It will be a little like looking in a mirror Friday night as the Walker Valley Mustangs play host to the Rhea County Golden Eagles in the battle of the winless.
In addition to sharing the same 0-8 record, the squads both play a very similar type of game.
“They play a style of football very similar to ours,” stated Walker Valley head coach Ted Lockerby. “They are still looking to get over the hump and get that first win under their belts just like we are.”
The Mustangs have played some close ones this season and have fallen just short of a season-first win more than once, loosing three of this years’s games by a single scoring drive.
In fact, the Walker Valley offense, for the most part, has been very effective, putting up more than 150 points this season while facing off against some very powerful teams.
However, the team hit a slight snag last week against eighth-ranked county rival Bradley Central, getting shutout for the first time this season.
“We have been working on more of the fundamentals to get the offense back on track, working with the guys about hitting holes, route timing for the passing game and maintaining our blocks,” Lockerby stated.
Lockerby is leery of a Golden Eagle team that “plays extremely hard and is looking very hungry for the win.”
A revitalized Mustangs’ offense could find success against Rhea though. On the year, a struggling Rhea squad has given up nearly 300 opposing points over their eight losses, however only two of those eight opponents have a sub .500 record.
“We have to focus on not giving up the big play. We are going to need to make tackles and play good fundamental football to come away with a win,” Lockerby elaborated.
He explained that throughout the season Walker Valley has beaten itself out of games by committing costly mistakes, and the key to Friday’s game will be eliminating those miscues.
“We need to do the little things right to make big things happen and get the win. It’s going to come down to the team that commits the least mistakes. They are the ones who will come away successful,” said Lockerby.
This could be either team’s best chance at capturing an elusive win. To close out the season Walker Valley will face a 6-3 Ooltewah Owls team that only lost to Bradley by two points and Rhea will face a resurgent Cleveland Blue Raiders squad.
Despite the rocky season Lockerby said the atmosphere in the Mustang lockeroom remains positive and that his team is fired up for the Friday night skirmish that see at least one winless team avoid the season sweep.