Hornets aim for defense, vengeance vs. ‘Dogs

Bryant senior Cameron Vail, 1, runs in for a touchdown over the outstretched Benton senior Blake Smith in last week’s Hornet win in the Salt Bowl. Bryant heads to Fayetteville to face the Purple Dogs tonight at 7 p.m. Fayetteville beat Bryant 43-10 last season. RICK NATION/Special to The Saline Courier
Staff Writer

The Hornets will have to improve on their performance from last year to make this game competitive. The Bulldogs routed the Hornets 43-10 in Bryant, last season, though the Hornets meet the Bulldogs in Fayetteville tonight at 7.
Defense has been the major concern for the Hornets thus far. The Hornets edged out crosstown rival Benton in the Salt Bowl last weekend by a score of 49-42.
“We’ve worked on things that didn’t really come to fruition for us in the first game,” Coach Buck James said. “We felt good about the way our offense played and our special teams played, but defensively we’re really disappointed in how they played.”
James and his staff have attacked this issues the defense presents this week, not least of which is gap integrity. Last week, James noted that the defense was often out of position. This has been a major point of emphasis for the Hornets.
“For a defense to work, the defensive linemen have to do their job to keep people off the linebackers, to squeeze gaps and make things bounce,” James said. “Linebackers have got to fill the gaps and scrape where the running backs are running. Then the secondary has got to fill. We broke down, really, on all three phases.”
On offense last week in the Salt Bowl, junior quarterback Ren Hefley threw for 297 yards and two touchdowns, while junior running back Latavion Scott ran for 99 yards and a TD and received for 86 and another TD.
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