When the Denton Broncos travel to Standridge Stadium today to play Carrollton R.L. Turner in their first road game of the season, they will have an opportunity to fix errors made in their season-opening 30-14 loss to Dallas Bishop Lynch.
The Broncos surrendered 278 yards to Bishop Lynch running backs while allowing a meager 29 passing yards. Turner likely will focus on running the ball, and Denton head coach Kevin Atkinson made it clear to his team that it needs to improve at stopping the run.
“They are going to be a ground attack,” Atkinson said of Turner. “They don’t throw it much. Our strong suit is our pass defense, but they aren’t going pass it very much. They are going to challenge with the running game, so we need to step up and be better up front. We need to become better tacklers and we need to swarm to the ball defensively.”
This is Turner’s first game of the season. Despite Denton’s short week of practice and the Lions’ two weeks to prepare for the Broncos (0-1), Atkinson said he thinks his team has the advantage.
“They have been preparing for us for two weeks, and we have been preparing for them for two days,” Atkinson said. “We’ve had one week of nice routine, but this week has been totally different. They’ve had a chance to look at us in our scrimmage and game, but the thing we have working for us is that they haven’t played a game yet.”
With just one game under their belts, the Broncos still have room to grow as a team. Atkinson said this week’s practice was centered around such growth.
“We felt pretty good last week, but now this week is different,” Atkinson said. “The thing we wanted to focus on this week was focus. They need to focus on their responsibility, and that’s how you become a team. We haven’t had a whole lot of time, and it’s a process that we need to go through. That’s the scariest part.”
The Broncos showed spurts of their potential, but Atkinson continues to harp on the need for consistency.
“Offensively, we had seven plays of 15 yards or more,” Atkinson said. “We’ve got to learn to be consistent and put some plays together. The crucial part of the ballgame last week was a miscommunication. That’s not going to give you favorable chances. Now we need to eliminate where we beat ourselves.”
With the Broncos rushing for negative yards against Bishop Lynch, Denton will look to develop more of a running game, but Atkinson attributed the lack of production to the flow of the game.
“We got into a situation where we didn’t hand the ball off that much,” Atkinson said. “We only took 34 offensive snaps, and normally you take between 75 and 85. When you only take 34 snaps, it’s hard to get a lot of things started.”
With the skewed time of possession a major component of Friday’s loss, the Broncos weren’t that far off from an overall solid performance.
After the first few series, junior quarterback Cy Ward was able to settle down and spread the ball around. Sophomore running back Tre’Von Jackson was able to make several catches in the backfield and finished with 52 receiving yards.
“We did things well enough to get us going, but we didn’t string them together. And now we need to string things together and finish,” Atkinson said.
PATRICK HAYSLIP can be reached at 940-566-6873. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .