Panthers host Arcadia tonight

Lincoln Prep running back LaMarion Burton (23) and the Panthers play host to Arcadia starting at 7 p.m. today at Panther Field (Photo by T. Scott Boatright)

By T. Scott Boatright


When the Lincoln Preparatory School and Arcadia High School meet on the turf tonight, it’ll be all about trench warfare.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. today at Panther Field.

Lincoln Prep stands at 1-1 after taking a 44-0 Homecoming win over Plain Dealing last week while Arcadia enters the game at 2-0.

Panthers coach Glen Hall said that while he was happy to see his team earn that win, he wasn’t pleased with their start against Plain Dealing and that they can’t let the same thing happen again this week against the Hornets.

“Practice has gone well this week and we had a good walk through today,” Hall said. “We’re prepared. It’s just all about executing come gametime. 

“That’s something we have not been consistent at, and that’s not going to work against a team like Arcadia. We didn’t really play for the first quarter last week. We didn’t focus or execute during the first quarter. If we start off like that again this week, we’ll be the team that finds itself way behind by halftime.”

Hall expects this game against Arcadia to be won, or lost, in the trenches.

“Arcadia is a big, strong team up front on both sides of the ball,” Hall said. “Coach (Dmitri) Carr has his son (Dmitri Carr Jr.) leading the way with his 500-pound plus bench press and 600-pound plus squat.  

“Young Carr is great on both sides of the ball, but I’m thinking that because of his height, colleges will be looking for him as an offensive guard. He’s super strong. And their whole line is solid. Having to fight off their offensive and defensive lines will be our biggest challenge.”

Hall will be facing a fellow former Grambling Tiger on the opposing sideline for the second time this season after facing Madison’s Levi Washington in Lincoln Prep’s season opener.

“I’ve been around long enough that I’ve gone up against a lot of guys I coached in college at GSU and a lot of guys who were at GSU after I left and moved on to high school coaching,” Hall said. “It’s a lot of fun. I know they’ve been well taught, I know what kind of work ethic they have and I know they’re going to give it their all coaching against me.

“When we get out there, it’s all about our teams and our schools, but when it’s all over, it’s all about respect for each other.”

Hall said stopping Arcadia’s veer option offense will be a key for his team.

“They’ll try to open it up and throw a little bit, but that will be just for show trying to keep us off guard. But they’re a run team that tries to bully you around up front. That’s their M.O. They try to push off the ball. get the ball upfield.

“Every now and then they’ll try to throw just to try and keep you off balance. But we know what they’re really going to try to do is to run right through us. We know each other so well they’re not going to catch us off guard. This one isn’t going to be about Xs and Os, it’s going to be about the Jimmys and the Joes.”

Hall said the proximity of the schools, and the fact they shared a district as recently as two years ago, means the players from both teams know each other and have a specially-strong desire to defeat the other.

“It’s not hard getting the team fired up for this one because all of these kids know each other,” Hall said. “Now I don’t understand the rivalry because I’m not originally from the area. But talking to (Lincoln Prep assistant coaches Billy Norman and Chaunce Davidson) — those guys played at Grambling (Lab) and coach here now and say it’s a really big rivalry. 

“The only thing I can say is that the only thing that makes it a rivalry is when both teams pretty much win every other year. And right now I haven’t been winning every other year, so I’m hoping we can change that (tonight).”