Two weeks ago, Pine Bluff head coach Bobby Bolding challenged his team to score 42 points in the first half against Little Rock Hall as a way to keep them from looking ahead to their game with El Dorado.

Two weeks ago, Pine Bluff head coach Bobby Bolding challenged his team to score 42 points in the first half against Little Rock Hall as a way to keep them from looking ahead to their game with El Dorado.


The Zebras will travel to two-win Sheridan this Friday with a showdown against unbeaten Benton looming in two weeks time, but Bolding said Tuesday that no such gimmick is needed this week.


Bolding said he just has to remind his players of what happened after Sheridan beat Pine Bluff in 2003, well before he or any of his players were at the school.


"We haven’t forgotten they left the scoreboard on 10 years ago when they beat us," he said. "I can’t remember exactly if it was 10 or 11 years ago, but either way our kids would have been in like kindergarten.


"Pine Bluff was first in the conference and Sheridan was running the identical offense to what they are running now. They beat us and it cost us a conference championship, and supposedly the scoreboard got left on all weekend."


Bolding hopes the story will be motivation enough for the Zebras (6-2, 5-0) in what could easily be considered a trap game. The trip to Sheridan (2-6, 1-4) comes between home contests against defending 6A state champion El Dorado and joint-6A-South Conference leader Benton.


Despite a 38-19 win over the Wildcats last week, Bolding felt like his team only played well for half of the game.


"I thought the first half was about as flawless as we could have played … with the exception of some PAT mistakes," he said. "But we lost all that at halftime. The mental part of the game is very important and we didn’t play well, especially offensively and on special teams."


After last week’s second half struggles, along come the Yellowjackets with a game plan built on exploiting any lack of focus.


"We need to be really disciplined on defense," Bolding said. "They have a good ground game to help control the pace and run the clock. … We need to be disciplined to stop it.


"Also all the time they spend with the ball is taking the ball out of our offense’s hands. We need the ball. Our guys are going to have to play assignment football."


The defense the Zebras are used to playing eases the anxiety Bolding might otherwise be feeling about stopping the Jacket rushing attack.


"Luckily we are a read defense," he said. "If we were a blitz-up-the-field kind of defense, I would be much more concerned. You have to be in position and make the play, but it takes everybody. These guys have to do it right every time.


"I know this kind of offense; I ran it many years myself. You get 2 (yards), 2 and then — boom — 72, because one guy didn’t do his job. You have to be careful on the pass, too. In 2011, we would go like 3 for 4 for like 140 yards and two touchdowns. Just ridiculous stats like that, because people would be wide-open."


If the Zebras are able to stay focused come Friday night at Yellowjacket Stadium, they could set up a winner-take-all scenario next week against the Panthers in the regular season finale at Jordan Stadium.


"We can’t pay attention to the scoreboard," Bolding said of Friday’s game.


Otherwise, it may be on all weekend.