That is certainly the case for the Altus High Bulldogs who must step it up to have any realistic chance of making the playoffs.
“Yeah,” AHS Head Coach Lyn Hepner said. “All the cliché’s you can think of are there. The backs against the wall, stuff like that. We tell them (the players) that.”
Altus is 3-4 on the season and 2-2 in the district and the playoff run begins Friday night when the Bulldogs travel to Duncan. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
Altus is still in control of its own destiny. Win the final three games of the season and the Bulldogs will finish second in the district and host a first round playoff game.
A loss to Duncan would mean the Bulldogs would have to defeat both Chickasha and Ardmore and then win in a point system tie-breaker to get to the playoffs.
Duncan is 4-3 on the season and 3-1 in the district. The Demons’ three losses have been to quality opponents in Midwest City Carl Albert, Guthrie and Lawton MacArthur..
With that in mind the Bulldogs have to be considered an underdog in the contest.
“I would think so,” Hepner said. “They are still one of the top teams in the state. “Their losses are against people that are going deep into the playoffs. And of course its over there.”
Penalties were a big problem last Friday night when the Bulldogs lost o Durant. But Hepner and his staff have not talked a lot about that.
“The obvious thing you tell them is to be smart and pay attention,” Hepner said. “Sometimes you can harp on it too much. A lot of it was the movement (false starts) but we always go on a snap count (in practice). We probably need to calm the nerves down.”
“When you take a look at the game Friday night it’s a pair of teams that like to run the football and control the clock.”
Duncan is a team that has shown some ability to the throw the football but they only do it six to eight times a game.
“Their quarterback is able to throw, but he is also a great runner,” Hepner said.
“The Demons will line up in a variety of formations, I, shotgun and spread. They execute well and they like to use several formation to try to get you to lineup wrong, Hepner said.”
“We need to do both (runnning and passing),’ Duncan Head Coach Jim Holloway said. “But if we can run it, we’re going to run it.”
Duncan runs the old 5-2 defensively with three down lineman with two stand up defensive ends and the two middle linebackers.
“We’ve seen that defense against Vernon, they have run it forever,” Hepner said. “We saw a variation of it last week where we have the three down lineman.”
Since both teams like to run the ball and control the clock, it appears ball control will be the key for both teams.
“Probably so,” Hepner said. “And it may be a quick game. All the spread offense and incomplete passes tend to make a game last longer. The hot chocolate may not get cold by halftime.”
Game notes: When AHS Tyler George linebacker makes his first tackle Friday night, he will break a school record for most tackles in a career.
George is considered to be a Division I college prospect. He will not be the only D1 prospect on the field. Duncan offensive tackle/noseguard Dylan Dismuke (6-7, 301, Sr.) has verbally committed to the University of Oklahoma.
AHS Band to march after game
Altus High School Band Director Mary Runyan is asking those who attend the football game at Duncan on Fridayo stay after the game to watch That Altus Band march. “It will only require staying about five minutes, but it will support TAB's talents and school spirit,” Runyan said.
Altus High School Band Director Mary Runyan is asking those who attend the football game at Duncan on Friday, Oct. 22, to stay after the game to watch That Altus Band march. It will only require staying about five minutes, but it will support TAB's talents and school spirit.