The up-and-down season continues for Russell Christian Academy, as the Warriors look to shake off a 34-20 loss to Porter’s Chapel last week when they host Tuscaloosa Christian Academy at 7 p.m on Homecoming.
The game will pair last year’s MAIS 8-man champion against the AISA 8-man runner-up. Tuscaloosa Christian (3-3) will look to move the ball almost exclusively on the ground as it has already racked up 856 rushing yards. Tuscaloosa Christian has also been able to use its depth in the running game as the Warriors boast three backs with over 200 rushing yards.
Russell Christian will make the switch back to 8-man for the game.
Even though his team is just one year removed from an undefeated season at the 8-man level, Ballard said the switch back has been challenging this week.
“They way you block and the way you tackle, you are used to having more men out there,” Ballard said. “So, when you go from 11 to 8, the inside linebacker may be playing the same position in 8-man and think he has help to the outside. Now he has to realize that he doesn’t have help, he’s the containment. It’s just been a hard week of adjustments.”
Raiders have playoffs in sight
The Lamar Raiders continue district play tonight as they play host to Columbia Academy at 7 p.m.
Fresh off a 48-6 drudging of Copiah Academy last week, Lamar (5-1, 2-1) can move even closer to securing one of the four playoff spots awarded in MAIS AAA Division II.
“In our situation, if we can win this game then I feel we would need a lot of unique things to have to happen for us to make the playoffs,” Barnes said. “The big key is for us to keep winning though so we can host the first round.”
Barnes said Columbia Academy (3-2, 0-1) will be one of the biggest teams the Raiders have played, especially on the offensive line.
“They are a big, physical team,” he said. “Their coach came from Brookhaven, and he coached back there when they won the state championship in 2009. He’s a very good coach, and they’ll scout us well and have a good plan against us.
Barnes said the Raiders should be able to match up with Columbia’s size and hopes his team’s speed and size will help them pull away as the game goes on.
“The battle is going to take place with them trying to run the football and keep it away from us,” Barnes said. “Our defense will be challanged.