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The Collins football team played a very difficult pre-district schedule.
The Class AAAA Titans took on two teams from Class 6A and two more from 5A (going 3-1 against them) before beginning District 3 play. Tonight at 7:30 Collins (5-1), No. 4 in this week’s Associated Press 4A poll, takes a break from district play to take on another formidable foe, Central Hardin, in Cecilia. The Bruins (6-0) are ranked eighth in AP’s 6A poll.
“They’re a very good team,” Titans Coach Jerry Lucas said. “Obviously it’s a great experience to go down there and play an opponent like Central Hardin. I know our kids are fired up at going down there and playing.”
Central Hardin ranks fourth in scoring (43.2 points per game), fourth in scoring defense (16 ppg), eighth in rushing (174 yards per game), sixth in rushing defense (134 ypg), fourth in passing (214 ypg) and fifth in passing defense (133 ypg) in 6A. The Bruins, who have outscored their opponents nearly 3 to 1 (259-96) have posted at least 40 points in five of their six games and haven’t allowed more than 27 points in a game.
“We’re almost identical offensively,” Lucas said. “It’ll be neat to go up against them.”
Central Hardin is led by junior quarterback Koree Krupinski and sophomore running back Xavier Arnette. Krupinski has completed a whopping 71 percent of his passes (70 of 98) for 991 yards and 11 touchdowns and also rushed for 366 yards and four more scores. Arnette has rushed for 376 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Krupinski’s top target for his passes is junior Zack Helton (23 catches for 360 yards and six TDs).
“They’ll push us to the limit,” Lucas said. “We know we’ll have to play four quarters to win it.”
One thing Lucas thinks his team will have to do to be able to win tonight, as well as in November, is have a solid rushing attack. Last week the Titans ran for just 100 yards on 23 carries.
“We need to run the football,” he said. “I don’t think we can be successful in the postseason if we can’t run the football. It’s something we’ve worked hard on in practice this week.”