Bobcats look to keep it rolling against Eagles

BRETHREN — Brethren football hosts Marion in a West Michigan D League contest on Friday.

Brethren head coach J.J. Randall expects a clash of styles in the game, with the Bobcats’ athleticism being matched up against the Eagles’ size.

“Marion’s traditionally been a really physical team,” he said. “They like to control the clock. They run double tights and grind you out. Traditionally, they use their big guys and their physicality to beat most teams.”

The Bobcats have shown a propensity for big plays in the first two weeks of the season and if Brethren (1-1, 1-0 WMDL) can get out to an early lead, Marion (1-1, 1-0 WMDL) may have to step out of its comfort zone and increase the pace to keep up.

“We have to use our speed and athleticism to put pressure on them and to put them in tough spots,” Randall said. “We have to put up some points so they don’t have the ability to control the clock and control the tempo of the game.

“We want to use our athleticism and score as quickly as possible so they have to play from behind and can’t use their physicality as much.”

The Bobcats bounced back from a Week 1 loss with a convincing 60-14 win over Manistee Catholic Central last week. Randall believes the team learned some valuable lessons after a 64-44 loss to Fife Lake Forest Area and hopes those lessons benefit the Bobcats throughout the rest of the season.

“Getting Troy Macurio back really helped us,” he said.

“He can do multiple things on the football field. … I think our Week 1 loss taught us a lot about physicality and what to expect going forward. We have a lot of young guys on the field, too. We have to bring it every play. Every play has to be 100% effort.”

Brethren topped Marion 42-20 on the road last season en route to a 6-0 record in WMDL play.

“The kids are pretty upbeat coming off the Manistee Catholic win,” Randall said. “It’s always a good confidence-builder going into the Marion game. Last year, the Marion game was a tide-turning week for us. That was where our momentum was built up last year and hopefully we can build some momentum this week, as well.”

The game will kick off Friday at 7 p.m. in Brethren.

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