CHERRY — The Cherry High School football team found themselves down by 14 points early to Cook County last week, but the Tigers came roaring back for a win.
Cherry coach Jason Marsh said his team won’t be able to do that again, especially today when the Tigers host Silver Bay, beginning at 3 p.m. at the Mountain Iron-Buhl High School Football Field.
It was Cherry’s first game of the season, but Marsh said he and his coaching staff learned a lot about their team in that game against the Vikings.
“We learned that we can’t start slow, but we also learned that we can dig ourselves out of a hole if we get into one,” Marsh said. “We saw some things individually on defense, where guys stepped up.
“Once we got our offense rolling, things went well.”
So well in fact that the Tigers scored 44-unanswered points after falling behind by 14.
“Part of it was our first game, and maybe the long bus ride,” Marsh said. “After the first quarter, we started to control the game, but It’s not the kind of start we wanted to have. Maybe we can get going a little sooner being at home.
“We have one game under our belt, and for the young guys, it’s knowing what to expect. That’s why it’s important to get that game under your belt. You gain some confidence.”
As for the Mariners, they knocked Cherry out of the playoffs last season. Silver Bay is missing it’s top running back from last year, but that doesn’t mean the Mariners’ cupboard is bare.
“They’re going to be similar to last year,” Marsh said. “They lost their big horse, but they do return four-of-their-five linemen. They’re big. They have a good line, with a lot of experience.
“It’s going to be a good test for us.”
The Tigers faced a similar situation against Cook County, but they got around it by using their speed and quickness.
Marsh is hoping that makes a difference in this game, but Silver Bay runs a power-football offense. It’s an off-set I, with a wing.
“They’ve got a big, strong line, and they like to run between the tackles,” Marsh said. “We’ve got a few things on defense to mix things up. We’ll need good play out of our interior linemen, and we have to be able to use our speed at the end position.”
Offensively it all boils down to the three basic principles — don’t take penalties, don’t turn the ball over and execute the offense.
“Last year, we made too many mistakes,” Marsh said. “We have to limit those, and play our style of football. I know it sounds trite, but that’s the reality of it. We have to execute on our side of the ball.”
Playing in Mountain Iron-Buhl, Cherry will have some fans in the stands.
“It will be nice for our student body to be able to see the game,” Marsh said. “It’s one more small step for things to feel normal again. It’s good for everybody.”