Joe Barger’s view

Joe Barger, who has broadcast Bulldog football for years, had a bird’s eye view of the entire game.

He told the Sun, “We have a new coach and a new offense. They played very well in the second half. We got beat 31 – 6. But we gave them a touchdown and we had a touchdown called back that looked like a pretty bad call.”

Pembroke Hill was 11 – 1 last year so they are very good. They have a sophomore who signed a letter of intent with a D-1 school to play basketball. He’s 6’5” and 200 lbs. We didn’t have anybody on the field that could compare with him anywhere.”

“We played hard. We’ll do fine. “

Coach Kelley Beckner’s view

Q. I listened on the radio. It sounded like Pembroke Hill was a tough nut.

They were, but I don’t think the score really reflected the type of ball game that it was. I think there were multiple instances within the game that we had them on their heels and they weren’t really wanting any more of ElDo. They just ended the game with more points than we did. I think we were in better shape at times and I think there were times we were way more physical. During the game they were able to turn  some big downs into plays.

The person I was most impressed with on their team was their quarterback. On film, you couldn’t tell how slippery he was as a quarterback or how quick his release was. He could really throw the ball and he could put it on point really quick. Those are things it is really tough to see on film.

We had them stopped on some plays around midfield. They were able to slip out and make a first down scrambling or just do a QB dive.

On the flip side of that, we had two or three drives that were stopped inside the 10. One stalled on the two that we weren’t able to punch in. Take away two scores and that would have made a difference in a 31 – 6 game. But, that’s football.

I got home and was talking to my wife and it was the weirdest feeling I’ve ever had after a while. We did so many good things. There’s only so much we can do about it. We are only starting four seniors. A lot of the players we had playing on Friday, that was their first true test of Friday night lights. It doesn’t matter if you are a freshman, sophomore, junior or senior, if it’s your first time playing on Friday, it’s different.

Going into halftime, I told the guys, I don’t think play calling is necessarily poor right now, but it’s a matter of execution. We had great receiver routes and not be able to get the ball to them. On the flip side, when we had great protection, our receivers didn’t quite get to the right spot.

We just need to learn how to hit open windows and how to protect a little bit better.

Q. It sounded like a couple of times the football was just barely out of reach of the receiver.

A hundred percent. We had a touchdown called back. I thought it was a little iffy on that, but I’m not going to get into an officiating call by any means. It was a missed opportunity there. On a couple of other plays, it was just a fingertip away.

Q. What are you looking for from Sherwood this Friday night there?

A similar type defense to what we saw last week.  Not quite the caliber of kids, but they have a couple of dudes that have a hard nose for football and like to grind it out. They will be a split back type of team on offense. So it will be our first true test on the defensive side.

They run a 4 – 3 type defense.

My mind set is on our offense. We are not a team that can just show up and win. We are a team that is going to have to show up and play in order to get Ws. We are still going to have to grind it out.

The first thing we are going to focus on is getting out offense more confident.

Q. Did Clayton Collins quarterback all the way?

Yes. He was 11 of 23 passing for 144 yards and one touchdown. Our running back, Haden Overton, had 47 yards on eight carries. Clayton Collins had   53 yards rushing on 16 attempts.

Q. How big is Clayton?

On our roster I have him at 6’1” 170 lbs.

Our leading receiver, Brayden Housh, had three receptions for 75 yards and a touchdown. Gavin Morgan had four catches for 42 yards.

Overall player of the game probably went to Haden Overton. He’s running back and a safety.

Q. Did you ever shut down that No. 1?

Yes. Housh put him on his rear end blocking him. When it came to the second half, they had four guys on the ground cramping up not wanting more.

I don’t believe in moral victories, but our boys didn’t quit. They fought to the last buzzer trying to get a touchdown.

Q. How’s the team’s spirits? Are they keeping their heads up?

Yes. They came in Saturday to work out a little bit and watch some film. They are ready to take on Sherwood.

The fire department gave us a good send-off Friday on our way out of town. It was really, really cool. They gave us a fire truck at the front of the buses and one at the end of the buses. There were people along Hwy. 54 waving and honking. It was a cool thing to see.

I think we are leaving a 3 o’clock this week and going the same way, west on Hwy. 54 to I -49 then north.  I hope we get the same kind of send-off.