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story.lead_photo.caption Tipton's Hayden Embry (right) bumps shoulders with Blake Fischer at the start of a game against Helias JV earlier this season in Tipton. Photo by India Garrish

TIPTON — The Tipton Cardinals are looking to finish their Homecoming with a victory tonight as they face the Lone Jack Mules.

Tipton (2-2) is coming off a 52-28 loss to Warsaw, while Lone Jack (0-4) is coming off a 45-6 loss to Wellington-Napoleon in West Central Conference play.

Tipton coach Tony Braby said for this game, the Cardinals have to be ready for Lone Jack to mix it up.

"They are a good team of mixing up the run and pass," Braby said. "They do a little option and little sweeps, and their quarterback has some really tall receivers that he throws to on both sides of the formation. That is going to be a little concern with their height and they've got a good tough running fullback that goes up the middle on a few dives.

"They are a well-rounded team. They have played some tough competition and they are kind of on the losing end of their record so far, but they have faced quality opponents so we are not taking them lightly by any means."

Last Friday, the Cardinals were scheduled to play St. Michael the Archangel, but Guardians had to cancel due to COVID-19 concerns. It is the second time this year where Tipton's scheduled opponent has had to cancel, and the Cardinals had to find a replacement opponent on short notice.

Braby said the change in opponents does have an effect on the team.

"We had the schedule set up for quiet a while and we thought that the two games that we've lost that we've had to find different opponents the coaching staff and team felt like between Russellville and St. Michael that those were very winnable games for us if we had played them and played well," Braby said. "We thought that we possibly had a really good shot of winning those games, and when you have to at the very last minute try to find an opponent and you don't know much about them and possibly that they are a bigger school than what you would have played as in Helias' JV and Warsaw's varsity that made it a lot more difficult.

"We like to feel like that we could be sitting at 4-0 and getting ready for Homecoming, instead we are 2-2 and getting ready for Homecoming. That has been a disappointment, but as we have told the players, 'Hey, you don't know when the season can come to a screeching halt with the way everything is going so we want to play instead of just practicing.' If that means we have to take a hard-fought loss that is going to be more beneficial to us, that's better than not playing someone at all."

Braby said the Cardinals want to keep working on the option the offense started using against Warsaw.

"We would like to get back to throwing the ball a little bit more and working on the passing aspect of it," Braby said. "We know we have a tough game coming up with Cole Camp after Homecoming. So we would like to fine tune a little bit of everything and make sure we get a lot of players in if the opportunity arises and so that is what we are looking at offensively. Defensively just making good plays. We gave up some long passes against Warsaw so we would like to work on our pass defense a little bit better than what we have done."

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