ALTAMONT — Still searching for their first win of the season, the Labette County Grizzlies hit the road for the third time in four games as they face the Wellington Crusaders.
The Grizzlies dropped to 0-3 last week with a 32-14 loss at home to El Dorado. Heading into a matchup against Wellington, which is also 0-3 on the campaign, Labette County head coach Sean Price is making some personnel adjustments.
“We made some changes in the offensive line,” Price said. “We’ve got some good kids. But we’ve got to continue to work and improve. We’re realizing what we need to fix. We changed a lot of our offense this week.”
Labette County is in the midst of a retooling of its identity after Week 2 injuries to running back Trent Brock and quarterback Kooper Peak.
In Peak’s stead, freshman starter Griffin Eaton was 6-of-13 passing for 83 yards, a touchdown and an interception while also running for 40 yards last week.
“He did all right,” Price said. “It’s his first varsity action. But by the fourth quarter, he was leading some drives. He was hitting some good passes at the end and that’s something to build on this week.”
While Wellington is also winless this season, Price warns against taking that at face value.
“They play some different cats and their schedule is brutal,” Price said. “They run spread and have some big linemen. They’ve got some dangerous kids. If they get out in the open, we’re in trouble.”
A week removed from giving up 397 rushing yards to El Dorado, the Grizzlies’ defense will have to return to form against the Crusaders.
“We need to get lined up right and know who we’re responsible for,” Price said. “They’ll give us a lot of sets. So we have to know our coverage and everything else our guys need to do.”
While the Grizzlies are still blanked in the win column, Price is optimistic about his team’s outlook.
“We’ve had such good practices every week,” Price said. “Our spirits are still high. We’re flying around and kids’ attitudes are unbelievable. They’ve got to be as frustrated as I am, but you’d never know it.”
That mindset has Price and the Labette County roster chugging ahead with one game left until the start of SEK League play.
“In ways we’ve gotten better each week this year,” Price said. “We ended last week on a plus note in the fourth quarter. We’re still working hard trying to put four quarters together.”