PICKERING – After a disappointing opener, Pickering hopes its product this week is much improved.
The Red Devils take on Lake Arthur, which rolled over Elton 45-13 in its first game, and knows they have a lot of work in front of them.
"They're going to be physical and they have a history of being physical," Pickering head coach Eddie Thomas said. "They're going to hit us. They liked to run at you and over you. You have to be ready for that type of thing.
"They run a lot of power football and a little misdirection, but it's mainly them getting in their slots with their one back and run off tackle. Off the guards, they're going to dive the ball and use their slots to help with the blocking."
Pickering lost to Lake Charles College Prep 47-0 in week 1, but Thomas does not believe that the team that showed up last week is what they really are.
"I don't think they'll come down here afraid of us," he said. "We had a lot of mental mistakes and a lot of errors. I think a lot of that was me not having us ready for the game. I don't know if (Lake Arthur) is going to get a lot from our film, because that's not truly us. I can't take anything from LCCP, because they're a good football team, but we didn't do anything to shed any good light on what we are doing.
"I'm hoping we come out and we're a different team on Friday."
The Red Devils installed a new offense during the offseason, a more spread out concept with quick passes, but only completed six passes for 33 yards.
"I like our concepts and what we do," Thomas said. "We just need to execute. They're going to have to make decisions, and if we read it and do what we know how to do, we'll do that and take advantage of it. If we don't execute, it'll be a long night again.
"I thought in the scrimmage and in the jamboree, we made great strides ahead. I thought we went back a few steps in the game against LCCP."
The road does not get any easier for Pickering with match ups against Mangham, Ville Platte and DeRidder prior to the start of district play.
"We knew going in that our schedule is pretty tough," Thomas said. "We need to get some success going early that will help us down the road. We have a true shot in district, if we're healthy. If we improve on what we did in the scrimmage and jamboree, we'll be OK. Every opponent, each week is going to be pretty good.
"I'm hoping that when we get into our district schedule, that they'll realize that we're not going to play anyone as good that was in our non-district schedule, with the exception of Rosepine."
Lake Arthur will test the Red Devils front seven, but Thomas says he will learn what his guys are made of against the Tigers.
"I'm interested in seeing how that plays out," Thomas said. "I'm interested to see if we shy away from that or to see if we will toughen up and have good success that will help us in the weeks to come."