Workin’ like a dog

Published 10:27 am Wednesday, August 24, 2011

BRUNDIDGE – Coming off a 27-0 loss to cross-county rival Charles Henderson in the annual Pike County Classic, Pike County head coach Rodney Dollar was well aware there would be hard work needed in the week leading to his team’s season opener against Notasulga.

The Bulldogs struggled against the Trojans 5A defense gaining only 169 yards of offense.

“We’re working on installing our entire offense this week,” Dollar said. “We’re going to run it a lot more than we did against Charles Henderson.”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Pike County game planned around the Trojans larger defensive line. Bulldog running backs carried the rock only 10 times on the night.

Dollar also said he wanted to get Charles Henderson transfer Tehron Stallworth more involved in the offense against Notasulga.

“We held him back a little last week. He is working hard and we’re going to use him a lot more than we did.”

Stallworth ran three plays at the quarterback position against CHHS, all of which were QB draws. The junior gained 16 yards on the trio of carries.

Route running was another concern for the coach. Dollar feels his receivers could do more to take some pressure off quarterback Marlon Meadows.

“After looking at the film, I saw our backside receivers weren’t finishing their routes,” Dollar said. “We’ve got to do a better job in that area.”

Offense wasn’t the only area receiving critiques from the coach. Defensively, the Bulldogs missed 17 tackles en route to allowing over 250 yards rushing to the Trojans.

“If we make a couple of tackles, stop a drive or two it feels like a completely different game,” Dollar said.

The defense did play well at times, however. Senior Tyshin Dawson intercepted a Joe Bradley pass at the 1-yard line to reject an early Trojan scoring opportunity.

“I thought our redzone defense was good,” Dollar said. “We bowed our necks and made them work.”

Dollar also his quarterback was having a good week on the practice field despite completing only 10 of 26 attempts. The senior did lead the team in rushing attempts and yards last week with 35 yards on 16 carries.

The Bulldogs defeated Notasulga 36-0 last season but are expecting a much improved Blue Devils team in 2011.

“They finished 5-6 last year and made the playoffs so you can’t overlook them,” said the Bulldogs head coach. “This will be their coach’s second year there so he will have his system in place.”

Notasulga will give the Bulldogs a vastly different look that the Trojans did. The Blue Devils will try and spread the field offensively under second year head coach James Lucas.

Notasulga returns 16 total starters from a year ago including junior quarterback Cedarius Alexander.

The team lost to Maplesville 73-6 in the first round of the 2010 Alabama High School Athletic Association playoffs.

Game time is set for 7 p.m.