The Livingston Academy Wildcats are in rhythm but are preparing for a test when they will travel to Smithville to take on the Dekalb County Tigers in a Region 3/4A matchup Friday night.
The Wildcats (5-1, 2-0) are preparing for a DCHS team (3-3, 1-0) that has weapons all over the field.
“They’re very good offensively,” said LA head coach Bruce Lamb. “The quarterback is one of the better quarterbacks we’ve faced so far. That’s the first thing you notice. It’s a typical (DCHS head coach) Steve Trapp coached football team. They run the ball and they throw the ball. We’ve got our hands full”
The Tigers are led by dual-threat quarterback Axel Aldino. Lamb said he presents some unique challenges.
“It’s tough,” said Lamb. “Hopefully we’ll make the right decisions. He’s going to be tough to contain.”
Aldino throws the ball to a pair of talented wide receivers in Desmond Nokes and Isaac Knowles. Lamb said he trusts his secondary, led by defensive backs Raven Carpenter and Bryer Mosley, to be ready for the challenge presented by the Tigers’ passing attack.
“It gives you a little bit of confidence making certain calls knowing you’ve got a guy like (Carpenter) who can take care of himself,” said Lamb. “(Nokes) can play. He’s a good ball player and very physical. Raven and Bryer will have to be on top of their game.”
All four players play both wide receiver and defensive back for their respective teams.
DCHS has won three out of their last four games, and are coming off a 49-7 win at Cannon County. The Wildcats are looking to build on their 35-0 win over Smith County.
LA is currently on a four-game winning streak with wins over Cumberland County, Upperman, Stone Memorial and Smith County. Lamb said his team is comfortable and playing with confidence.
“I think we’re a lot more comfortable than we were a few weeks ago,” said Lamb. “I think we’ve gotten better each week. That just builds your confidence as you go along. I think our confidence is growing, but I don’t think we are over confident. That’s one thing that we can’t get.”
The two region foes are no strangers to each other. Livingston has dominated the series, winning 13 of 14 meetings between the schools since 2001.
“Both teams have had a lot of good talent,” said Lamb. “Somehow we’ve come out on top. Whether we made more plays than they did or turnovers or whatever. None of that matters. What matters is what we do this year. Hopefully we can take care of that.”
Kickoff between the Tigers and Wildcats is set for 7 p.m. Friday in Smithville.