By Chuck Reherman
Southwest Covenant will take to the road on Friday in search of its first win of the season.
The Patriots will head south to take on Alex in a 7 p.m. kickoff at Longhorn Stadium.
Alex is not a new team for the Patriots. The two teams were in the same district last year and the Patriots have come away with wins in their last two meetings.
Both teams come into the season opener 0-1. Alex lost to Tipton 66-16, while the Patriots dropped a 48-20 decision to Oklahoma Bible Academy.
Alex will have a little different look this season, as Jacob Otey takes over after being an assistant coach at Laverne, who won the 2021 class B state title. He inherits a team that has returning experience from a 3-7 campaign and is picked to finish second in District B-4.
“Alex played a really good team in Tipton last week and looked about like we did when we played Tipton in the playoffs last year,” Patriot head coach John Jensen said. “We are excited to go to Alex, we have heard they have the best class B facility around. They have a turf field, nice locker rooms and all. And, like last year, it is only and an hour and five minute drive, not like we had to do last year.
“Alex doesn’t have a lot of kids out from what we could see on film,” he said. “They are tough just like last year, but hopefully we can wear them down. They have a pretty good quarterback that doubles as a linebacker. He does a lot for them. Their noseguard is a good player and a safety that is also a runningback/receiver at times.
“The one good thing is that Alex’s coach was the defensive coordinator at Laverne last year and the head coach at OBA was the head coach at Laverne last year, so we seeing a mirror image of the defense we played against last week and about 85 percent of the offense we saw. From a preparation standpoint it makes it nice, we have less cards to draw from this week to get ready.”
Konnor Shebester is the leader on the Longhorn offense. He is used as a receiver and a runningback and will be called on heavily again this week against the Patriots.
Otey, who was the Eightman Assistant Coach of the Year last year, has a lot of young players that he will rely on.
“We will basically see the same look from a team that we did last week, it will be that Alex doesn’t have a 6-4 quarterback. They will blitz a little more on defense than what we saw from OBA. It is nice that we have similar stuff this week, so the mistakes we made last week are ones that we can correct.”
The Patriots also have a young team, but one that will be more experienced with several starters back and an additional game under their belt. SWCS moved the ball well at times against OBA and although the offense only scored three times, had chances on other drives.
“This will be a big week for us to improve on that first week,” Jensen said. “Offensively, we have challenged the line to be able to run the football. Last week we got in the game and just basically forgot all our technique. We are better than that, these kids are good football players and we are going to emphasize that this week in practice.
“Asher (quarterback Hoover) needs to stand in the pocket and throw the ball,” he said. “Asher took a lot of hits last year as a freshman and is used to scrambling. He didn’t necessarily need to do that last week. We have to get him used to that. He has the arm and everything he needs, we just need to get him to trust the boys in front of him.
“We actually pass blocked well last week, we just need to improve on our run blocking.”
Hoover had a good week against OBA, throwing for a pair of touchdowns and running for a third.
Defense will have to play a more steady game this week.
“We need to see improvement from the defensive backs from not staring at the quarterback and covering the receiver,” Jensen said. “We need to keep our eyes on the receiver, we left two alone and it hurt us. Our inside and outside linebackers will have to play better this week also.”