The 7:30 p.m. game will be Hixson’s first game of the season, while the Mustangs are coming off a disappointing loss to visiting East Ridge in their opener a week ago.
“We had a good Monday,” Lockerby said of his team’s first-of-the-week practice session. “We had a good film session and a good walk through.”
The Mustangs’ coach said team members reviewed the mistakes they made in the game with the Pioneers, and centered on several areas where they can make improvements against the Wildcats. “The players are optimistic and the coaches are optimistic,” Lockerby said of plans for this week.
The Walker Valley coach said his staff knows very little about Hixson’s potential. “Just what we saw in the jamboree,” he said at Monday afternoon’s practice session. “They used to be in our region,” he added. The Mustangs split with Hixson in the two games Lockerby coached against the Wildcats.
The Walker Valley coach said his players suffered a few bumps and bruises in the loss to East Ridge, about what should be expected in the first game of the season. He said none of the injuries appear serious.
Lockerby commented a little on what his staff pulled out of the film of the East Ridge game. “We had our opportunities,” he said. “There were times when we didn’t block, and we have to work on that.” He said the Mustangs had some lapses in protection, and didn’t hold onto the ball.
“On defense, we got a little sloppy when we fell farther behind in the second half,” he said. The Pioneers rallied for a 19-10 halftime lead, then jumped on the Mustangs for two quick touchdowns at the start of the third quarter.
“We think we’ll have a much better effort (against Hixson) this week,” the Walker Valley coach emphasized.
Walker Valley Valley’s passing game was virtually non-existent in the game against East Ridge, the Mustangs completing only one pass for two yards. Lockerby said the Mustangs’ rushing game sets up the passing game.
Walker Valley had some success on the ground with more than 200 yards rushing. Junior Kelvin Wells Jr., who gained 1,499 yards rushing a year ago, paced his team with 121 yards, while big power runner Hunter Keefer added 89 yards. These two were the main ground gainers, providing the lion’s share of Walker Valley’s offense.
The Walker Valley defense played well in spots, giving up just over 300 yards to the East Ridge offense. Several big gains came late in the game when the Mustangs’ appeared a little tired and were burned by East Ridge’s speed.