Leopards, Atlanta eye first win of 2018 high school football season

Liberty-Eylau and Atlanta clash Friday night at 7:30 p.m. in Texarkana at Harris Field.


Neither Liberty-Eylau or Atlanta are happy about being 0-3 at this points of the 2018 high school football season.

That will change for one of the schools Friday night when the Leopards host Atlanta at Harris Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Liberty-Eylau sophomore Damian Henderson will see action on both sides of the ball Friday night against Atlanta.

“Both schools have played some very good teams,” L-E coach Steve Wells said. “We just haven’t made the plays down the stretch to win some games. This is a big rivalry game, and there should be a lot of excitement.”

L-E and the Rabbs have more in common than their records. Both have explosive offenses; both teams have lots of speed; they can both can run and throw the football; and both have veteran coaching staffs.

“My hope is our schedule will have us playing at a very high level for district,” Atlanta coach Matt McClure said. “I think we’re getting better, although I’ve been a little disappointed with our defensive play. I’m pretty pleased with where we’re at mentally.”

Liberty-Eylau looks for improved special teams play

Turnovers and poor play on special teams have hurt Liberty-Eylau. Wells looks for that to change against the Rabbs.

Atlanta senior Jawan King is expected to draw a lot of attention from Liberty-Eylau Friday at Harris Field

“Hopefully, we can eliminate some mistakes, and hopefully we can play better on special teams,” Wells said. “We’ve worked hard this past week on special teams. Defensively, we’ve got to play well. The (Jawan) King kid will be a handful running the ball, and he’s also playing some linebacker this year. Their quarterback (Andrew Samples) can hurt you running and throwing to some athletic receivers.”

McClure’s keys to victory are to continue what they’ve been doing offensively, while doing a better job of tackling on defense.

“We’ve got to stop the run, and we haven’t done a very good job of it so far,” McClure said. “We’re playing a typical Liberty-Eylau team with lots of good athletes. I think they’re very good at running back and linebacker, where they’re playing the same people (Cedric Dickerson, Damian Henderson, Marzavin Riles). They’re having to play a lot of kids both ways, and that shows up when you play bigger schools.”

Injuries, and the weather could also be a factor in this game. Wells and McClure admitted to having some players banged up.