Rich Montgomery spent the early part of Tuesday’s practice working 1-on-1 with a sophomore lineman, getting him to fire off the line of scrimmage in proper fashion.
With a padded shield, the Rock Falls head coach absorbed the blows, complimenting the player when his technique was spot-on, and correcting him when it was not.
It was part of a theme for the week – getting back to the basics of blocking and tackling in anticipation of this week’s home game against Big Northern Conference opponent Oregon. It is also Rock Falls’ homecoming.
A lack of proper blocking and tackling has led to a 1-2 start for the Rockets, and Montgomery is doing what he feels will get his team headed in the right direction.
“We’re still struggling trying to play football the way it’s supposed to be played,” Montgomery said. “We’ve talked amongst the coaches and I’ve talked to the kids. I wish I could reach inside and flip that switch to turn that aggressiveness on. You can’t go into a football game and just go through the motions.
“I’m not saying the kids aren’t trying. We just need to do it with some aggressiveness and intensity, especially defensively. You can’t get blocked and stay blocked.”
Jayden Martinez, a junior defensive tackle for Rock Falls, agreed with Montgomery’s sentiments.
“I think that our effort could be a little bit better,” Martinez said. “We’re all doing the right things in practice, but I don’t know what’s going on during the games.”
Rock Falls is allowing an
average of 36.3 points per game, a number that spiked after a 49-6 loss at Genoa-Kingston in Week 3.
In Oregon (1-2), however, Rock Falls will be facing a squad that has produced just 20 points all season – and 13 of those came in a season-opening home win against Harvard. The Hawks have been outscored 84-7 the last 2 weeks in losses to Dixon and North Boone.
Oregon has a new head coach in Nick Schneiderman, who took over when John Bothe resigned in the offseason. On film, however, the Hawks resemble the Hawks of old.
“It’s the same Oregon attack,” Montgomery said. “They’re going to run a Wing-T, or they’re going to run some wishbone at you. You’ve got to stop the off-tackle. You’ve got to stop the belly play, which is the second back through. When they really get up against it, they’re going to double down on your tackle, lead two backs on your end, and try to run off-tackle on you. We’ve got to stop those plays.”
Oregon at Rock Falls
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: Hinders Field, Rock Falls
Radio: 95.7 FM