Bulldogs hope to carry momentum into showdown with Monahans

At this time last week, there were a lot of questions asked about how the Borger Bulldogs were going to respond after their disappointing loss to Dumas.Fortunately, the answers to those questions were all positive, as the Bulldogs responded with an impressive 30-2 win last Friday against the Graham Steers.The performance was a complete turnaround from the prior week, as the defense pitched a shutout and limited the Steer offense to 63 yards. The Bulldog offense also did a solid job mixing in the passing game with the ground game to control the clock and wear out the Steer defense.When asked about the adjustments between the Dumas and Graham game, Borger Head Coach Rusty Purser said, “We knew coming out of the Dumas game that we had had a very poor week of practice. We had spent a lot of time working on one defensive front, and Dumas changed their scheme completely. They were certainly prepared for us.” Purser added, “Going into last Saturday morning, we had a new focus, and a confident attitude. Our offensive line responded to some pretty tough criticism throughout the week, and put together a very good effort against Graham. We have felt for three weeks now that our defense was starting to hit stride, and it was up to the offense to complete the game. When we were able to gain the momentum Friday night after Graham muffed the punt, our kids really responded.”When talking about Borger Bulldog football the past two years, one of the things the team has been known for is having one of the best running games in West Texas but a limited passing offense. Throughout the off-season and the early part of the season, the Bulldogs have worked hard on developing a passing game. During the Graham game, the Bulldogs proved defenses no longer can just stack the line because the team has ability to move the ball in the air.Against Graham, Borger junior quarterback Jacob Rendon had a solid game in the air going 8 of 12 for 111 yards. As the offense finds its groove, the Bulldog defense is establishing itself as one of the best defenses in the area. Purser credits a couple of things to the development of his defense saying, “Several factors have contributed, one of which is certainly the maturity we have gained over the early onslaught of very good football teams. We have also finally been able to get people in a comfortable position to make plays, and knowing their assignment. A great deal of credit should also go to the defensive staff for the renewed focus that they brought to practices after the Caprock game.”This week the Bulldogs will face one of the top 3A teams in West Texas in the Monahans Lobos.The Lobos enter Friday with a 4-1 record that includes impressive wins against Snyder, Big Spring, and a 49-7 win over Clint Mountain View last Friday.The Lobos like to play “old school football” by depending on a strong ground attack and a great defense to control the clock and the ball.Purser has a lot of respect for Monahans saying, “They have a won’t lose attitude, and they play very hard for a full 48 minutes. You can see their expectation to win throughout their previous games, as they have handled adversity very well.”Through the 2011 season, the Lobos have averaged 239 yards per game on the ground led by a pair of solid running backs, Pedro Cano and Byron Scharf.On the defensive side of the ball, the Lobos are led by a pair of good linebackers in Blake Heflin and Jackson Scharf, who have combined for over 50 tackles this season.In some ways, the strengths of the Bulldogs and Lobos are very similar, which could lead to some interesting match ups and a low scoring contest on Friday evening. Last season the Lobos pulled out a 21-15 win over the Bulldogs in a physical battle on both sides of the ball.After Friday’s game with Monahans, the Bulldogs will enjoy having a bye week before playing their final non-district game on October 14th when they host Vista Ridge from Colorado for homecoming.Tomorrow’s kickoff between Borger and Monahans is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Lubbock Cooper High School in Woodrow.