Herald Leader / Eagle Observer Football Preview


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The Siloam Springs offense has one main priority in 2018 under new head coach Brandon Craig: Be physical. "We want to be physical whether we're in one-back or two-back and r u n t h e fo o t ba l l and also have the a b i l i t y t o t h row t h e b a l l ," C r a i g said. T h e P a n t h e r s averaged around 2 9 0 y a r d s o f offense per game in 2017 with more than 180 yards per game in the air and 100 yards on the ground. The Panthers had three games of more than 400 yards of offense, but they also had three games of less than 200, including a season-low 89 in a loss to Texarkana. The Panthers will operate out of a spread scheme but hope to lean on an experienced running game and offen- sive line in 2018. "Our goal is to be 60-40 run-pass," said Craig, who will also serve as offensive playcaller. "The big thing is to establish the running game, make first downs, keep the defense off the field and when we get in the red zone get points on the board." Quarterbacks Senior quarterback Landon "L.T." Ellis saw his 2017 season cut short in Week 8 when he went down with an ACL tear against El Dorado. It was the second time Ellis has torn the ACL in that knee. Ellis (5-foot-10, 174 pounds) had surgery in the offseason and returned in time for spring ball. The senior quar- terback has done well learning the new offense, his coach said. "He's put in a ton of time, studied the game and done everything he can do to learn everything about the offense," Craig said. "He's a real football-smart kid. He's starting to have some break- throughs in commanding the offense. He's done a great job this summer over- all in getting ready for the season. He's thrown some nice balls." Ellis completed 97 of 199 passes (48.7 percent) for 1,563 yards, 11 touchdowns and six interceptions. He also rushed 27 times for 56 yards and a score. Backing up Ellis will be junior Taylor Pool, who started the final two games of the season after Ellis' injury. Pool (5-11, 156) completed 26 of 76 passes for the season for 309 yards with four touchdowns and seven intercep- tions. "Pool is very athletic," Craig said. "He's got a great arm. He's a guy that can throw the ball all over the field. He can run. He brings a lot to the position. Hwy. 16 • 1 mile south from 412 Bypass Behind DaySpring - Siloam Springs 479-524-9213 ROGERS Automotive 875 S. Dogwood St. • Siloam Springs 479-373-6608 pri ri ri ri ri ri ri ri ri ri ri ri ri ri ri ri ring ng ng ng ng ng ng ng ng ng ng ng ng ng ng ng ng ng ng ng ng ng ng ng ng ng ng ng ng ng ng ng ng ng ng ng ng ngs ve ve GO MARCO! GO PANTHERS! 2018 Football Preview 2 n Wednesday, August 22, 2018 The Herald-Leader/Westside Eagle Observer 2 • Christian Marroquin 3 • Gavin Henson 7 • Elijah Coffey 8 • Dominic Alfaro 4 • Spenser Pippin 5 • Camden Collins 9 • Ransom Van Asche 10 • Taylor Pool 11 • Zach Bales 12 • Chase Chandler 16 • Tate Criner 17 • Landon Ellis 13 • Dillon Ferguson 15 • Primo Agbehi 19 • Colin Evers 20 • Angel Noyola Brandon Craig Head coach Panthers want to be physical on offense By Graham Thomas Staff Writer n gthomas@nwadg.com See OFFENSE on Page 4

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