2010 district champions square off in season opener

Tomorrow night officially kicks off the 2011 football season and one of the best match-ups in the Texas Panhandle will take place at Bulldog Stadium. The Canyon Randall Raiders are visiting town to take on the Bulldogs.Both teams are coming off impressive 2010 campaigns which saw both claiming district titles and advancing three rounds into the playoffs.Another similarity the teams share is replacing several seniors. However, both programs have good talent coming up that should allow both teams to contend for district titles again.In the trio of Ty Brown, Adam Bumpus and Aaron McKee, along with a young offensive line, that has continued to improve through fall practice, the Bulldogs potentially have the makings of one of the best running attacks in West Texas. However, last week’s scrimmage against Hereford showed the team won’t be as one-dimensional as last season. This is due to junior Jacob Rendon’s ability to get the ball to a talented group of receivers led by senior Tyler Ortega.Borger Head Coach Rusty Purser pointed out the improvement in the passing game in the Hereford scrimmage by saying, “We were able to spark some drives with big passes and it really paid off in the live quarter.”If the saying “good defense wins championships” is true, then that could be a good sign for the Bulldogs, thanks to a good nucleus of some of the best defensive players in the Texas Panhandle led by Miles McKinney, Dustin Clark, Max Lusk and Brown. There are also several newcomers who have shown the ability to make players of their own in the team’s two scrimmages.For the Raiders, only five offensive and three defensive starters return. But Purser said the Raiders looked good in their scrimmage against 5A Lubbock Monterey a week ago, saying, “Randall looked to be ahead in their planning and it paid off for them early as they scored three touchdowns to Monterey’s zero in the controlled scrimmage. Monterey was able to claw back later one but I believe Randall certainly had the upper hand.”Senior linebacker James Allen is one of the best in the area coming off a 2010 campaign where he had a hand in 181 tackles.Randall’s offense is expected to be led by junior quarterback Collin Bowen who will have two good receivers to rely on in moving the ball down the field in seniors Trey Ingram and and Tristen Woods.Last year’s meeting featured the Bulldog committing a couple of early turnovers which led to Randall jumping out to an early 21-0 lead. The Bulldogs rallied to get back into the game in the second half. However, Randall was able to hang on for the 35-28 win.Kickoff for tomorrow evening’s game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Bulldog Stadium.