CHERRY — The Cherry High School football team had nearly two weeks off, so it’s an understatement to say the Tigers are raring to go.

Cherry had to miss its game with Mountain Iron-Buhl due to COVID problems, and they weren’t permitted to return to action until Oct. 11.

Even so, the Tigers wouldn’t have had a game on Oct. 8, because Northeast Range isn’t fielding a team. They have combined with Ely.

Once Monday rolled around, Cherry, along with Coach Jason Marsh and the rest of his coaching staff got back to work as they prepared for a matchup with South Ridge today, beginning at 7 p.m. on the Panthers’ home field.

Needless to say, the team and coaching staff were chomping at the bit to get back to work.

“We’ve had three days of practice, and we’ve crammed in quite a bit in a short amount of time,” Marsh said. “It’s good to be back. The kids are glad to be back, but we have to shake off some rust.

“The biggest thing in not playing for awhile is getting our timing back. We have to remember our assignments. It’s not starting over again, but it’s getting our rhythm and timing back on track. It was a good week of practice. It’s about as good as we could have hoped for.”

The Tigers, who are undefeated at 4-0, are taking on a South Ridge team that is 3-3.

According to Marsh, it’s a typical Panthers’ football team.

“They’re big, so we’re going to have to use our speed against them,” Marsh said. “Defensively, they have some blitz packages, so again we have to use our speed on offense. We have to get our guys into space.

“It’s trying to take advantage of our speed against them.”

That’s nothing new to the Tigers. They know how to handle the size disadvantage.

“It seems like we’re one of the smallest teams size-wise,” Marsh said. “We have skilled players with a lot of heart and grit. The biggest thing in football is blocking and tackling. Whoever does the better job of that, that team, nine-out-of-10-times, will win the ball game.”

Marsh said his team isn’t looking past anybody at this stage of the season.

“All year, we’ve tried to take one week at a time,” he said. “We focus on our assignments. We focus on our opponent. This is a big game for us. It’s a rivalry game. South Ridge has beaten us the last two years.

“The guys want to take it to them this year. They will be ready to play. It should be a good game.”

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