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Red Bay defense facing tough offenses early in schedule

The Red Bay defense was not as stout last season as it was in previous seasons. Marco Bostick (20) and Kevin Hastings (4) are learning a new defensive system to strengthen the defense. | Scot Beard/FCT

RED BAY — In previous seasons the Red Bay football team built a reputation of having a strong defense that allowed its opponents to score few points.

Last season, however, the defense struggled at times and allowed an average of 23.7 points per game — the Tigers opened the season allowing an average of less than 10 points per during the first four games of the season.

“We want to be better on defense than we were last year,” Red Bay coach Dale Jeffreys said. “We worked on a new scheme in the off season, hopefully it will work out for us.”

It will be a tough for the Tigers as their first four games include three opponents averaging at least 26 points per game last season and Jeffreys said those teams are beginning to peak.

Lexington averaged 31.7 points last year, Colbert Heights averaged 26.9 and Lamar County — which beat Red Bay 42-0 in the opening round of the playoffs — averaged 37.6 points. That is a brutal way to open the Class 2A, Region 8 schedule.

Players feel the new defensive scheme, and the fact many of last year’s players return to give the Tigers’ defense some experience, will help.

“Everybody’s back and they’ve gotten stronger,” said senior linebacker Joseph Reach. “I think (the defense) is going to be good.”

For the Tigers to keep their playoff appearance streak going, the defense will have to be good – especially during the first half of the season.

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