Cards must play ‘perfect’

Harmony Grove senior quarterback Hunter Hilson looks for a target during the Cardinals 13-6 win over Bauxite in Week 1. Hilson was picked off three times in the game. RICK NATION/Special to The Saline Courier

This week, Harmony Grove hosts Fountain Lake (0-1), a team with plenty of returning experience from a season ago. The Cobras fell to Pottsville in Week 1, 35-21.
A year ago, the Cardinals won a “sloppy” 20-12 contest while getting flagged 10 times. The game saw more than 200 penalty yards as well.
“All of their starters are back and they are going to be a year better,” Cardinals Coach Paul Calley said. “Watching them on film, they are going to be a lot faster than we are, they are bigger than we are and they are deeper than we are.
“That being said, we are at a disadvantage. They are going to be tough to beat and we are going to have to play a perfect game.”
Fountain Lake, picked seventh in 7-4A, is returning 19 starters from last year and has implemented a new offense, going from the Wing-T to the Spread.
Senior Stephen Turner is now the full-time quarterback for the Cobras after earning most of his playing time with the junior varsity squad a season ago.
A number of backs return as well, despite not playing much at the varsity level last year.
All-Conference tackle James Mullen will be looking to attack Harmony Grove with his hard-hitting ability.
Experience on defense is a plenty for Fountain Lake, too, with Justin Lee, Colson Simpson, Parion Johnson and Andrew Johnson all lining up again for the Cobras.
Harmony Grove allowed 261 yards to Fountain Lake a season ago.
In Week 1, Cardinals senior quarterback Hunter Hilson was picked off three times after tossing only four interceptions all of 2016.
“You really don’t have to say anything to him because he understands it,” Calley said. “He put pressure on himself to make plays the other night. A lot of it was Bauxite and how tough they played, and how physical they were in the secondary and how they got after us up front.
“Hunter had to hurry some throws and had to throw some that he normally wouldn’t throw because he had no where else to go with it.”
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Sykes Stadium in Haskell.