If you looked at Jacksonville’s 28-0 loss to Cabot last week in the mirror, it would likely read on the bottom, “game was closer than it appeared”.

The Red Devils stuck with the Cabot Panthers for the better part of three quarters and was down only 7-0 late in the game.

But a bobbled snap on their own 15 gave Cabot excellent field position and the game got out of control from there.

“We played hard,” said head coach Rick Russell. “We were right there with them for most of the game.”

Now the Devils have an entirely different opponent to prepare for. In fact, one might say the Benton Panthers are just the opposite of Cabot.

“They are a spread team,” Russell said. “They’ve got one guy that is as good as anybody in the state.”

That player is Wallace Foote, who has the makings to be a special player according to Russell, but Foote did fumble deep in his own territory that led to an Arkadelphia score last week.

The Panthers have a few fences to mend as well. They turned the ball over five times and surrendered their game’s final 22 points in a 42-28 loss in the game that preceded Jacksonville’s loss to Cabot.

“They are very versatile on offense,” Russell said. “They have a short passing game and we have a lot more to prepare for. They give a variety of looks and we’ll have to cover the whole field.”

Russell said the key to beating Benton’s 4-3 defense is physicality.

“If we can handle their guys up front,” Russell said, “I feel like we can score some points on them.”

Both teams are coming off bad losses on the same night from the same stadium.

One will get their healing medicine this Friday. The other will start the season 0-2.