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Lobo coach expects tough game from Olive Branch

By Hayden Henry
Sept. 11, 2013 at 10 p.m.

Preparing for a team that is six hours away brings a lot of unknowns to the table.

But Longview head coach John King is certain about one thing: The Lobos are facing a good football team from Olive Branch, Miss. on Saturday in the "Battle of the Border" showcase at Independence Stadium in Shreveport, La.

"There's a lot of unknowns," King said. "Their scheme, what they're capable of in a bigger ball game. We've seen tape of them playing against two teams that they handled pretty easily. What is their mindset in a tight ballgame or on a bigger stage? Are they conservative or do they roll the ball so to speak? Those are the things you can't pick up off tape?

"What I do know is that they are a great football team that has a lot of tremendous athletes, many of whom are Division I prospects. They are as tough and physical of a team that we've seen."

Saturday's Week Two matchup is the third-straight road game to open the season, something that the Lobos have only done three times in program history. Longview (1-1) is 19-10 on the road - including playoffs - since 2010.

6A-No. 3 Olive Branch enters Saturday with a 3-0 record and is averaging 44 points per game, including a 71-0 win over Memphis Raleigh-Egypt. Junior running back Dontavis Bruce anchors the Conquistador offense with 731 all-purpose yards in three games. Quarterback Ross Trail's (35 of 60, 525 yards, 4 TDs) status is unknown pending an eligibility trial today, according to a DeSoto Times Tribune article.

Olive Branch is averaging 241.7 rushing yards per game and 175 through the air.

"They're a fast team. We're going to have to contain that. Trail and Bruce are big threats with their speed," King said. "They're not a one-dimensional team. They can run and throw the ball. While they're balanced, they're going to give us a different look as opposed to some of the spread teams that we see. They do some unique things with the football that can give you a different set of problems."

While some questions can't be answered until the two teams take the field Saturday night, King said the Lobos are in for a tough game, but that's what the Lobos have been preparing for.

"We've got to prepare to play a tough, physical football team," King said. "There have been games where I've been out-coached, but I've never been out-toughed and I hope that doesn't happen Saturday night.

"(Olive Branch) is not a very complex football team, because they don't have to be. They line up and play their tails off. We're going to have to be tough."



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