For most football teams, the game is fought and won along the line of scrimmage. The Hickman Kewpies’ game tonight at Park Hill South will be no exception.
According to defensive interior coach Dave Wilson, stopping the Panthers’ offensive line will be important.
“The key is getting off the ball,” Wilson said. “We are not going to throw any magic scheme out there. We’re going to just get off the ball and play hard nosed football.”
Running back Sheldon Cook leads the Panthers (1-0). Cook rushed for 204 yards on 30 carries behind offensive lineman Brett Gallimore in the Panthers’ 41-13 victory against Truman a week ago.
“(Cook) is a slasher,” Wilson said. “He’s not a very big guy, but he runs hard. I think he runs with confidence and they are good up front.
Gallimore, a 6-foot-6, 290-pound Division I prospect whom Wilson calls outstanding, also will present the Kewpies’ young defense with some problems. Gallimore is drawing attention from colleges across the nation, and he has received an offer from Missouri.
Wilson said he will know quickly if linemen are doing their jobs.
“In the first quarter, quarter and a half, you can always tell,” Wilson said. “You have to establish the game right then. A lot of things in football is confidence and a good start always helps that confidence.”
Hickman (1-0) will counter on offense with quarterback Blake Tekotte. A week ago, Tekotte led the Kewpies to a 35-7 victory against Pattonville in his first start. Tekotte finished with 178 yards on 12 completions.
Tight end Scottie Guthrie has become one of Tekotte’s favorite targets. Guthrie caught three touchdown passes for 103 yards.
Last year, the Panthers beat the Kewpies 35-0. This year, Wilson says the Kewpies are prepared and ready to redeem themselves.
“We feel prepared to go play them,” Wilson said. “Last year they embarrassed us up here on our own field.