By BRYAN URBACH
PALESTINE — Welcome back to the Palestine Wildcats.
The Wildcats returned a few key players this past week and it showed in their 52-0 dismantling of the Rusk Eagles.
One of the key parts to any football team is to have the ability to have depth at any spot on the roster. Palestine has been missing that ability for the past month due to injuries, but Coach Lance Angel said the team looks stronger than ever right now.
“Obviously getting some players back has helped,” Angel said. “Our depth is a lot stronger than it was at the beginning of the year.
“Our goal each week is to get better fundamentally and in execution,” he added. “We continue to work each week on protecting the ball on offense and working to get better at taking the ball away when we are on defense.”
This week, the Wildcats will be put to the test when they face the Groesbeck Goats — a type of team that the Wildcats have only faced once so far this season.
The Goats, like Palestine's opponents in Jacksonville, are more of a passing “air-raid” team that throws the ball throughout the game.
Last season, the Wildcats were able to slow the Goats’ offense enough to come away with a 30-23 victory. This year, Palestine has most of its injured players back and ready for action.
“They are a spread team and will throw the ball a lot,” Angel said. “We haven't seen an air attack like this since the Jacksonville game. Our defense will be challenged to be fundamentally sound up front and in the secondary.”
This will be the Wildcats’ second district game of the season so far. Palestine got off to a slow start as far as district games played because of a bye week, but the Wildcats showed last Friday that all they needed was some rest before the action continued.
The return of Ben Luckett is expected to play a big role for the Wildcats on Friday. Luckett put up 12 carries for 127 yards and two touchdowns last week in his return from injury.
One thing Angel said about his team is that the Wildcats are looking to take things slowly going into district play and to make sure the team gets all of its fundamentals in order. The Wildcats, per Angel, will have to treat each game as if it is the start of a new season every week.
“It's good to get off to a 1-0 start in district,” Angel said. “However, we are taking the mentality that our record each week is 0-0.”