Today's Edition News Sports Obits Digital FAQ Events Contests Classifieds Autos Jobs Newsletters Search

In South Callaway's 62-14 loss against Bowling Green in Week 8, head coach Zack Hess was pleased with how his team played. Mostly in the first quarter.

Hess said his team didn't play a horrible game across four quarters as the scoreboard might suggest, but the talent and unstoppable nature of Bowling Green became too much to handle after the Bulldogs finished the first quarter tied at 14. Tonight at home against Wright City, South Callaway (4-4, 3-3 EMO) wants the Bulldog brand of football to show and to be more competitive across four quarters against the Wildcats (1-6, 1-4 EMO).

Some aspects South Callaway had against Bowling Green last week, especially in the first quarter, was energy and intensity and the ability to tackle in the open field, Hess said. The latter characteristic will be crucial again this week against an athletic and quick Wright City team, Hess said.

"They've always got really good athletes," Hess said. "We have to be great open field tacklers, no doubt. I feel like last week against Bowling Green, we tackled pretty well, but a lot of times, it was either we didn't tacle because we didn't have the opportunity or we were getting blown off the ball. We're getting better in that area, but we have to keep improving."

Bowling Green had its superb athletes that South Callaway wasn't able to catch in Week 8, but the Bobcats run a vastly different offense than Wright City does, Hess said. Actually, it resembles the Bulldogs' Week 7 opponent Cuba, in that both Wildcat teams like to stretch the field vertically and horizontally. Wright City, though, is less physical than Cuba — who South Callaway defeated 36-22 — and is instead more athletic so South Callaway can't let this week's Wildcats run by them.

The players Hess said are most capable of running by the Bulldogs are running back Jeremiah Davis and Hayden Beck, who actually plays some quarterback too along with Joey Gendron. Beck can come in for more run-focused plays while also showing some arm strength downfield like Gendron can.

Wright City has also been quick to lose to possession of the football, as shown by its four turnovers in its Week 8 26-15 loss at home against Louisiana. Hess said South Callaway had its turnover problems in Week 8 as well, throwing two interceptions returned for touchdowns against Bowling Green, and is typically a big reason why the Bulldogs have been on the wrong end of the scoreboard this season.

"Offensively, we have to be disciplined and not turn the ball over. That's what killed us in all of our losses really. We just turn the ball over way too many times," Hess said. "

Holding on to the football more frequently is pivotal for South Callaway to play its game of football, Hess said. Running the football consistently during lengthy drives that are capped by touchdowns has been the winning football he and fans has witnessed this season and is what he would like to see against Wright City before the team heads into districts.

"We've got to value the ball and not turn the ball over, keep getting first downs and play like we've played in our wins," Hess said. "We just got to settle down and play Bulldog football. Just keep pounding the rock is what we've got to do."

COMMENTS - It looks like you're using Internet Explorer, which isn't compatible with our commenting system. You can join the discussion by using another browser, like Firefox or Google Chrome.
It looks like you're using Microsoft Edge. Our commenting system is more compatible with Firefox and Google Chrome.