The Louise Hornets had to wait to open the season with the Danbury Panthers canceling the week one matchup last season. Unless something unforeseen happens, Louise won’t have to wait this season and play Danbury at Panther Stadium Friday night.
Louise didn’t have the same number of scrimmage reps as most teams only getting one this preseason.
Danbury is a 3A-DII school, slightly larger than Louise, who is in the 2A-DII classification.
The Panthers last season went 2-7 and missed the playoffs. Danbury hasn’t made the playoffs since 2013.
“I was impressed with (Danbury’s) linemen, the quarterback is good and the tight end is strong,” Louise Head Coach Joe Bill said. “The quarterback is a pretty good runner and the tailback is really effective. Nothing extraordinary, but they’re a good fundamental football team.”
Panthers’ junior quarterback Cooper Lynch is a three-year starter and he complied a little more than 600 yards between passing and running the ball.
Danbury scored more than two touchdowns twice in the seven games they played last season. The Panthers went 1-6 last season, the only game they won was their first.
Louise lost big pieces on defense and with new personal, it might take some time for them to be on the same page with limited live reps in the preseason.
The Louise defense allowed 21.5 points a game last season. Getting into the right presnap alignment will be key Friday night against the Panthers.
“Don’t get beat by alignment and (we have) to go the football,” Bill said. “We have to give great effort tackling and getting after it.”
The offense, like the defense, will be working its way into playing form. The good news is all five linemen from last year are returning and should be able to open up holes in the running game once they all get synced.
Danbury last season allowed 30 points or more five times, including giving up at least 50 points three times. Louise averaged 28.5 points per game last year.
“We need to do the little things right (on offense),” Bill said. “I want our kids to step up and be physical. With great effort and a great attitude, good things will happen for us.”