PINEVILLE — The Pineville Mountain Lions are playing up in class again tonight as they head to McCreary Central to take on the Raiders.
McCreary, now a 3A team, has presented a good test for the Lions in recent years. This is the sixth straight meeting between the schools and the Lions hold a 3-2 edge after winning last year game 20-14.
“Obviously they’re bigger than we are numbers wise, they probably have more depth and they’re bigger up front,” Pineville coach Bart Elam said of the Raiders. “Coach Derrick Smith is a good guy and I think he does a good job with that team. It’s a pretty even match-up. You know, McCreary is a team that hasn’t traditionally had a lot of success, but when you’re a 3A or 4A team going against 1A team then a lot of those shortcomings get covered up.”
The Raiders lost to Taylor County 42-12 last week. Offensively their led by a pair of seniors in power back Arlis Dople and receiver Noah Duncan.
“They’ve got some athletes and they’re big up front so we’re going to have to be able to stop the run,” Elam added. “The biggest thing is that we can’t beat ourselves with turnovers.”
Pineville turned the ball over three times in the first half against North Laurel in last week’s loss and weren’t able to dig their way out of an early 27-0 hole in dropping the 42-20 decision.
“Our guys feel like we’ve got a pretty good team and that we really let one slip away last week,” said Elam. “You can’t take away that first seven or eight minutes, but after that we played them even.”
Elam said the team avoided injuries in the first game, other than a few players who had to be treated for dehydration, and everyone should be good to go tonight.
The game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. and the coach added that bringing home a win would be a big boost for his Lions.
“That first win is huge no matter who it’s against. After that you can relax and just play football and not have to worry about it,” Elam said. “This time of year every win is important. We’re going to have to play a good game and take care of the ball.”