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The Bulldogs are in prime position in regard to the playoffs, and the focus has shifted to the final two games of the regular season, which will both be played at home beginning with Tunica Rosa Fort on Friday.
“We need to take care of business and handle the task at hand,” coach Ron Price said. “We hoped going into this year that we would be in this position, and now everything is right there for us to take. It’s homecoming, so we’ve worked on keeping our guys focused and not distracted because we need to win these last two football games.”
Rosa Fort enters the game at 3-5 (0-3), having lost its last four games, including a 15-12 decision against Lewisburg last week.
“Tunica is very athletic, and they’ve struggled the last few weeks; just haven’t had the ball bounce their way,” Price said. “When a team comes in like that, you really need to take advantage of that and put them away early; not give them any opportunities to stay in the game. We can do that by playing a sound defense and not giving the ball away on offense or special teams.”
Rosa Fort’s offense is currently averaging 116 passing yards and 126 yards on the ground, and New Albany’s focus defensively will be on finishing tackles and putting forth a better defensive effort.
“Defensively, we have to do a better job of wrapping up and getting to the ball,” Price said. “Last week, we did not do a very good job of tackling as a defense. I know our coaches are disappointed in their performance last week, and we’ve had a good week of preparation so far, so if we can stay focused through Friday, I think we’ll be okay.”
On offense, Price said he was impressed by the play of Marcus Reed last week, and the junior could possibly start at wide receiver tonight.
“We feel like all of our guys on offense are doing a great job for us and have been stepping up when needed,” he said.
“We just need to continue to get better. Marcus Reed really stepped up last week and impressed Coach (Jay) Cossey, so he could very well start at wide receiver this week, and everyone else will pretty much stay the same.”
Price is focusing on preparing his offense for whatever defensive front Rosa Fort will show, as they have used several throughout the season.
“We’re focusing on New Albany again this week and cleaning up the mistakes we’ve made the last few weeks,” he said. “Tunica, defensively, will change their fronts it seems like every single play. There’s no consistency to what they do on defense, so our offensive guys need to be prepared to block any kind of scheme, but we’ve seen every kind of defense there is to be seen this year, so our guys have to stay focused and know their assignments on any given play.”
Friday’s homecoming match up is set for a 7 p.m. kickoff at Kitchens’ Field.