By BRYAN URBACH
PALESTINE — After losing only one game in the regular season, Cayuga’s reward is getting to play against De Leon tonight at 7 p.m. in Joshua.
The Wildcats are coming off an impressive 66-26 win against Gateway Charter, and Cayuga is looking to keep that momentum going.
“We are trying to keep things normal heading into the playoff, keep our routine, and focus on the little things,” said Cayuga coach Russell Holden. “We are on a short week, so we lose a day of practice with the game on Thursday, but we feel like we can still improve every day and that's what we are trying to do.
“The kids know not everyone gets into the playoffs and they want to perform well, so motivation isn't hard at this point. We have had a good week of practice,” the coach said.
Cayuga will be facing a tough squad in De Leon. The Bearcats come into the game with a record of 7-3 on the season and 3-2 in district play.
Holden said he expects the Bearcats to bring their A-game against the Wildcats tonight.
“De Leon is a physical, hard-nosed team that runs a slot T offense that runs the ball very effectively,” Holden said. “They use a lot of misdirection, and we have to play great up front on defense and try to control the line of scrimmage in order to slow down their offense.”
In Cayuga’s most recent games, the Wildcats have forced more and more turnovers. Led by a few strong seniors, the Wildcat defense is something they look forward to having a big game from this week.
“The defense has been our unsung hero all year,” Holden said. “With all of the points and rushing yards this season, it is easy to overlook the performance of our defense. Our coaching staff knows our defense has performed consistently, and we will rely on that against De Leon.”