The Altus Bulldogs will face OKC Bishop Mcguinness at 7 p.m. Friday inside Lawton’s Cameron Stadium. The Bulldogs are the only representative from the West to make it into the semi-finals. Bulldog fans are expected to fill Cameron Stadium despite the forecast calling for less than ideal conditions.
The Bulldogs (11-1) have started the last two games about as fast as any coach could hope for. The way the Bulldogs started last week’s road victory over Coweta left little doubt for anyone wondering if the Bulldogs were ready to play.
“Our kids were ready to play from the first snap again this week and it was huge in the game,” said head coach Jeremy Reed. “That’s two weeks in a row we have had a very fast start. I’m very proud of the preparation our kids and coaches have done the past two weeks. We really have had superb preparation.”
For the second week in a row, the Bulldogs will face a team using the spread offense. Bishop Mcguinness has a quarterback that throws with accuracy. He is different from Coweta’s quarterback in that when he is flushed from the pocket, he isn’t as quick to give up on his passing play.
“Bishop will be a great opponent. They are very good at throwing the football,” said coach Reed. “The running back is also very good. Their quarterback is really dangerous when he leaves the pocket because he keeps his eyes downfield very well. They have won a lot of very close games in dramatic fashion, that’s a sign of a great team.”
Anytime a team faces a spread offense, a defense has to be concerned with several players as potential targets. The spread name means just that. They like to spread the defense and try to pick at you any way they can.
One of Bishop Mcguinness’ targets is coming off a performance that has gotten the attention of the people giving awards for great games. According to newsok.com the Mcguinness wide receiver, Matt Chancellor, is the Player of the Week after he pulled in 322 yards and four touchdowns in their 41-40 dramatic win over Macalester last Friday.
The Bulldogs will again rely on the defense to get the ball to the offense. Last week, the Bulldogs had success against Coweta. “Our defense did a great job containing a very good Coweta offense,” said coach Reed. “They have been very explosive all year.”
3,019 of Mcguinness’ 4,805 yards this season has come through the air. They average 400 yards and 33 points per game.
Their defense allows only 134 yards per game on the ground. The Bulldogs will look to gain much more than that.
Like coach Reed said on Saturday, “I like the Bulldogs right now. We are playing our best football.”
What the Bulldogs have accomplished this season is remarkable and even though we label it as the 13th week, we need to remember that keeping a season going this long is extremely difficult. “It’s a long season,” said Reed. “This actually can go back to Spring Ball the last week of May. After that we had team camp then summer pride. We started our season in August. Other than a maybe a week long break in there, we are looking at six month or more. Working with great coaches and kids makes it a little easier. It doesn’t feel like a grind because of the great atmosphere in the locker room.”
We as fans need to remember that this is special for this team and town. Every team in the state began about the same time looking for success and chasing golden dreams.
… and then there were four.
Reach Brad Gilbert@482-1221 ext. 2076