HAIL TO THE KING: PALMYRA, CENTRALIA SET TO MAKE CASE FOR CANNON CONFERENCE SUPREMACY
They were a team with many a question to answer; but seemingly more than enough quality answers to go around in their Week One Victory over Highland.
Surprising? Not for a team that loses a Conference Game about once every eight years.
The standard for "microwavable" rebound excellence is as high in Centralia as it is anywhere in Tri State Football.
But as Sports Director Chris Duerr details, the Panthers recuperative pigskin powers are about to be put a very stringent test.
Erle Bennett: "I thought we got off to a really fast start and played really well for an opening game. I think we scored virtually every time we had the ball in the first half. We got out of there without having really any penalties or turning the football over so those things are all good. It was kind of an expensive win for us because we lost Tyler Spurling, one of our toughest kids and Middle Linebackers, which really kind of put a little gloom over it but overall we had a great football game I think."
After dropping 55 points in Week One, the Centralia Offense will have a cosmetically different look against Palmyra. After missing the Opener for "team reasons," All Conference pick Zach Etzler returns at Quarterback, where he was nearly "Wally Pipped" by fill-in stand out Logan Armontrout. Notable as well, Tailback Cullen Ralphs is an injury question mark going forward. All that established, don't expect anything less than the usual Erle Bennett Juggernaut to take the stage in Palmyra Friday Night.??
Erle Bennett: "We will have to play extremely disciplined this week. We are playing at team that can do a number of different things and they've got a number of different kids who can really hurt you. They really match up well with us up front because they are probably bigger than we are, to be perfectly honest with you. We are going to have to be disciplined, particularly with the option and the counter stuff. Make sure that we are where we need to be all the time. The other thing is we are going to have to flat tackle because their Running Backs do not come down on contact. They typically fall forward, even when you make good contact, they are going to get three or four yards."
Duerr: Three of their guys had over 100 yards last week at Macon, one of them is a Quarterback. That is a concern....
Erle Bennett: "It is a major concern. The Butler kid is really an impressive kid. He runs what they do very well. He is able to buy himself time and make plays because he is so athletic. And as I said, the two running backs are just really good, hard-nosed runners.
Duerr: You had a chance to coach Bobby Gruenloh over the Summer (Do or Die Bowl) so you kind of know what they had and what they lost there. What do you make of the Palmyra Defense post-him going forward from what you have seen on film?
Erle Bennett: "I was really impressed with their Defensive Line. Their Nose Guard (Austin Hightower) is just really good, really a tough player. Their Safties really run the allies well. They tackle well. Those Safties are basically those running backs so they are good, tough kids. They really get after you, try to put a lot of pressure on you with those zone blitz packages. We expect a good game out of their Defense."
Erle Bennett: "We can not feed them. I know they are going to be really hyped and we are excited to play. But we can not give them ANYTHING that puts ourselves in a bad position during the game."