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|Rebel-Airline game on high|
Boosted by a loud, partisan crowd in a comeback win over Ouachita last Friday night, the West Monroe Rebels hope the faithful stick around Rebel Stadium the rest of the season.
"I thought a big part of the energy was the crowd," West Monroe head coach Don Shows said. "We have not really had that since 2005 and it was great for our team to feel that energy."
The 20-19 win was fun for West Monroe (4-0, 3-0) but the team might have run out of chalk for its drawing board this week while prepping for another district foe.
Airline (2-2) comes into Rebel Stadium with an emotional high similar to West Monroe's.
Airline, which dropped two straight games earlier, is coming off a big win at West Ouachita last week where an 85-yard touchdown run by Chase Fulco late in the fourth quarter gave the Vikings a 24-22 victory.
The come-from-behind wins for both teams is sure to provide an emotional push button to start the game.
The defensive pressure is a concern for the Rebels again this week. Ouachita, which beat Airline, 31-7, shut out the Rebels for the first half last week while the Vikings seem to have improved defensively each week.
"Airline plays very similar in defense to Byrd and Ouachita," Shows said. "Offensively they are struggling and still trying to find their identity."
Primarily a rushing team with the occasional play-action pass, Airline has struggled to consistently do either well. West Monroe feels like it must get better at stopping the run after giving up over 200 yards to Ouachita last week.
"We have been doing some live tackling drills," Shows said. "We are going to get better at tackling. It has been bad all year long."
Injuries are mounting at West Monroe with quarterback D.J. Banks slowed by a hamstring injury and offensive lineman Dillon Day's availability is pending MRI results on his knee. Kickoff at Rebel Stadium is set for 7 p.m. and LA 105.3 FM will have a live radio broadcast beginning at 6:30 p.m. with pre-game festivities.