Football: Bulldogs start playoffs

By Richard Greene | Published Wednesday, November 19, 2014
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After waiting on the sidelines last week during bi-district, the Alvord Bulldogs will join the playoff fray Friday night.

The District 5-2A Division I champions open the postseason with a Class 2A Region II matchup against Crawford at 7:30 p.m. at Granbury’s Pirate Stadium.

“We’re super excited. It’s my first time ever in the playoffs, and I’m taking it all in,” said Alvord senior quarterback Cassidy Patterson. “It’s our last go-around. We want to make the best of it.”

Meeting of the Minds

MEETING OF MINDS – Alvord coach Pete Hart talks with quarterback Cassidy Patterson during the Bells game. The two will try to guide Alvord past Crawford Friday. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

During its bye as a league champion, Alvord coach Pete Hart said his squad worked on its special teams and shoring up fundamentals on both sides of the ball.

“It was good. We got a lot done,” Hart said.

The Bulldogs, in the playoffs for the first time since 2010, will face a Crawford team that demolished Goldthwaite 38-8 last week. Crawford’s lone loss this season is to the top-ranked team in 2A, Mart, 74-49.

“They are really good,” Hart said. “They play a very physical brand of football on offense and are fast on defense. There’s a reason they are 10-1. They are a good football team.”

The Crawford offense is paced by quarterback Wyatt Griffith and running back Braden Murphy. The duo helped fuel a Pirate rushing attack that piled up 294 yards last week and took a 32-0 halftime lead.

“If the kids buy into playing physical on defense, we’ve got a chance to slow them down,” Hart said.

One worry for Hart is the fact that Alvord hasn’t seen a team since Leonard and Muenster – in its third and fourth games of the season – that runs the ball the way Crawford does. In 5-2A play, the Bulldogs faced mostly spread teams.

“We’ve not had to come downhill and play a physical run team since Muenster,” Hart said. “It’s a change from dropping back in coverage to being physical up front.”

Offensively, the Bulldogs have been on a roll in recent weeks. Behind senior running back Joe Randall, Alvord is averaging 240 yards rushing. Randall enters the playoffs with 1,808 yards and 26 touchdowns.

Patterson has added 1,425 yards and 17 touchdowns through the air.

“We have a good attack on the ground and air,” Patterson said.

Alvord will need a strong offensive game against a Crawford defense that has a pair of shutouts this season and held Goldthwaite to only a fourth-quarter touchdown last week.

Hart knows his team will be ready for the challenge.

“This group enjoys playing football,” Hart said. “They are in the tournament now. They know if they lose they are done. They will do everything to keep playing.”

ALVORD (7-3) VS. CRAWFORD (10-1)

at 7:30 p.m. Pirate Stadium in Granbury

Notable: The Bulldogs were off last week after winning 5-2A I

Notable: Crawford built a 32-0 halftime lead on the way to a 38-8 win over Goldthwaite.

Harris line: Crawford by 21.

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