by Head Coach Kelley Beckner
After three weeks of traveling, the ElDo Bulldogs opened up a home stand with a strong showing against the Blue Birds from Cole Camp. It was a hard-fought victory that had plays to cheer for in all phases of the game. I was extremely proud of the team’s composure throughout the contest. We stress to players that no matter if we win or lose we will do so with class, and I believe that showed on Friday night.
RUNNING ATTACK – Senior Bulldog Running Back Haiden Overton took the ball right at the Blue Bird defense gaining about four yards.
As a coach, the game caused a few grey hairs to sprout up with forcing Cole Camp into a three and out situation on their opening drive only to have a fake punt thrown for a first down. Fortunately, the defense was able to bend and not break to hold them from scoring. After getting the ball back and throwing a wide-open route only to bounce off into the opposition for interception did not help.
Sitting here with a victory we will just chalk that up to nerves of playing at home for the first time. Regardless those things we will use in practice this week to get better from. We still have too many turnovers and too many penalties. We can justify all we want for those but when it comes down to it, those are things that will get us beat against really good teams and we must get better at if we want to advance in the playoffs.
I believe the town of El Dorado Springs got its first real experience of what a spread offense brings to Friday nights. There were moments during the game I felt the quarters were never going to end. But on the flip side of that we were still around 50/50 run/pass and amassed nearly 500 yards of total offense. I joked with Coach Barger after the game about when was the last time ElDo had over 300 yards of passing offense? Our receivers did a much better job of running routes and finding the openings within the defense to catch balls from the quarterback. We had three different wide receivers with over 50 yards of receptions and also were able to gain valuable yards hitting our running back out of the backfield.
PICK SIX – Junior Bulldog Outside Linebacker Gavin Morgan had the perfect counter for the Cole Camp Blue Bird passing attack – a pick six. He intercepted the ball about midfield and beat all the defenders to the north end zone.
I told our players at halftime, I wanted to run the ball more, however, I was not going to run it in there if the defense was not going to adjust to our spread attack. To me, it does not make much sense to run the ball in a situation where its 6,7, or 8 defenders vs. 5. The coaching staff did a great job of seeing when the defense adjusted out wide to be able to counter running back to the inside.
For me, it was tough to call a “player of the game’. We had multiple players step up and make great plays, including senior Brayden Housh, who had to play a couple plays at QB and then made some AMAZING catches for big plays, and then junior Gaven Morgan, who made big plays on both sides of the ball including a ‘pick 6’ on defense. Defensively, Haiden Overton and Trey Graves did a great job leading the defense. They performed extremely well and made plays when we needed them to make plays. Honestly, I could name off a few more because we really did have a great team effort on both side of the ball.
This Friday, we have another conference game vs Butler at home. We hope we can have another great week of practice and preparation. I feel confident with our game plans so far and as we implement them I am sure our players will enjoy the adjustments we going to have.
I encourage everyone that will be in town Friday, to come out to the ball field and support these young men and the sacrifices they make each day.