The Ramblers (0-2), who play out of the northern subregion of 7AAAA, have gotten off to a similarly poor start, having been outscored 66-6 thus far.
For River Ridge coach Robert Braucht, LaFayette’s record hasn’t been an issue. He’s only been focusing on what he has seen of them on tape.
“To tell you the truth, I don’t even know what their record is,” Braucht said. “All I know is that they are a team in our region that executes well on every side of the ball.”
The Knights will be faced with an I-Formation offense that relies heavily on isolation and counter plays, which is something Braucht is well aware of.
“They keep their game plan simple, but they do it so that their players can be really good at implementing their schemes and plays,” Braucht said.
The primary source of offense for the Ramblers is their running backs, which is why Braucht feels the Knights’ linebackers will take on an extra bit of importance Friday night.
“Our linebackers are going to have to close down the gaps in our defense to slow them down,” Braucht said. “If we do that, then perhaps we can force them to start throwing it.”
For that to happen, Braucht said River Ridge will have to do something it has struggled with all year — execution.
“We have the right plan. We just haven’t been getting the job done,” he said. “We need to be controlled on defense and play each position the way that it was meant to be played. Whether it is getting to the ball more or lining up properly, our defense has to consistently execute.”
On the other side of the ball, Braucht expects LaFayette’s defense to line up in a cover-two formation, which is why River Ridge fans can expect to see the Knights taking to the air in order to find success in the run game.
“In a cover-two, the two deep safeties will usually start coming into the box when they see a lot of running plays, and we don’t want them to feel comfortable doing that, so we’ll definitely throw it a bit,” Braucht said.
Though Braucht’s primary focus is on seeing improvement from the Knights across the board, he knows how much a win would mean to the team.
“The most important thing for us is to keep moving the program forward, to keep progressing and getting better,” he said. “But, if we’re fortunate enough to go out there and win, everyone will be excited.”