Carlisle’s Bison have filed away last week’s 55-6 loss to Hazen and now look to Palestine-Wheatley.
Mark Uhiren’s Bison are 1-4 overall and 1-2 in 6-2A conference play. The Patriots are 4-1 and 3-1.
“Water under the bridge and go on,” Uhiren said Sunday. “It’s a critical time of the year. We had quite a lengthy discussion the other night, not getting onto them but telling them what had to be done.
“Attitudes have to be adjusted. We have to come back with physical, hard play. We’ve got to put our feet back on the ground and get going again.”
In league play, the Patriots have beaten Clarendon, 24-22, and Marvell-Elaine, 50-0, sandwiched around a 36-16 loss to McCrory.
The Bison also rolled over Marvell-Elaine, 42-0.
Palestine-Wheatley finished 6-5 last year, tied for third in the conference, to earn its first post-season appearance since 2009. The Patriots won their first six before a 38-12 loss to Carlisle started a five-game losing streak to end the season, including a playoff game at Camden Harmony Grove, an even-tual semifinalist, 34-14.
Nine starters return to run the Patriots’ I formation offense. Eight are back for the 5-3 defensive scheme.
“I watched six hours of film today, and they’ve got a running back who’s a real small fellow, but he has some serious jets and some moves,” Uhiren said. “He’s not a big fellow, but boy, he can scat.
“One of the things that hurts us is quickness and speed. I’m sure they’ve seen us on film and they are going to try to get that guy in space, move him around.”
He said the Patriots had good size on the line.
“Overall, they’re probably as big or bigger than we are,” he said. “They’ve got quick kids on the line. They’ve got a middle linebacker who’s pretty solid and two good quarterbacks. We’re definitely going to have our hands full.”
Last week, the Bison were stymied offensively against the Hornets.
“A kickoff return was our only score,” Uhiren said. “I have never in my whole career had that few yards. We could do nothing. I thought we’d be able to move the football on them, but we just did not do it. I’ll have to give them credit. They’re a very sound football team. It was just one of those games, just a helpless feeling.”
He said the Hornets’ speed was a killer.
“They don’t have a wide range of receivers, but they’ve got a couple who can catch the football in traf-fic, and when they catch it, that’s when the speed kicks in,” Uhiren said. “Speed is just a tough thing for us to handle.”
Hazen is atop the 6-2A conference standings at 4-0. McCrory is 4-1 with Palestine-healthy and Des Arc tied for third at 3-1. Carlisle and Clarendon are tied for fifth at 1-2. Marvell-Elaine is 0-3 and Brinkley 0-5.
The top five teams will move on to the Class 2A state playoffs.
“You’ve got to find a way to pick up and move on and try to get yourself ready for the next one,” Uhiren said. “We’re in a run where we could win a few games, but it still goes back to the maturity. We’re not a real mature team. We don’t have a lot of leadership after losing those 12 seniors last year.
“We’re struggling now. There’s no identity and not a lot of unity. We’re trying to find that.”