LEWISTON, ID - There were a lot of concerns as to how the Bengals were going to perform in 2019. They lost a good amount of its starters on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. However, the young Bengals showed which cat dominated the jungle when they took down the Idaho Falls Tigers.
The Bengals were very effective on the ground, running RPO's (run pass options) with its two quarterbacks Kash Lang and Cruz Hepburn. According to Pancheri, both Hepburn and Lang will play quarterback again this Friday against Shadle Park.
"You're going to see both of them at quarterback again this week," Pancheri said. "We're sort of having running back depth issues so Cruz might have to play most of his snaps at running back."
Both Hepburn and Lang threw under 100 yards - only combining for 113 total passing yards. Though the Bengals anticipated running the ball early and often, Pancheri didn't anticipate only throwing the ball ten times.
"We were hoping to throw the ball more often last week but that's just how it played out," Pancheri said. "We're going to try and throw the ball more next week, but it comes down to how these two young men develop." He added.
Lewiston's offensive line was also a big question mark heading into its week one matchup, but they managed to play really well. The starting five for the Bengals only have an average weight of around 185 pounds according to Pancheri. He was very pleased on how his "big boys" did up front.
"You know none of them will blow you away with their size," Pancheri stated. "But they are all so tough," He added.
Just like any good coach though, Pancheri is more focused on what his squad can do better against Shadle Park. One of those things is run defense. Lewiston allowed 132 yards on the ground, including four big chunk gains of 13 yards or more.
"Our run defense really needs to improve, guys weren't filling their gaps." Pancheri said. "We gave up way too many yards especially in the first half."
Lewiston moves on to Shadle Park out of Spokane. The Highlanders are fast team that runs a lot of quick game according to Pancheri. Most of its plays come out of the pistol. As far as the gameplan goes for the Bengals, not a lot is going to change this week.
"We're still going to run the ball, hopefully we'll have the same success," he said. "Defensively we need to shut down their run game, I want us to play physical this week, bring the same energy we had last week."
Shadle Park will be the Bengals first home game of its season it'll also be its homecoming game.