Hopes of a turnaround season on the football field began last Friday for Pacific with a jamboree at Sullivan High School.
The Indians played against Salem, St. James and Sullivan.
“Overall, things went well. We stayed healthy, which was the ultimate goal,” said Pacific Head Coach George Hinkle. “We had no bad snaps out of the shotgun formation, we limited our turnovers, we blocked pretty well up front and our tackling was decent.”
Pacific returns seven starters on both sides of the ball from last season’s 2-8 team.
Among the returners is junior quarterback Eain Roberts.
“Eain played pretty well. He threw for 40 yards against Salem and 36 yards against St. James in limited action,” Hinkle said. “Sullivan brought a lot of smoke at him and we didn’t block as well. He still delivered some good throws.”
Seeing action in the backfield were seniors Tanner Brown and Chris Klenke and junior Josh Vondriska. Junior returning starter Dalton Voyles will miss the first game or two with an injured ankle.
“We have enough people in the backfield who can run the ball,” Hinkle said. “Our offensive line is the key. We have to get in front of people, go downhill and block.”
Hinkle was encouraged by the play of his defense, which will be led this season by linebackers Voyles and senior Jeff Hinkle.
“I think we’ll be fine defensively. We just have to continue to improve,” Hinkle said. “Tackling is about heart and desire.”
De Soto Preview
Pacific kicks off its season Friday at home against De Soto at 7 p.m.
In last season’s opener at De Soto, the Indians led in the fourth quarter, but suffered a 26-13 loss.
“A couple of missed calls turned the game. They dropped a pass that the officials called a catch for a touchdown. That was a big momentum changer,” Hinkle said. “We can’t blame the referees. We had a turnover, which led to that touchdown. We can’t put ourselves in that position.”
Hinkle said the Dragons will present a challenge.
“De Soto always is physical. They have good athletes and a good running game,” Hinkle said. “We have to be fundamentally sound and execute on both sides of the ball. We have to tackle, catch the ball and put ourselves in position to win.”
MasseyRatings.com Projection — De Soto 27, Pacific 21.