Blakeney would like to repeat ’96

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 18, 2000

Sports Editor

With the win over Southwest Texas last Thursday night, the Troy State Trojans (4-2, 1-1) moved into the No. 10 spot of the Sports Network poll But TSU head coach Larry Blakeney said right now rankings doesn’t concern neither him or his team.

"We want all our focus to be on winning our next game and winning the league," he said. "If we can win out the rest of our season, rankings will take care of themselves."

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The Trojans snuffed out the Bobcats 31-7 with what Blakeney called a "mean" football team and one in desperate need of a win, following back-to-back losses to South Florida and Southland Football League foe Northwestern State.

"It was a must-win situation for our football team and our kids responded to it well," said Blakeney. "I knew going into that ballgame that it was going to take a good football team to beat us that night."

Blakeney said the game against the Bobcats was a "physical one" and was what he expected.

"Games like that are why you have to work with some amount of contact in practice," he said. "You hold your breath everytime because you don’t need to get anyone injured, but you have to put your best 11 players on offense and your best 11 on defense out there in a goaline situation and go full speed. We go for about eight plays and that’s enough. Any more then that and with 22 of your best players in a pile some one’s going to get injured."

Now, said Blakeney, the idea is to put last week’s win behind them and concentrate on Saturday night’s opponent the Sam Houston State Bearkats (5-1, 2-0).

"We’ve got to live in the present and not think about the future," he said.

Blakeney recalled the 1996 season, when the Trojans lost early to Stephen F. Austin in conference play, but won the SFL championship anyway.

"It can be done," he said. "We got a little help along the way in ’96 and we won the title. The same thing can happen this season, but we’ve got to take care of business and win the rest of our football games."

Which might be difficult seeing the Trojans are going up against what Blakeney called possibly the "best Sam Houston State team" he had ever seen this weekend.

"It’s easy to say that, because this year we’re getting every team’s best effort," he said. "But Sam Houston is always tough on special teams and have a history when it comes to blocking kicks and punts. That’s a concern going into the game."

On offense, Blakeney mentioned one player in particular – Bearkats’ wide receiver Matt Dominguez (6-3, 214). Dominguez hauled in 66 catches for 1,156 yards last season to lead the SFL and over his career has caught 166 passes for 2,779 yards and 23 touchdowns.

"He’ll (Dominguez) play on Sundays," Blakeney said. "They like to empty the backfield on offense and get Dominguez in the best spot and in some one-on-one situations."

Blakeney expects junior tailback Demontray Carter (knee) to be ready to play against Sam Houston State, but added he was pleased with the play of back-up tailbacks LeBarron Black and Wayne Thomas on Thursday night.

"I was glad to see Wayne score two touchdowns," he said. "He gave us some solid running and he’s accepted his role on this football team. Sometimes it’s difficult for a player that’s been in the spotlight his whole football career to play back-up, but Wayne is a team player."