Two games into the season it appears the Bulldogs are heading in that direction.
Altus improved on its running game and held Lawton Eisenhower in check with a pair of defensive touchdowns the result was a 28-7 victory
“It was a big win, of course all of them are blessed because sometimes you don’t win the ones you are supposed to,” Hepner said. “I felt like we could win and it was a pleasant surprise to run back two interceptions for touchdowns.”
The Bulldogs hope to keep that momentum going when they travel to Lawton for game with the Lawton High Wolverines on Thursday. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Cameron University Stadium.
Altus has held Vernon and Ike to 187 yards rushing in two games which averages to three yards per attempt. So what has been the big difference on defense? “That’s a good question,” Hepner said. “Sometimes its just want to. Wanting to get to the ball.”
Nose guard Jacob Billarial (5-9, 262,Sr.) has played exceptionally well. “He was drawing some triple teams,” Hepner said. “They (Ike) had him spotted.”
Offensively, the Bulldogs are averaging about five yards per rush and Hepner said the credit goes to the offensive line.
“You should see the hole they created on the first play,” Hepner said ‘Gerard (running back Gerard Harris) got 10 yards on the play and that set the tone.”
That offensive line of Josh Goodman, Ethan Graham, Bryce Prickett, Cody Briscoe and Connor Cunningham will have its stiffest test of the season.
In Lawton High they will face the most athletic front four of the season. “That’s the strength of their defense,” Hepner said.
Offensively the Wolverines are different from Lawton Eisenhower in that the Wolverines like to use the spread formation to run the ball. They like to get outside with their two speedy running backs Dom Massengil (5-11, 205 Sr ) and Charles Smith (5-8, 157 Sr,). When they throw they like to throw deep to wide receiver Marcus Kennard (6-5, 190, Sr,)
It’s been a frustrating early portion of the season for the Wolverines who are 0-2. They dropped a heartbreaker to cross town rival Lawton Eisenhower in the first week of the season. They could have won that game, but an interception deep in their own territory led to the Ike touchdown. Late in the game a bad snap on a punt gave the Eagles a safety.
Last week the Wolverines showed their expressiveness in a 55-35 lost to Lawton MacArthur.
However, the Wolverines should know how to handle the situation.
Last year LHS lost the first two games of the season and then won seven of its last eight games to make the Class 6A playoffs.
Hepner has cautioned his team about comparing scores. He said it didn’t matter that Altus defeated Ike and LHS lost to them.
That’s the first thing we told them,” Hepner said. “We still have to go play.”
For the Bulldogs, the game plan is pretty simple. Stop the LHS running game and avoid the big play on the pass. On offense run the football with quarterback Creadell Pennon and Harris and improve on the passing game. Altus did not complete a pass against Ike. “We need to get better in the passing game,” Hepner added.
Bulldog notes: LHS coach Randy Breeze did give the Bulldogs some bulletin board material. In some comments after the MacArthur game that appeared Saturday’s edition of the Lawton Constitution Breeze said, “We’re down right now, but when you have kids with character you never count them out. All I can say is, I wouldn’t want to be Altus coming in to play us next week.”