Panthers roll into Week 4 for tough conf. opener test at England

JOB WELL DONE: Magnet Cove football head coach Caleb Carmikle gives a thumbs up to the Panthers while addressing the team on the field following their 55-26 victory against Mt. Ida on Friday, September 20, 2019 at Kenneth W. Hammons Stadium.
Gerren Smith
Staff Writer

Following another productive overall performance for Friday night touchdowns last week, September 20, 2019 the Magnet Cove Panthers (2-1) are pumped and ready to start 5-2A Conference play. The Panthers return on the road for an anticipated challenge to face the England Lions (1-2) Friday, September 27, 2019. Kickoff is set at 7 p.m. at Gaylon Gibbs Stadium in England.
The Panthers have captured back to back consecutive wins going into Friday’s conference opener against England. Magnet Cove finished the non-conference season 2-1 and produced key wins over talented Class 3A football program Atkins (56-27) and Class 2A Mt. Ida (55-26) in their two previous games. The high scoring ability of the Panthers to average 50 plus points in the last two games has given them momentum to execute effectively for a boost of confidence offensively.
Magnet Cove football head coach Caleb Carmikle was very pleased by the linemen in their last two games to allow their ground attack to take charge of command. Playmakers quarterback Tyler Hodges and Landon Stone both lead the rushing attack for the Panthers through Week 4 of Arkansas high school football. The senior QB Hodges has racked up nearly 400 yards rushing (currently 391 yds. rushing) with nine touchdowns scored on the ground. Hodges has also passed over 280 yards for three touchdowns in the air. Stone, who scored a season-high five touchdowns last week in the Panthers victory over Mt. Ida has 663 yards rushing and eight end zone trips through Magnet Cove’s three games played this season.
Carmikle knows these players have been productive along with several other Panthers to allow them to be effective with depth this season. Now the Panthers will open the conference season against a very tough opponent on the road this Friday and Carmikle believes this England team will be their toughest challenge thus far into the 2019 football season. Camikle feels it’s important the Panthers get off to a fast and productive start like they did against Atkins and Mt. Ida. He knows England is athletic and has playmakers just like the Panthers have.
It’s going to be a big matchup and Carmilke aims for his Panthers to come out with a good mindset and mentality to battle one of the favored teams to win the conference.
“It’s going to be a great game and a battle. England is one of the favorites to win the conference. Hopefully we can put on a great show and hopefully win in the end,” Carmikle said.
The Panthers have showcased some productive overall play during the non-conference schedule. Carmikle knew by beginning the game to a productive start helps secure wins. They’ve been in good positions the last two games and getting off to another quick start Friday can spark their chances to outlast a good Lions club on the road.
“We’re coming off two fast start games and its set the tone for the game. Our offensive line has done a good job the last two games. England will be better upfront then the other opponents we’ve faced this year. We’ve had success moving the football and we’re going to keep trying to move the ball against England,” Carmikle said.
“England is very athletic with two kids Tamarous Dodson (big kid can run and is a good basketball player) and Darren McClinton (a stiffly back). They’ve been in the spread (offensive formation). The key for us will be to tackle them well. England is big upfront and they’re pretty good. They’re coming off a bye week and they’ll be prepared for us. They’ll be stiff competition,” Carmikle said. Defensively, Carmikle stated England looks to defend in a 5-3 and 6-3 to switch and mix it up. “Our preparation to defend them will be difficult. It’s going to be important to communicate well in a big game like this,” Carmible said. According Hooten’s Arkansas Football, England switched to the Double Wing offense, jumped to an 18-point lead two weeks ago at Clarendon and hung on for a 42-34 win. Senior Dodson has moved from receiver to slotback. He and junior McClinton are breakaway threats. McClinton raced 60 yards on the first play from scrimmage last year in a 12-10 win over Magnet Cove.