De Queen will play the first of two straight road games Friday at Camden Fairview. The Leopards beat the Cardinals last season in a 24-21 thriller at De Queen.
This is a typical Cardinal team according to Leopard head coach Stephen Sloan. Typical for Fairview means very fast.
“They’ve got great skill position guys. That presents us with a challenge,” Sloan said.
Unusual for the Cardinals, their best player is a lineman, offensive tackle Stacey Wilkins. The 6-7, 280 lb. Wilkins has announced his intentions to play for Oklahoma after being recruited by a bevy of Division I schools.
Fairview is still using the same spread offense as last year and the same two safety zone offense. Last season showed the De Queen staff can cope with what the Cards do. Sloan’s concern is what the Leopards do.
“It’s a lot of little things adding up to big things,” he explained. “Silly penalties at inopportune times. We keep talking about turning the ball over. We need to improve in all areas.”
The Leopards’ situation was not improved by the news that starting guard Chase Cowley will miss the remainder of the season with a leg injury. Malik Beasley moved from tight end to guard last week, but may move back if the Leopards find someone else who can play the guard spot.
“We have to cut down on mistakes this week,” Sloan said. “The key is to not hurt ourselves, be more focused, play great team ball.”