LEWISTON, ID - The Bengals are coming off of a tough loss to the Wenatchee Panthers 56-21, a game in which its defense struggled. We sat down with Lewiston coach Matt Pancheri to discuss the game against Wenatchee and its upcoming contest against its local rival Clarkston.
Pancheri made it clear in the beginning of the conversation that Wenatchee was a great team, and straight-up outplayed the Bengals.
"They're a fantastic football team let me make that clear," Pancheri said. "We just got outplayed and made a lot of mistakes."
The biggest thing the Bengals need to focus on is its defense.
"We played about as bad as we possibly could on defense," Pancheri said. "We have a ton to clean up as a team and I have a ton to clean up as a coach." He added.
Though the scoreboard didn't show it, the Bengals played well on offense. Lewiston put up 300 total rushing yards against the Panthers. The duo of Kash Lang and Cruz Hepburn continued to play well.
"They both played well for us and continue to do great things," He said. "They're both super athletic and do a ton for us on offense," he added.
The Panthers were a big physical group, but the small offensive line for the Bengals still performed well in the trenches. Pancheri handed out a lot of compliments to his guys upfront.
"They're athletic is what they are," He said. "They don't mind griding out plays and continue to block and work hard throughout the whole game."
Next week, the Bengals take on the Clarkston Bantams in the annual Battle of the Bridges matchup. This will be Pancheri's third Battle of the Bridges.
Offensively the plan is to continue to run the ball and improve things on the defensive side of the ball. One thing Pancheri wants to focus on is shutting down Clarkston receiver Tru Allen.
"We're going to continue to establish a run game on offense," he said. "We need to know where Tru Allen is at all times, he's a physical kid and he makes a lot of plays."