Red Boiling Springs Jr. High football came away with a second win on Sunday after facing off with Pickett County. The final score, at 24-6, was a source of deep encouragement for Bulldogs fans.
“It’s a great feeling to get the season started the way we have,” said Head Coach B.J. West. “It sure is a lot easier to smile during the day, and fall asleep at night, when you’re having some success. Last year we started 0 - 2; this year we have flipped the script to 2 - 0. It’s a whole lot more fun when you are winning—especially when you are getting ready to tackle some of the tough opponents on your schedule.”
Pickett County came to the game ready to play with intensity. Coach West commented that he didn’t feel his boys came with the same attitude that they brought last week: “We didn’t block well—matter of fact after watching film, I don’t believe we were ever on the same page with our blocking rules. I believe every play contained a bust or two—or many— in our blocking assignments. I’ll give Pickett a lot of credit there though, they did a good job penetrating the middle preventing reach and down blocks from our Center & Tackles.”
The Bulldogs ran the ball hard during the game, said West—“running for their lives it seemed at times.”
“Josh Tirjan was really impressive with a couple of his runs,” he contined, “especially on a 26 yard touchdown run on a counter play. His brother Michael ran hard too, as well as Elijah Byfield. On one particular play when pass protection broke down, Elijah ran about 30+ yards avoiding and breaking tackles to eventually gain only 5 yards. It may have been one of the most impressive individual runs I’ve seen in a while.”
The boys played a good defenisive game, forcing six turnovers, and with the exception of the four early plays, the opposing team was unable to move the ball.
Anthony Garcia had an interception; Jordan Powell, Dustin Bergdorff, and Trevor Carter all recovered fumbles; Bergdorff forced the one he recovered, and Brian Ellingson forced one of the others.
“Justin Bergdorff continues to impress me at one of the linebacker spots,” said West. “He is very coachable—takes considerable pride in doing the little things correctly. He finished with 6 tackles on the night—4 of them for a loss, and he combined with Billy York to make the Big Hit of the night on one of our kick offs.
“Michael Tirjan played well from his safety spot coming up for run support. He made 4 very important tackles to prevent Pickett from getting outside on the edge. I think John Russell is playing pretty good at the defensive end position. He isn’t making many tackles, but he is doing his job really well—which is creating plays for everyone else. He needs to continue to work on not getting upfield as much though.
“Our Defensive Tackles, Dustin Bergdorff and Trevor Carter, are playing really well. They do a good job of attacking the offensive lineman with their hands and securing their gap responsibilities, and then pursuing to the ball. Coach Eli Stephenson does a wonderful job with those guys.”
Next week, the Bulldogs at RBSJH will be preparing to go head to head with Carroll Oakland, a home game, and what West calls the first test of the season. This game will be Saturday, Aug 25 at 6:30 PM.
“They are HUGE up front and have some really good skill players,” said West. “We will have our work cut out for us. But I feel very confident in our young men’s ability to get the job done. We will have a great week of practice as we work to iron-out some of our offensive errors. Defensively, we just have to focus on the game plan and play extremely disciplined—and definitely focus on not missing many tackles in space. I’m excited for this opportunity, and I know our boys are too by the way they have been talking. We look forward to having a big turn-out for next Saturday’s game at 6:30 PM. If you get the chance, please come out and support your hometown Bulldogs. Trust me, you are not going to want to miss this brutal war!”