Panama City Beach/Springfield, FL---There are several prep football district openers on tap for area teams this week.
The game between Rutherford and Arnold Friday night is among them. That will be the first of 6 district games for each. The Marlins come into the game with a 3-0 mark, with wins over Holmes, Florida and most recently, Freeport.
The Rams are 0-3, with losses at Niceville and East Gadsden and then Friday a 70-54 defeat at the hands of Escambia. The Rams defense a particular problem all season long, opponents averaging 60 points a game against them.
"You know we're a young team defensively," says Rutherford head coach Alvin Dempsey "we played the big games to grow our guys up, the young guys for this time of year. A lot of people see the wins and losses as the season goes on but one of my main things is will these guys give up in crunch time? These guys have never given up, they always kept fighting in all three of those big games."
Arnold head coach Josh Wright says his players aren't about to make any assumptions about that Rutherford defense given the quality opponents the Rams have faced so far.
"They're smart kids, they study the game, they study film. They know right now that the teams that scored on them are very good football teams. Niceville's a very good football team, Escambia that style of offense, we don't do what Escambia does. We know this is an even match up in our opinion. We think we'll be able to move the ball some. We think they'll be able to move the ball some. And whoever takes care of the ball the most, and gives themselves the best field position, will most likely come out on top Friday night."
That game at Gavlak set for 7 o'clock Friday night, and will be one of many we feature on Friday Night Overtime.