The Louise Hornets will get a tough test in the Danbury Panthers Friday night at home to kick off the start of the season.
The Panthers are in the 3A classification, higher than Louise, who plays in the smaller 2A. With the larger classification, the Panthers will have a deeper roster than the Hornets who’ll play a lot of iron-man football.
The Hornets might not have the numbers of larger schools, but they can be scrappy. This year, they should have a better start to the season with senior quarterback/linebacker Daylon Machicek healthy week one.
With Machicek ready to go, the offense won’t be trying to find themselves for the first few weeks and the defense has a solid tackler that can go sideline to sideline.
Danbury last year like the Hornets had a rough season, going 1-9. Louise finished the season with a 1-10 record.
The Panthers defense allowed 36 points a game. It took the Hornets eight games last year to score more than one touchdown in a game. However, once Machicek was healthy, the Hornets averaged 20 points a game the rest of the year.
A lot of the offense returns this season, including senior running back Rogeric Schooler as one of the few Hornet offensive options had 790 rushing yards.
yards. The Hornets are expecting a little more offense to start the year, hopefully starting with Danbury.
“I think we’ll definitely be able to move the ball,” Machicek said. “We only lost a couple of pieces last year so we’ve got a lot coming back. We should be able to score more consistently.”
The Panthers have size on their defense. The Hornets offense will have to be creative to negate Danbury’s advantage.
The Hornets defense was a mixed bag last season, they had some good stretches, but overall Louise allowed 41 points a game. Louise had trouble with a few schools, Danbury’s offense couldn’t get going at all last year, getting shutout three times. The Panthers offense averaged nine points a game.
Louise has only gotten stronger on defense since last season, especially their two powerlifting junior defensive tackles Chris Vasquez and Daniel Gaona III. They might not be very tall, but you’ll find few who’ll be able to move them, if they can get penetration in the backfield, it will do nothing but good things for the rest of the defense.
“We should be able to stop people and keep people off the board,” Machicek said. “We’ve got to be physical and if we’re physical it should all work out the way it should.”
Danbury is returning a dual-threat quarterback in junior Cooper Lynch who had over 1,000 yards of offense last season. Slowing Lynch will go a long way towards earning a week one win.