figure out a way to keep putting points on the board.”
Dampeer said that his team was focused this week and that they had a good week.
“Practice has gone well,” the first-year head coach said. “The weather helps again. There is always a lot of extra focus after you come off a loss. The kids have bounced back and they done a good job this week.”
Lee Huntsville enters tonight’s game looking to end a three-game losing streak. Last week, they fell to Albertville, 35-26.
“They are very athletic, they are very fast,”Dampeer said. “They are a team that you have to get on them. We have to be great in all three phases of the game. Again they are a triple option team; they are not the same formation as Oak Mountain. We have to make sure we are running to the dive, the quarterback pitch every down. Offensively, we have to execute and take care of the football.”
Pell City will try to get their offense back on track tonight. Pell City only scored a field goal in the second half of last week’s game.
“Two weeks ago against Gadsden City everything clicked and this week we had six different times where we had a false start,” Dampeer said. “We have just stopped ourselves. I don’t know if it was a long day from homecoming or what. I don’t know.”
Dampeer said if the Panthers can put together a complete game they will have a chance to leave Pete Rich with fifth win of the season.
“We have to be on the same page this week,” Dampeer said. “We got to play assignment football defensively. Offensively, we have to be on the same page. 11 guys have to be pulling the rope the same way. We have to make more big plays in special teams. We have to have to make game changing plays on special teams and we have to capitalize on that.”
Pell City hosts Lee-Huntsville tonight at 7 p.m.