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Knights take on Fairdale to begin playoffs

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By Jesse Osbourne

 

Marion County will take on Fairdale for the fourth time in program history on Friday as they try to replicate last season's playoff success.

The Knights look to even up the all-time series at two games apiece with a win at Fairdale on Friday. 

Fairdale (7-3) is coming off a 34-26 loss to Doss last Friday. The Knights are trying to bounce back from two straight losses. 

Knights Head Coach Jeff Robbins thinks Fairdale has played a weak schedule, something that could help and hurt the Knights.

"The seven teams they've beaten have combined for an 11-59 record. They've not played a good schedule," Robbins said. "That's got an upside to it for Fairdale. Physically they should be fine. Our kids are so small, I think the physical toll is starting to show."

Fairdale likes to defend teams in a 4-4 or a 5-3 formation, according to Robbins. 

"One thing they do differently is that they like man coverage," Robbins said. "There's no free safety sitting in the middle of the field at all. We've got to find ways to take advantage of that."

On offense, Fairdale presents a young look with two of their top players being a freshman and sophomore. 

Robbins said their main threat to run the ball is a freshman running back that weighs in at 175 pounds and stands six feet tall. Their quarterback is a sophomore that is more effective passing than leaving the pocket and scrambling. 

"On special teams there are two or three kids we need to kick away from. They can go distance at any time," Robbins said.

Robbins said that Fairdale likes to spread the ball around offensively and get the ball to their playmakers.

"They've got good size but I won't say they are big," Robbins said. "They've got good size and great speed."

Robbins said the Knights will gravitate back to the wishbone more so than they have over the last five games.

"We'll do a few other things but the wishbone is our bread and butter," Robbins said. "We've really gotten away from it the last half of season. We are 2-3 since when we got away from it. We beat the best team on our schedule when we stuck to it." 

According to Robbins, the Knights will line up without Chris Gaither, who suffered a broken collarbone in the junior varsity conference championship. Justin Price may or may not go after suffering a mild concussion Friday at Green County. 

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday at Fairdale.