Injuries are plaguing the Maumelle defense. Fortunately, the Hornets host a winless Dover team Friday night. While the Hornets (4-1, 2-0 4A-4) are the favorite to win, Maumelle Coach Mike Buchan does believe his team can outscore the Pirates if the injury-plagued defense is shaky.
"We are trying to put square pegs in round holes and trying to find some linebackers," Buchan said. "Dover is 0-5, but their line looks like a college line. We’ll have to figure out how to stop them."
For sure, linebacker Michael Cole is out Friday with a knee injury, and Don Taggert is doubtful. JD Russell played some last week with a strained hamstring and defensive end Kendall Donnerson is hampered by a sprained ankle.
Last week in a 45-6 victory over Waldron (0-5, 0-2), the defense wasn’t needed much. The Hornets led 42-6 at the half, and the offense has been hitting on all cylinders.
"Our offense played really well while the defense just played good enough," Buchan said. "With our injuries, and if we don’t shoot ourselves in the foot, we can still show up and beat Dover."
In the Waldron victory, quarterback Tyshaun Robinson threw for 295 yards on 15-of-19 passing with three scores. He also rushed for 75 yards and one touchdown with the scoring run a 66-yard scamper on a broken play. DaRayun Canada caught two touchdowns and finished with 109 yards on five receptions. JB Minix had one touchdown catch and tallied 137 yards on five grabs. Braylon Waits had one rush for a touchdown of eight yards and also snagged two catches for 16 yards. Corry Cullins also tallied a rushing score on seven attempts for 46 yards. Gabe Jones had three receptions for 33 yards and ran the ball four times for 41 yards. Jesse Hopkins ran for 38 yards on six tries, Braylon Williams picked up 13 yards on two attempts and Alvin Williams finished with seven yards on two totes.
With an offense that is so much better than last year, Buchan is hoping the defense gets healthy for the last three games of the season. Lately, the Hornets haven’t had to play their best to win. That is good since they are nursing injuries, but Buchan also hopes the Hornets don’t slip up.
"We know we are most likely going to be in the playoffs," Buchan said. "Our offense could keep scoring until I call Coach (Nick) Evans off. I figured it would be like this, but we have to stay healthy."