Pregame: Panthers aim for bounce back win on road against unbeaten Atkins

Magnet Cove senior quarterback (3) Tyler Hodges scrambles for yardage towards the end zone for productive play during the Panthers 2019 football season-opener at home against Mt. View Friday, August 30, 2019 at Kenneth W. Hammons Stadium. Photo by Gerren Smith
Gerren Smith
Staff Writer

Following a bye week, the Magnet Cove Panthers are back to battle on the gridiron against another Class 3A opponent of the Atkins Red Devils this Friday, September 13, 2019 for Week 2 of Arkansas high school football action.
Kickoff is 7 p.m., at Sorrels Stadium— Lemley Field.
The Magnet Cove Panthers are aiming for a big victory against the unbeaten Red Devils team (2-0) who won their previous two games over 20 plus points and have averaged 45 points offensively.

Magnet Cove football head coach Caleb Carmikle feels the Panthers are fresh and geared up to compete on the gridiron following their bye week and tough loss to Mt. View 30-28 in their season-opener on August 30, 2019. Carmikle knows Atkins will be a tough matchup since the Panthers came up short to the Red Devils 20-0 at home. He believes with a productive time of practice since week 0, the Panthers have made adjustments for improvement to be prepared for the Red Devils.
“Right now everything has been good. The kids were down a little bit from the tough loss against Mt. View, but I feel we’ve gotten through it during the bye week. We’ve corrected some mistakes and have had a good week in practice preparing for Atkins,” Carmikle said.
Atkins—”They’re 2-0 and pretty good. They’ve beaten Hector and Class 4A Dover. Offensively, they have the ability to score with a 6’7’’ quarterback—he’s the real deal. They have good receivers and upfront, they got a little bit of size. Defensively, they fly to the ball well. They’re a solid football team,” Carmikle said.
The Red Devils like to throw the ball and Carmilke said Atkins runs the spread formation. He feels it’s important to get off to a good and fast start to avoid a tough challenge or big deficit to overcome Atkins.
“If we can start out fast, its a big efficacy for us. We can’t get in a deep hole like we did against Mt. View, but I’m proud of how we came back,” Carmilke said.
Carmikle was pleased by several of his Panthers’ production in their season-opener. Quarterback Tyler Hodges was productive as well as Levi Horton, Jake Harmon and Landon Stone. Defensively, Stone racked up 12 tackles, but Carmikle needs more from their defensive linemen.
“We’ve got to have better production by our D-line,” he said.
Hodges—”Played a good game and ran the ball really well; Horton—Had a good game and had a few catches; Stone—Had a 100 yards rushing,” Carmikle said.
Jaryd McJunkins was doubled in the Panthers’ bout against Mt. View and Carmikle looks to get him more involved to be effective. “We’ve got to get him [McJunkins] involved for more touches,” Carmikle said.
The main objective Carmikle hopes from this battle against Atkins is improvement. The non-conference schedule is utilized to prepare teams for the conference season. Carmikle anticipates a battle, but overall progression of improvement is what he wants from the Panthers.
“The biggest thing I want to see is improvement from the first game to the second game,” Carmikle said.

The Red Devils senior quarterback Elijah Roberson has passed over 500 yards completing 34-of-44 passes so far. The Red Devils rushing attack has been led by senior Rylee Bowden who rushed for 138 yards on 20 carries for three touchdowns in Atkins victory against Dover 46-21 last Friday, September 6, 2019. Bowden also made one trip into the end zone the previous week in the Red Devils season-opener victory against Hector 45-22. He also has 81yards receiving for five receptions this season. Defensively, Atkins hasn’t allowed much scoring in the previous two games with the team racking up 124 tackles led by Reese Bixler (21 tackles), Dylan Felton (16 tackles) and Bowden (13 tackles).