Sheridan football coach Lance Parker called El Dorado “the best 1-4 team I’ve ever seen,” in the Hootens.com football report this week.
Wildcats’ coach Steven Jones doesn’t disagree.
El Dorado travels to Sheridan this week for a key 6A-West matchup.
“Really feel good about where we’re at. We’re a very good 1-4 football team,” Jones said on Wednesday.
“A play here, a play there, our record might be a little bit different. Early in the season, we knew it would be a grind.
“Our record should be better than it is but at this point, we’re not looking at that. We’re excited about the final stretch of conference play. We feel very good about it and think we could go 5-0.”
El Dorado lost at top-ranked Greenwood 52-24 last week. The Wildcats trailed 24-21 at the half.
Trailing 31-24 in the third, El Dorado was driving before the Bulldogs scooped up a fumble and returned it into a back-breaking 70-yard TD.
Despite the loss, Jones believes his team returned from Greenwood more confident than when it left.
“They see it. They know we’re a play here, a play there from being a great football team and our record being a lot different this season. The kids see that. They know that,” said Jones.
“They know we prepare for opponents the way we should prepare. They know we come in and work hard every day. You don’t have to keep them focused on that. They get it. They understand that we’re right there.
“We’re a touchdown away from the number one team in the state on the road in the fourth quarter. We kind of let it snowball but they know we can play with anybody, especially after our three-and-a-half quarter performance Friday. They know we’re right there.”
El Dorado has never lost to Sheridan, winning 18 games in a row. The Yellowjackets are 3-2 on the season after last week’s 42-20 win over Russellville.
Coaches hate using the phrase, “a must-win game.” But, for the Wildcats, Friday night’s contest is pivotal.
“It’s an important game because it’s the next one. It’s very important for us to come out with a victory Friday just to set the tone for playoff seeding,” said Jones.
“Right now, we like where we’re at. We see we can play with anybody. We feel good about where we’re at.”