Dogs need to take it one game at a time
by TOM PRECHT
The regular football season has flown by and it seems like just yesterday we were getting ready to jam in the Swamp at the University of Louisiana Lafayette. The time has flown by. Fast forward 11 weeks and we are preparing for the third leg of the season. The Jennings Bulldogs closed out the regular season with a hard fought 21-18 win over district rival Iowa.
The two teams entered the fray jockeying for playoff position and the winner was almost guaranteed a home game. Jennings entered the contest an underdog after Iowa had defeated Westlake the week before and played the Notre Dame Pioneers closer than anyone in the district. They also had an 8-1 record, 3-1 in district play, and were looking to hand the Dogs a loss. Jennings went into the evening with a 6-3 mark and 2-2 league mark. They also posted the 60th winning season in Bulldog history.
From a pure football fan’s perspective, the game did not disappoint anyone. The two teams battled hard for 48 minutes with the game going down to the wire. The game was hard hitting and the two teams exchanged blows the entire night like two heavy weight boxers. Ali and Frazier would have been proud.
Jennings went into the game with a two game winning streak and momentum on their side. Coach Rusty Phelps said he and his team were treating the last three games as a playoff with his team jockeying for playoff power points. The Friday game was played in a playoff atmosphere with a great crowd. The two teams’ performances did not disappoint.
Coach Phelps also said he wanted his team to be playing their best football of the season heading into the postseason. His Bulldogs did not disappoint as they put together their best game of the year. They continued to improve over their last three games and have momentum going into Friday night. The Dogs played a complete game. When they were knocked down on the mat they popped right back up and made plays when they needed them most. They found a way to persevere and win the game. It was a total team effort.
The 48-hour rule is over and the Dogs have to put that win behind them and get ready for the first week of the Big Dance. They are carrying on the Jennings Bulldog tradition with the Dogs’ 43rd trip into post season play since 1926. They will entertain the Bogalusa Lumberjacks in Jerry Simmons Stadium. The Dogs will need continued improvement to extend their season. This phase of the season is sudden death with the winner moving on to the second round and the loser trading in their helmets and cleats for tennis shoes and the hardwood.
Bogalusa will bring a very talented, athletic squad into the Dog Pound. Jennings will need to continue good tackling on defense and controlling the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. The Bulldogs need to maintain good long, time consuming drives to keep the potent Lumberjack offense on the sidelines.
There is a little bit of history between the ball clubs but nothing many Bulldog or Lumberjack fans may remember. They first played in 1937 a year after the Dogs had lost in the state championship. Bogalusa won the game and went on to win the next three before Jennings could claim a victory. They last played 60 years ago in 1952. The Lumberjacks lead the series 10-2 with 1 tie.
The Dogs will be hoping to close the gap in the series and take another step in their quest to the Superdome. They have to take it one game at a time and treat this game like they have the last three. They can leave nothing to chance and have to give it 100 percent and leave it all on the Dog Pound turf, for there is no tomorrow.
Once again this one has the makings of a good one. Come out and support the Bulldogs and be vocal. The great crowds are a big plus for the boys. Like a Jennings t-shirt once said, “Make Noise for the Boys.”
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. in Jerry Simmons Stadium. If you can’t make the game, it will be broadcast on KJEF 1290 AM and the web www.cajunradio.net. Airtime is 6:30 p.m.For the complete story and more local news, please subscribe to Jennings Daily News by clicking subscribe or by calling 337-824-3011.
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