Heading into the start of district play against the perennially dominant Galena Bulldogs, the Parsons Vikings have more questions than answers.
Parsons was dominated in its home opener against Prairie View in Week 3 with the offensive and defensive lines still struggling.
“The more I watched that game,” Parsons head coach Jeff Schibi said, “I saw that they didn’t have the biggest line ever. They just fired out and hit you every single play. That’s one thing we want to become. We want to be a Prairie View where we go on runs of 21 wins in 24 games. They do things the right way. Now we’ve got to figure out how we get there.”
In the 41-14 loss to Prairie View, the Vikings also struggled to get top wideout Tanner Barcus touches. The senior standout was limited to five catches for 21 yards.
“It came down to more of a game flow situation,” Schibi said. “We didn’t run very many offensive plays. It was one of the games where the defense wasn’t doing anything special. We just didn’t find him and didn’t execute.”
However, Dion Sylvester and Malachi Gatewood each had touchdown catches for Parsons. The Vikings also are expected to welcome back senior wide receiver Julius Smith-Reece from injury against Galena.
“There’s weapons all over the field we can provide,” Schibi said. “But if we can’t get the ball out of our hands or find room to run, we can’t utilize those weapons. We’ve got to fix things upfront.”
Galena is 2-0 this season and has been one of the area’s powers.
“Typically a Galena team is smash mouth, downhill and run north and south,” Schibi said. “They still do that, but now they’re more athletic to where they can run and pass the ball.”
Bulldogs quarterback Brett Sarwinski is one of the most feared gunslingers in the region.
“He’s one of the best in the area,” Schibi said. “He’s really fast, can run and throw the ball. He has a great sense of the game.”
Going into a tough test to open the district slate, Schibi is trying to motivate his roster.
“In our two losses, you can pick out play after play where we’re way too lazy,” Schibi said. “We’re trying to shore up those areas whether it’s new bodies or lighting some fires under some rears to play with intensity every single play.”
Friday’s matchup will be on the road for Parsons, its third road game in four total this year.
“We know we’re going to have our hands full Friday night in more ways than one,” Schibi said. “We’re preaching to the kids that we’re 0-0. The first three games are wiped clean from the slate. We have an opportunity to start over.”