T-Birds will try to better themselves against small Trojans team

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Friday will give the Thunderbirds a chance to improve their game when conference rival Wood Memorial comes to town at 7:30 p.m.

Eastern (4-0) is coming off a 48-18 victory over Mitchell. North Knox pounded Wood Memorial (0-2) 43-22 last week. Some might think this game would be a cakewalk, but Eastern head coach Joey Paridaen said he wants the Thunderbirds to focus on making themselves a better football team this Friday.

“We had way too many mental mistakes,” he said. “We had way too many turnovers. Obviously, you always have things to work on to get better.”

He said Eastern is averaging about eight penalties, which is too much for a good team. The Thunderbirds have lost four fumbles this season, one of which cost the team a touchdown last week when it scooted through the end zone for a touchdown.

Wood Memorial’s roster lists only 19 players, Paridaen said, but two of those lack numbers and several others are injured. Most of the players are freshmen and sophomores. Last year, Wood Memorial suspended its football program because of a hazing incident.

Paridaen said he wants the Thunderbirds to execute and finish on every play.

The Trojans use a wing T offense. Paridaen said the T-Birds played good D against Mitchell last week, limiting the Bluejackets to 202 yards on the ground. Two of Mitchell’s scores came on big plays, but Paridaen said the Thunderbirds should not have given up one of the Bluejackets’ three touchdowns.

Eastern’s formidable offense averages 56.25 points per game. Paridaen said the Trojans will try to stop that with a 44 defense that features much man coverage.

He added the Thunderbirds must try “to put the game away, not let then hang around in a ball game when you’ve got the ability to make a play to put that team away.”

That will be part of the Thunderbirds learning process Friday. A win would also be one step closer to a repeat of an unbeaten season in the Southwest Football Conference.

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