AHS vs Sumner Jon Duhe (11) Darren Thomas(4)

Albany's Jon Duhe (11) trips up Sumner's Darren Thomas (4) early in their game Friday night.

The results haven’t been what David Knight would have liked in his first season as Albany’s football coach, but that doesn’t mean the Hornets have slowed in their preparations for Friday’s 7 p.m. game hosting Loranger.

“We’ve had a good week of practice,” Knight said. “The kids’ spirits are up. As coaches, we’re trying to keep them motivated and honestly, when you’re 1-5 and whatever we are, it’s hard to keep them interested. It’s hard to keep them motivated this late in the season. They know they’re not going to make the playoffs. Right now, they’re just playing for pride. We keep trying to instill in those older ones that they’re building for the future.”

After reviewing film of last week’s game against Sumner, Knight said there were some positives, but at the same time, the Hornets’ youth showed in some spots.

“Offensively, we moved the ball,” Knight said. “We got first downs. We held it. We kept the clock on our side, and then we would miss a block, and they would make a big play behind the line. Our offense is designed to not lose yards. Some offenses can lose yardage and recoup, and these option offenses just really can’t.”

“Defensively, I thought we did a good job,” Knight continued. “We made a couple big stops. We just can’t sustain stuff. It’s hard for us to sustain a drive. It’s hard for us to sustain a defensive set and get off the field because we are so young. It’s just growing pains right now.”

Loranger (0-5) is coming off a 28-27 loss to Erath.

“Loranger’s really talented,” Knight said. “They’re compatible with some of these really good teams. Their record doesn’t show it, but they’re a touchdown away from Kentwood (a 21-13 loss), and they’re overtime with St. Thomas (a 13-7 loss). Erath, I think, has lost one game this year, and they had Erath beat until the final minutes. They’ve been, really, in every game they’ve played. They’ve never been blown out, and nobody’s just kind of put them down.”

Knight said the Hornets have multiple challenges in facing the Wolves.

“They’re going to be bigger than us on the line across the board,” Knight said. “They’re really big on the line. They’re probably going to have more speed than us, so they’re going to have us out athlete. It’s just one of those deals. It’s a district game and everybody knows everybody. That’s what makes it a good game.”

Knight said the Wolves play multiple quarterbacks with spread and I- formation based schemes.

“They’re usually pretty good at what they do,” Knight said.

Knight said he’s been impressed by the Wolves’ defense.

“Their defense is really good. They’ve got a good defensive coordinator out there (Mike Young), and he always does a good job. It’s always a tough game.”

“They’re real quick, they’re real athletic, and they fly to the ball,” Knight continued. “They put a lot of guys in the box, and they play a lot of man over the top type stuff. They’ve got guys that can run with you, so it’s easy to load the box up when you’ve got really fast corners. They’re just going to put pressure on you and force you to make mistakes.”

It’s those mistakes Knight said the Hornets will have to avoid.

“We’ve got to be able to finish drives,” he said. “We get down to the 20, we’ve got to be able stick it in the end zone. We’ve moved the ball up and down the field. We’ve moved it on everybody but Bogalusa. We get to the 1five or 20, and we kind of stall. That comes with age and experience.”

The Hornets’ defensive approach heading into the game isn’t complicated.

“We’ve just got to find a way to stop these guys and get off the field,” he said. “We do really good for two, three or four plays, and then we kind of lose focus. At this level, if you lose focus, it’s gone. Every play counts.”

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