September 25, 2009 7:54:00 AM
Sometimes the results don''t show on the scoreboard.
Brad Butler and the Heritage Academy football team felt that way last week after a 28-10 loss to Madison Ridgeland Academy.
Heritage Academy held MRA to negative yards in the first quarter and had several scoring chances on short fields, but it couldn''t convert.
The loss left Butler and his players wondering what could have been.
"We had three opportunities in the first half and we got three points out of the whole deal," Butler said. "Penalties are just killing us. The way our offense is playing we have a real hard time overcoming a negative play."
Butler and the Patriots will try to turn things around at 7 tonight when they play host to Presbyterian Christian.
The Bobcats, who are from Hattiesburg, enter the game 4-1 and riding a two-game winning streak.
Last week, Presbyterian Christian defeated Oak Forest Academy (Amite, La.) 27-14.
Butler knows his team will face another challenges tonight, but he hopes the Patriots can build off last week''s effort to snap their two-game losing streak.
"I feel good (about how the players are going to respond)," Butler said. "Even though we got beat last week we talked to the kids and they felt like we were the better team. I agree, but we can''t keep losing games when we''re the better team. We have to overcome penalties."
Butler said the Patriots have been averaging 12 penalties a game, and some of those mistakes cost them last week in the first half. He said a holding call on the first drive forced them to have to settle for a field goal.
A bad snap that went over quarterback Will Swedenburg''s head stalled the third drive.
Butler also said Heritage Academy allowed the big play last week. MRA scored touchdowns on passes of 36 and 62 yards. Still, he thought the defense played with the intensity it needs to play with to help set the tone.
"I felt like the kids played a little harder last week," said Butler, who wondered before the MRA loss why his team was struggling to get fired up to play games. "I told the team last week that I am tired about talking about we''re a good team, we''re a good team and that we''re still getting beat. A win will do us a lot of good. We need to get back in the win column."
Adam Minichino is the Sports Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.