The Red Boilings Springs Junior High Football team is off to a 2-0 start.
The RBS Jr High season opener was August 9th and our guys played really hard, all-together, and with a lot of heart and beat Cannon Co 28-0. Anytime you are able to hold a team scoreless, then you have played some good football. We had talked all week about finding an identity on defense. We wanted to be runners and hitters. We wanted to Out-Hustle and Out-Hit our opponent. But most importantly, we had to find a way to take great pride in our individual performances when it pertained to following our responsibilities. We wanted to create an attitude of refusing to lose at home and start something special around here. I feel we really picked up our intensity and took what we had learned in practice to the game field last night. We are still making some serious errors that will need to be addressed, but I can see we are finally headed in the right direction.
Offensively, I was pleased with our aggressiveness right from the beginning. Our boys blocked with some attitude--offensive line, tightends, wingbacks and fullbacks. The team finished in double digits in pancake blocks and racked up 259 yards of rushing offense. Our skill players ran with great determination--finishing the night with 24 broken tackles. The opening drive really set the tempo for the game and gave us the confidence we needed to keep the pressure on the Lions.
Going into the week, I told the players that the key to winning the game was changing Cannon County's game plan. Their strength would be taking their time and pounding us with their fullback. I felt they had the size and strength to do that over the course of four quarters. I told the guys we needed to score early and keep the offensive pressure on them. I felt if we did that, then they may abandon that strategy and start trying to get the ball outside. Our speed would be our strength in that case. Defensively, we focused all week on taking away the running lanes in the middle and preventing the inside run. Other than that, we would just focus on keeping everything in front of us and keeping them out of the endzone--Bend But Don't Break mentality. Because of our young men's determination and aggressiveness, that plan worked to perfection for us.
I was extremely glad to come away with a win on August 17th over Picket County by a score of 24-6. . It's a great feeling to get the season started the way we have. Last year we started 0 - 2; this year we have flipped the script to 2 - 0. Last nights' win was ugly, but at least it was a win.
Pickett County came ready to play last night. They played hard, with grit and intensity. Coach OB Candle and his staff over there are doing an awesome job with those kids. They play aggressive football with a lot of heart. Because of their effort and our lack of execution, we had some serious struggles on offense. I feel our boys didn't show up with the same attitude as a week ago. We were really sluggish in our blocks and overall offensive execution. I believe every play contained a bust or two (or many) in our blocking assignments. Our skill players ran the ball really hard last night--running for their lives it seemed at times. Josh Tirjan was really impressive with a couple of his runs--especially on a 26 yard touchdown run on a counter play. His brother Michael ran hard too, as well as Elijah Byfield. We had some good runs brought back by penalties too. But like the lineman, their execution with steps, mesh points, and blocking was not up to par. We turned the ball over on downs 3 times. We've got to work harder next week if we are going to move the ball on Carroll Oakland.
Defensively however, I felt we played really good. We forced 6 turnovers; and with the exception of the first 4 plays, we shut them down all night. Anthony Garcia had an interception; Jordan Powell, Dustin Bergdorff, and Trevor Carter all recovered fumbles; Justin Bergdorff continues to impress me at one of the linebacker spots. Michael Tirjan played well from his safety spot coming up for run support. He made 4 very important tackles to prevent Pickett from getting outside on the edge. I think John Russell is playing pretty good at the defensive end position. Our Defensive Tackles (Dustin Bergdorff and Trevor Carter) are playing really well. Coach Eli Stephenson does a wonderful job with those guys.
Next week, we will be preparing for our first big test of the season. Carroll Oakland will be traveling up on "The Ridge" next Saturday for a 6:30 PM kick-off with us. If you get the chance, please come out and support your hometown Bulldogs. Trust me, you are not going to want to miss this brutal war!