The Kenny Burton era at Benton got off to a rough start with the Raiders’ 29-0 loss to East Rankin on Friday night.
The Patriots came out quickly and put up all 29 of their points in the first half of the game.
They rushed down the field, gashing the Raiders for chunks of yards at a time.
Burton feels that the main issue that plagued his defense was their technique on the defensive line.
“We could’ve played better,” Burton said. “Our defensive alignment was good, but we have to work on our technique. I thought we did a poor job with some of that stuff. There’s more to it than just lining up. They had a very good running attack. They ran some option and took advantage of our poor technique.”
The Raiders rushed for 99 yards and passed for 89 yards in the loss.
Burton believes they have to limit the bad positions they kept finding themselves in, particularly when they have some positive momentum.
“Offensive line-wise, we weren’t stepping right,” Burton said. “We had some bad snaps and bad passes. Every time we started moving the ball, we would do something to put ourselves in bad position, and then we were in 2nd-and-long or 3rd-and-very-long. That was frustrating.”
The good news for Burton and his team is that the defense played much better in the second half and effectively limited the East Rankin rushing attack for the remainder of the game.
The second half performance gives a good base upon which Burton will be able to build.
“I was very disappointed with the outcome, but I thought we played a lot better in the second half,” Burton said. “We have to build on that.
Benton will try to get back on track on Friday night when they host divisional opponent Hartfield Academy.
Hartfield is 0-1 after dropping their season-opener to Tri-County Academy.
Kickoff for the game is set for 7 p.m.