Luverne Tigers win catfight in Elba

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Numbers and speed were two of the biggest concerns Luverne School Head Football Coach Mike DuBose had heading into last week's contest against Elba.

Although the hosting Tigers dressed several players and put on a speed clinic, the visiting Tigers (3-1, 2-0) were able to squeak by with a 29-19 win.

"I thought overall it was a big win for us," DuBose said. "I was concerned going in with Elba's speed and the number of players that they've got. They had more depth than we did. I thought we played well in the first half with the exception of special teams and I thought we didn't play well enough in the second half to hold on and win it. I was not pleased with our performance in the second half. We have yet to put together 48 minutes. We've played good in spurts, but we haven't played a complete ballgame yet."

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Luverne jumped out to an early lead on Elba and maintained its composure throughout the first half. At halftime, the visitors were on top 21-6.

Elba began mounting a comeback in the second half, but fell just short. Luverne running back Fred Hawkins broke loose on a long run for a touchdown late in the game to assure the win for the Tigers.

This week, Luverne will host Class 2A, Region 3 powerhouse G.W. Long in a grudge match. DuBose said the game would be key in determining the outcome of the region.

"It's a big, big region game for us," he said. "I don't see anybody else on the schedule that I think can beat G.W. Long in the region, which makes it a huge game for us, playing here at home especially. We've got to play our best football game of the year. We can't play 24 minutes and expect to win it. We've got to be prepared to play 48 minutes, a physical football game and a smart football game. This is by far the best region team we'll play."

DuBose said G.W. Long has several strengths. The Tigers' defense will have to be on their toes to prevent big plays from happening.

"They're very well coached in all phases of the game; offensively, defensively and special teams," DuBose said. "They do an awful lot of things in all three areas, especially offensively. So they create a lot of match up problems for you and we're concerned about being able to get lined up and know what to do."

Kickoff is at 7 p.m. at Glenn Daniel Stadium.