ANDERSON — In his second season as head coach of the Anderson University football team, Bobby Ladner believes he has all the pieces in place to turn the struggling program around. Now, he just needs those pieces to focus on one thing.
The word comes up again and again when Ladner talks about the 0-1 Ravens. In Year 2 of the offensive and defensive schemes, he expects it on both sides of the ball and on special teams.
“We have to get better in that area as far as executing the schemes,” Ladner said. “We’ve gotten to that point where we’ve got the players we need now. We just have to execute those schemes.”
The precision Ladner is looking for was missing in the Ravens’ season opener against Taylor. First-game jitters and rust led to early mistakes for a team still on the young side. The Ravens couldn’t recover, and the Trojans took home the Wagon Wheel for the sixth straight time with a 58-7 win.
Taylor, an NAIA program, is a tough opener for the Ravens, but Ladner said the game showed him that the coaching staff’s recruiting efforts have paid off.
“There is a difference in the programs right now,” Ladner said. “But compared to our conference and the teams we play, I think we’re better off because we have the talent that’s more comparable to our conference. So the things we tried to take out of Taylor were the execution part of things and doing things that we need to do in practice to be successful to win games.”
AU will open a three-game homestand today against Grove City. Ladner kept the Ravens in a regular routine this week, focusing on understanding their opponent — the 1-0 Wolverines of Grove City, Pa. — and how they will attack. Practice emphasized doing the little things like getting lined up correctly, all in the name of execution.