Translating the whys into victories… Rangers working on the little things 

Published 12:51 am Friday, September 13, 2019

The Unaka Rangers have been putting in extra work in their last two outings as both games have gone to overtime with the Rangers winning one and losing one.
However for them to be the team that they are capable of in the eyes of their head coach O’Brien Bennett, the team is going to take the learning points from the tough losses and clean up the little things that are allowing the opposition to either come back from a deficit or to take a win.
“We have got to stop beating ourselves,” Bennett said. “We have played two teams that we were really competitive with and the one that won was the one that had fewer mistakes.
“Claiborne is a 3A team and a different animal. They are very tough upfront and have great skill players. We cannot afford to make mistakes.
“What we have to do is turn them over and not beat ourselves and force Claiborne to beat us,” Bennett continued. “We make too many mental mistakes. We get down and then come back. Any time that you are in a close ball game you have to like that you are one play away.”
On film, Claiborne is a handful as they have a quarterback that can throw the football a mile according to Bennett and they have two different styles of receivers with one being 6’4 who can go up and get the ball and the other one is fast.
“The bulk of their big plays have been on deep balls,” added Bennett. “We have to be disciplined with our pass rush and keep him contained and watch the backs leaking out of the backfield to make big plays downfield.
“They will run a split-back triple option with their two great running backs so once again we have to be disciplined and not make mental mistakes.
Bennett was asked if it was important for his team to put aside the recent games or would he prefer that they remember how they played out.
“We want them to hold onto it to some extent and use it as a learning experience,” said Bennett. “We want to make sure that we learn from it and take lessons from those games.
“We spent a lot of time looking at film Monday and what we wanted to do was show them how close they were to winning those football games. We highlighted the little things that we did right to get back into the ballgame.
“We let them know they can be a pretty good football team if they will make the other team beat us. We practiced this week without a football to show them it doesn’t matter where the football is as long as we do the little things and do them right we can compete with any team on our schedule.
“There are enough good teams on our schedule who can beat us obviously without our help.”
Game time at Claiborne is at 7:30 pm tonight.

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