Chalk up another playoff appearance for 50-year Dove Creek football coach Kenneth Soper.
The Bulldogs finished second in 8-man Western League play to champion Norwood, with the Mavericks beating Dove Creek last Friday at home, 47-14. The Bulldogs trailed just 25-14 at the halftime.
Physically, I thought we matched them the whole game, Soper said about the Norwood game. Mentally, we made a few mistakes that cost us. Mistakes that Norwood took advantage of. I place a lot of emphasis on the mental part of the game.
After opening the 8-man playoffs with road losses at Sanford the last two years, Dove Creek will host a first-round game against Le Veta Saturday at 1 p.m. in a cross divisional pairing.
The Bulldogs (5-3, 3-1 8-man WL) hosted the Redskins in the West cross divisional in 2008, and came away victorious, 65-34.
This season, La Veta (5-3, 3-2 8-man Mountain League) is averaging 330 yards rushing per game, while scoring 33 points a game. Dove Creek will have to key on Le Veta senior tailback Brandon Morgan, whos averaging 146 yards a game on the ground and has totaled 1,312 yards for the season.
They usually like to come at you, Soper said about La Veta. They probably will play a 3-3 (three linemen, three linebackers) defense. They like to come with the linebackers. Theres going to be a lot of people coming at you.
The Bulldogs are led by senior running back Chance Johnson. He averages six yards a carry and has a team high 18 touchdowns. Junior quarterback Dalton Randolph has thrown for 1,100 yards with 12 touchdown passes to just two interceptions. He has a completion percentage of 59.8.
Dove Creek runs a basic I-Formation offense, and has incorporated the Pistol, and Run and Shoot offenses this season.
The school has played the 8-man game since 2006 and has been in the playoffs every year, while winning its first three WL titles.
If Dove Creek beats La Veta, it will then be seeded in a 16-team playoff bracket.
Reach Bobby Abplanalp at firstname.lastname@example.org.