Perhaps it was best the Maumelle Hornets had a disappointing performance against Pottsville in a 33-0 loss last Friday. Now, that situation is out of the way.
"We did the same thing last year in the playoffs," Maumelle Coach Mike Buchan said. "We have a history of doing that. We now have to be focused."
Buchan doesn’t know what happened or why the Hornets (5-3, 4-1 4A) played so horribly. In Maumelle’s first four conference games, the Hornets scored either 41 or 42 points and only allowed 14 points total to their opponents. Friday, the wheels fell off.
"We didn’t show up," Buchan said. "The defense played bad, the offense was worse and the kicking game was atrocious. Having two first downs was ridiculous."
Buchan said both the offensive and defensive lines were overwhelmed, and that the Hornets just didn’t respond well. He is not sure if the four previous conference games were a factor in those contests if Maumelle showed up and played then winning was fairly easy.
"It should have been a good game," he said. "We played as bad as we’ve ever played."
Now, Buchan is hoping the Hornets learn from the experience and move on. He is going to use the incident to teach the players about life.
"I told them it is really easy when things are going good," Buchan said. "You find out about yourself when bad things happen. I told them that is what happens in life. How you deal with it is determines how you will do. We have to get mentally tougher and focused."
With plenty of incentives, the Hornets need to bounce back quickly. Having secured a spot in the playoffs, they are now playing for a seed. If they can win out, they would be the second seed and have a home game. Buchan also thinks in that spot the bracket is not as tough.
The quest begins Friday when Maumelle hosts Dardanelle (6-2, 3-2), whose two losses are to Pottsville and Booneville. The Hornets travel to Booneville for their final contest of the regular season.
"It should be a good game, and we ought to win and probably are favored," Buchan said. "But, if we play like we did on Friday we can’t beat anybody. We are going to work on us, and we aren’t going to just be able to show up and beat anybody anymore."