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Strong set to face Dermott

by Jason Avery | September 22, 2022 at 12:00 a.m.

It’s been almost 12 years since Strong and Dermott last faced one another on the gridiron.

But on Friday night, the Bulldogs and Rams will renew acquaintances in the 2A South opener for both schools at Jerry Burson Field.

Game time is set for 7 p.m.

The Bulldogs and Rams last met in October 2010 with the Bulldogs winning 48-0.

Friday will be a special occasion for the Rams, who are playing their first game since resurrecting their football program after not fielding a team in recent years.

The Bulldogs (0-1) have been idle since dropping their season opener to Genoa Central 14-0 two weeks ago, while the Rams (0-0) are playing their season opener.

Although Strong coach Jason Porter doesn’t have any film on the Rams, Strong and Dermott have remained conference rivals in basketball and track through the years, and there was one trait the Rams have that his team will have to account for.

“They haven’t played any games yet,” Porter said. “I am just going off of what I have seen in basketball and in track in the spring, and they will have some speed. They had some taller kids as well, so I will be looking for them to try to get to the edge a lot to use that speed. We are prepared for the run or pass.”

Over the last two weeks, the Bulldogs have continued their preparations for what will be a tough journey through the 2A South with Mountain Pine, Spring Hill and Woodlawn all undefeated heading into this week’s games.

“It’s imperative. Those teams aren’t gonna go backwards,” Porter said of getting off to a good start. “They are solid. If we wanna make the playoffs, we have to get off to a solid start in league play.”

One concern Porter has is possible rust from being off the last two weeks, but he added that the Bulldogs needed the time to make adjustments.

“Maybe some rust, but we needed it though. We had a lot of things to clean up,” Porter said. “We have shored up our tackling and we have conditioned a ton.”

Union County has seen warmer temperatures this week, and Porter believes his team is ready for the heat.

“We have been working on that quite a bit,” Porter said. 

“We have had basically two types of practices rolled into one with a football practice and a conditioning practice.”

If the Bulldogs are to get their first win of the year, Porter said tackling will be a major focal point.

“I think tackling on the edge and in space is gonna be key,” Porter said. 

“They will be fast so keeping them bottled up will be key. I think the new wrinkles we have been able to add in the weeks off will work as long as we execute and don't get tired.” 


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