Not that it was a perfect game but it was a good game.
There were positive things that happened. There was no confusion in making personnel changes which can be the case in a season opener. Also there was only one offensive penalty and no turnovers.
“Wasn’t that great,” Hepner said. “I thought the conditioning was good, we didn’t have any cramps.”
Hepner keeps a chart full of goals for each game fortunately the Bulldogs accomplished most of those in their first week.
“ Our first goal on our goal (posted outside coaches office) was to win, we got that done,” Hepner said. “We’re pretty happy with what we saw. There are some places we need to improve. I would hesitate to think we are as good as we are going to be. We had some really good tackling, some good hustle. We need to improve on the finer points. We probably need to improve on our blocking. Like when you trap we need to get our head on the right side. We’re getting people there but we need to maximize the effectiveness, like getting your head on the he right side so that you don’t block him into the runner instead away from the runner. Stuff like that. We need to get better at some finer points that we probably hurried through in the preseason because we were behind in practices. Now we have time to short that up.”
Hepner and the Bulldogs had little time to savor that victory. It’s a short week as Altus prepared to play a Thursday night game against Lawton Eisenhower. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m at Cameron Stadium in Lawton.
The two teams have taken different avenues to the young season. Eisenhower lost a hard fought game to Lawton High 28-14 which broke a three game win streak they had over their cross town rival. Altus’s victory over Vernon broke a three game losing streak.
“They are a 6A football team in Lawton and that should tell you a lot,” Hepner said. “We talk about our pre district schedule and sometimes people ask should we be playing such a tough schedule. Year end and year out they have a lot of people to choose from and they have a lot of big bodies they will put on the field. They have a great tradition and a great coaching staff. This should be another great game in which we’re going to have to play up a level. We have to improve and improve in a hurry with a short week.”
Eisenhower is a drastically different type of team as to what the Bulldogs saw last week. Vernon ran an old fashion wing t while the Eagles will line up in a spread and they always use the shotgun. They have an option game and they like to throw it.
Jarin Slaughter (5-11, Soph.) is their primary runner although quarterback Adrian McDonald (6-1 148, Soph.) is an effective option runner. When McDonald throws he has two speedy receivers in Darius Jenkins (5-6, 144 Sr.) and Adrian Woodard (6-1, 148, Jr.)
‘They can move the ball,” Hepner said. “They can score in a hurry, they are very athletic.”
The Bulldogs will also see a different set, since Ike uses a 4-3-4. alignment on defense.
“Again athleticism is the term to use, and they have good size,” Hepner said. “If you go up and down the line, you can see we’re going to be outweighed, probably every week except for a spot or two.”
Keys to victory
Every week Hepner in his scouting report puts a key to victory slot for his players.
It’s pretty basic this week, Every play go full speed, on offense execute. On defense cause turnovers, disguise coverage (pass coverage) and talk to each other. On special teams, field punts in the air, keep lanes while covering kicks, Protect and cover.
“Play at a higher level,” Hepner said. “We need to start disguising our coverages on defense. They are passing attacks out there that will look at how you are lined up and they will have an answer for every secondary coverage.”
Bulldog notes: It’s a Thursday game so Hepner and his staff had to change the practice schedule.
“We basically take out Tuesday,” Hepner said. “We do the Monday practice which is a lot of teaching. The Tuesday practice is usually more full pads and harder hitting. Since we have start get our legs ready a day sooner, we take Tuesday out and Wednesday is real similar to Monday.