September 26, 2006

Mid Week Thoughts 09/26/06

Versus Big Spring:
To all of those that sat through the entire game I think you can agree with me… YAWNNNNNNN. It was great to see the Bulldogs roll and get lots of kids on the field but it wasn’t much of a contest. With the Defense taking control of the game from the first snap to another special teams dominating performance the Bulldogs pounded the visiting Steers. The offense was also able to put together several long drives that resulted in points which has been a deficiency this fall.

For those of you that do not follow panhandle or 4A football, strap your cleats on tight because these guys are good! With deep playoff runs the norm Frenship plays a schedule that is even more brutal than the visiting Bulldogs. Frenship opened their season with games against Wichita Falls Rider (W 14-12), Odessa High (W 38-15), a loss to Lubbock Coronado (who Cooper hosts this weekend), and a win over the Hereford Whitefaces (W 35-21) last weekend. If your into comparing scores Hereford squeaked by Big Spring by a touchdown two weeks ago, but I advise against such a tactic. While last weeks effort by the Bulldogs was much improved it will take their best effort to pull off the victory this Friday.

Offensively the game plan has to be the same as last week. Spread the field, establish the running game early, and complete long sustained drives. To use some more tired old football clichés they must also play mistake free. After turning in their best offensive performance of the year last week they must continue to keep the momentum in their favor.

It has been so much fun watching this years defense. They attack and play solid against the pass. The run defense has gotten better and must make significant strides this week to stop the Frenship attack. The defensive line must stay at home and play their keys leaving the linebackers free to make stops close to the line of scrimmage. Producing turnovers will also be huge this week. In last weeks effort the defense was stifling and pressure led to several key Big Spring mistakes that resulted in points. While it is every team’s goal to shut out an opponent it might be unrealistic to hold this Frenship offense scoreless but keeping your team in the game will be crucial this Friday.

Special Teams:
Once again I must praise kicker Bryce Channell. He has provided great kicks off the tee and has been flawless with his field goal and extra point attempts this season. Kick off coverage has been the best I have witnesses in about 4 years for the Bulldogs and the deep kick offs by Channell have been a big part of that success. Returns have also been exceptional this season and will field position will be critical in this weeks battle of 3-1 teams.

To the Coaching Staff for the game plan put together last week. It was if Big Spring was forced to change their game plan on the run after falling behind early and not being able to run their offense.

To Stetson Chamness for his kick off return and offensive play. He does a great job keeping the fans pumped up each week and it was great to see him get in the game last week!

To Justin Parker who seemed to make every other tackle on defense.

To J'Lyn Robinson for sitting through the entire game with me despite the score.

September 22, 2006

Wylie vs. Big Spring

Let the game begin. With the Wylie Bulldogs hosting the only game in town tonight and homecoming festivities in full swing look for a standing room only crowd at Bulldog Stadium as the Big Spring Steers come to town. The Steers stampeded into town with a 0-3 record but as Hugh Sandifer stated in this morning Abilene Reporter News they have basically been playing a 5A schedule to this point. While their star QB and Aggie recruit Ryan Tannehill listed as probable for the game make no mistake that their back up can’t get the job done. Sandifer stated Tuesday night that the back up will be the best QB we have faced to date.

I have not had the pleasure of seeing the Steers play yet this season but if the past is any indication they will field a very big and athletic group of kids. There has never been a shortage of speed in Big Spring either. The combination of those three items and the memories of their last visit to Bulldog Stadium should have the Steers ready to rumble. Big Springs last visit to Wylie ended in overtime when John Lampert stuffed the Steers two-point conversion sweep attempt two yards short of the goal line. Wylie must play physical on both sides of the ball to come out victorious this evening. Offensive line play will be crucial as the Bulldogs will need to sustain long drives ending in points to keep the Big Spring offense off the field.

Defensively the Bulldogs must keep pressure on the Steers signal callers and force bad decisions. Tackling and avoiding the big play will also be key in tonight’s contest. The Wylie secondary has shown they are more than capable this season and must turn in their most valiant effort of the young season tonight to push the record to 3-1.

Kicker Bryce Channell must continue to be consistent when given the opportunity to put points on the board. Channell has proven to be a valuable asset especially in his place kicking duties often pushing the return men inside their own 10-yard line.

September 19, 2006

Mid-Week Thoughts

You have to be happy with 2-1. When I looked at this schedule last February I thought Hugh Sandifer had lost his mind. Loaded with power and tradition you had to believe that even a .500 record was respectable. With solid defense and great special teams play the Wylie Bulldogs have managed two wins on the young season and will look to extend the win streak to 3 in this weekends homecoming game against the Big Spring Steers.

Just as last week when the other Steers team came to town, they limp in with a winless record. Wylie will look once again for a dominating defensive performance to shut down Big Springs high-powered offense. In last weeks win versus Graham the defense set the tone early holding Graham to 3 and out on their first possession leading to Trevor Casey’s blocked punt out of the back of the end zone for a quick 2-0 lead. While still giving up huge chunks of yards on the ground at times, the pass defense and pass rush have been great. Linebacker play has continued to improve and might be the backbone of this year’s defense.

Special Teams:
Special teams managed to put points on the board for the second consecutive week and almost added 6 more to begin the second half as Trevor Casey rumbled in with the kickoff only to have it called back for a block in the back. Gary Edwards had a fabulous punt return against Brownwood in zero weeks to help set up the POTENTIAL game winning drive.

Offensively the Bulldogs continue to struggle. Sustained drives have been a problem but Edwards has made up for that with big plays. Look for this group to get better and better each week as the players grow more accustomed to their roles in Sandifer’s offense.

September 15, 2006

Home Sweet Home

by Rick Hollenbeck

Aww how good it feels to finally be home. After beginning the season in the Champions Classic and the long road trip to Iowa Park, the Wylie Bulldogs look to perform for a packed house tonight against former district rival Graham. The Steers limp into town 0-2 after losses to Midland Greenwood and fellow 7-3A member Clyde. Coach Hugh Sandifer’s Bulldogs look to continue their winning ways and build on last week’s 21-7 defeat of the Iowa Park Hawks to even the season record at 1-1.

Graham missed the playoffs last season after losing in Iowa Park on the final Friday of the regular season. That loss and a Breckenridge win over Vernon kept first year head coach Brad McCoy’s Steers out of the postseason, a place unfamiliar to Graham players and fans. McCoy, father of University of Texas starting quarterback Colt McCoy, has installed his pass-happy offense and attacking defensive philosophy into a program that lived by the run before his arrival. Leading this wide-open offensive scheme is Freshman QB Case McCoy. Having a familiar target isn’t commonplace when your a freshman quarterback but when your go to guy is your older brother Chance McCoy things can only get better. Chance McCoy enjoyed success in his first two season of varsity action. Chance was named all state as a sophomore at 2A Jim Ned High School, and garnered similar honors last season in the 3A ranks as a Steer. While Graham has struggled early this season look for the Steers to come out firing tonight against the Bulldogs who gave up 30 points last September in Graham.

Running the opening kick-off back 90+ yards is the way every team would like to start a game and Cameron Rogers did just that against a small but tough Iowa Park special teams unit last week. Wylie hopes to continue to ride that momentum into this weeks contest. The 30-20 defeat at the hands of the Steers last season should serve as some motivation but when you reload your roster with the next class of seniors, as Coach Sandifer does each fall, the memory might be short for this years squad. Look for the Bulldogs to establish the running game early to keep the Steers offense off of the field. With a stable of capable running backs Sandifer will able to keep pounding the ball, but history tells us he will still take his shots down the field to keep the Steer defense honest. Speed has been an issue for Graham in their first two contests and Wylie QB Gary Edwards just happens to posses plenty. Look for Edwards to stretch the defense horizontally and TB Russell Felts to batter the defensive line and linebackers.

Defensively, Wylie must keep the Steers vaunted attack from gaining momentum. Linebacker play has been phenomenal thus far and their pressure and coverage skills will be essential against the pass. The defense has shown a propensity to fly to the ball and punish ball carriers. Defensive line play will also be a key in tonight’s game. Keeping QB McCoy on his heels with constant pressure will be vital if the Bulldogs hope to come away with the victory. Defensive pressure will also help force mistakes and this game will be decided by mistakes. Both teams are fairly evenly matched and limiting mistakes and turnovers will decide tonight’s victor.

Wylie Bulldogs



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