Last week's bye came at a perfect time for the Lake Placid football team. The Green Dragons got a chance to heal up and prepare for tonight's crucial Class 4A-District 6 game at Clewiston.
"The bye came at a good time for us," said Lake Placid coach Jason Holden. "We had some guys that were banged up and they got a chance to rest and we had time to work on some things in practice.
"This is a big district game and we need to play well."
Clewiston comes in at 5-1 overall and 1-0 in district play. The talented Tigers use the I-formation of offense and have outscored their opponents 222-71, including a 62-17 thrashing of Fort Myers Bishop Verot last Friday.
"Clewiston is probably the best team we'll play this season," said Holden. "They are big, physical, fast and the execute well. They have speed all over the field, especially at running back and wide receiver.
"They have a solid running game, a good vertical passing attack and we'll have to be physical and play our best game defensively to slow them down."
Lake Placid comes in at 2-3, 0-1 and the Green Dragons lost to LaBelle by a score of 59-32 in their last game. Turnovers and untimely penalties have hurt Lake Placid during its three losses.
"When we don't turn the ball over we're pretty good," Holden said. "But when we put the ball on the ground and make silly mistakes, we struggle."
The Green Dragons like to run the ball and keep the clock running with a bevy of talented backs in Foster Walker, Eldon McKenzie and Marquavein Copeland.
When Lake Placid throws, it's senior quarterback Robert Walton using his strong arm to hit receivers for big plays.
"We want to be balanced and when our running game is clicking it allows us to utilize the play-action pass," Holden said. "Our best chance to knock off Clewiston is to control the ball and keep their offense off the field."
The Tigers like to bring a number of players up close to the line of scrimmage on defense to try and take away the run.
"Clewiston will use multiple fronts on defense to try and confuse the quarterback," said Holden. "Our offensive line has to get off the ball quick and hold their blocks if we want to have success running the ball.
"We're going to have to mix it up, but it still comes down to executing our plays and not turning the ball over."
A win over the Tigers would put Lake Placid in great position to make the playoffs, but a loss would make things quite difficult.
"This is a key district game and a win would put us in the hunt to make the playoffs," the Green Dragon coach said. "We've talked about how important this game is and our players are excited for the opportunity to compete against a good football team."
Playing on the road in front of a hostile crowd against a quality opponent is a difficult task, but Lake Placid has the ability to make a game of it if the Green Dragons keep their focus and composure.
"We have to play with maximum effort," Holden said. "We've had a good week of practice and if we play up to our ability and not turn the ball over we have a chance."
Lake Placid at Clewiston
Where: Tigers Stadium
When: Tonight at 7