Defensive line sets tone for progress of Sacred Heart

By JESSE JOHNSON,

Sacred Heart Crusaders and the Salem Wildcats both look to get their first win of the season in a conference game on Friday night.

This will be the first conference game for the two and looks to be a good matchup.

Sacred Heart lost to West Lincoln 41-21 Friday night and Coach Ed Smith believes missed tackles resulted in the defeat.

Friday night’s game also paid tribute to former Sacred Heart player Carson Hall, who died in a boating accident this summer. The team is wearing Carson’s No. 13 on their jerseys this season. Prior to the start of the game, both schools participated in a kneeling formation and a moment of silence in remembrance of Hall.

“It was good we had a night where we were able to recognize Carson,” Smith said. “I told his mom he will always be remembered. Even though we had the tribute this past week, we feel like Carson is going to be with us every time we hit the field.”

Going forward Smith looks to correct mistakes made in the past week.

“This week in practice we are keying on those missed tackles from the previous week,” he said, “trying to play low and really getting off the block as well.”

Smith believes the team is heading in the right direction heading into Friday night.

“We have made some improvements and we showed some life in the second half against West Lincoln,” he said. “Hopefully we can have some of that momentum pushing forward in this week’s matchup. We played a lot better on the defensive line than we did on week one. If we can get the rest of our defense to make the improvement the defensive line made, we will be in good shape. Our offense played really well in the second half so if we can get those guys to play four quarters we have a chance at some success.”

The Wildcats are averaging 68 yards passing and 161 yards rushing in three ball games.

“Their running back and quarterback stand out to us,” Smith said. “They are really fast and hard to tackle in open field. They’ve got two or three guys that really come off the ball well.”

Kickoff is set for 7 pm at Salem.