The Alvord Bulldogs will see a familiar foe in their opening test of the 2010 season Friday night.
Alvord will be across the line of scrimmage from former District 9-2A rival, the Millsap Bulldogs. The two will kick off the season at 7:30 at Millsap’s Bulldog Stadium.
During the past two seasons, Alvord picked up wins over Millsap, including a 20-12 decision last year. But Millsap rebounded from that loss with a win over Jacksboro and edged out Alvord for one of 9-2A’s playoff spots.
Millsap returns several key members from last year’s playoff team, including top runner, quarterback, and offensive and defensive lineman.
Alvord coach Don Deweber said his team will have their work cut out for them to make it three straight over Millsap.
“It’ll be a challenge,” Deweber said. “They are playing well defensively, and they are very good offensively.”
With a good quarterback and running back. Their linemen up front are very good.”
Millsap’s big, physical offensive front is led by James Cain and Kyle Gooch. They clear the way for the talented backfield tandem of Mat Callan, who ran for 1,077 yards and 10 touchdowns a year ago, and quarterback Zeb Littlefield, who threw for 1,529 yards and 13 scores.
“Offensively, they are consistent with what they are doing,” Deweber said. “We’ll have to stop their running back and quarterback.
“We can’t give up big plays.”
Defensively, Millsap will present challenges with its strong front seven led by Gooch at defensive end, defensive tackle Daymen Hinrichs and linebackers Casey Eller and Matt Belk. Gooch earned top defensive honors in 9-2A last year after posting 101 tackles and four sacks.
“Our line will have to play extremely well and stay on blocks,” Deweber. “It’s going to be tough because of their size.”
Alvord is coming off two productive scrimmages from which it emerged healthy. The scrimmages also gave first-year starting quarterback Trevor Hardee some experience at the varsity level. He will make his first varsity start Friday.
“He’s getting better and a little more consistent,” Deweber said.