The Athens Review
When it comes to rivalries, the 34th meeting has a special place for the fans of Eustace and Malakoff athletics as they are only separated by 13-miles.
Malakoff comes into the contest with a 21-13 advantage in the series and looking for pay back this year.
Last year, the Bulldogs picked up a 30-16 win at the Boneyard. This year, fifth year head coach Jamie Driskell’s team is scoring points at a fanatic pace.
In the first five games of the year, the Tigers’ have averaged 59 points per game — with 60 or more points coming in three of those contest.
This Friday, the Bulldogs — under new head coach Heath Ragle — comes into the game with an identical record as last year at 2-3 overall and 1-0 in District 7-2A play.
The Tigers come into the game with a 5-0 record and 1-0 in district play after a 73-0 win over Grand Saline last week.
The homecoming contest for the Tigers’ is set to begin at 7:30 p.m. at Tigers Stadium.
Both coaches agree this year’s contest will provide some challenges.
“They are making plays and really putting up a lot of points,” Ragle said. “We know that we have to play fundamental football and keep them contained.”
Driskell knows Eustace will come ready to play.
“We have our work cut out for us and they are going to be a good test for us,” Driskell said. “This will be our first major test of the year.”
Ragle said controlling the clock with their smash mouth style will be key to stopping the high powered offense of the Tigers.
“That would definitely be a great game plan to hopefully work out for us,” Ragle said. “We want to keep those guys off the field and limit their touches.”
The Tigers have ran the ball well this season with Damontes and Marcus Dowell and are mixing in the passing game with Stephan Wolfe as the signal caller.
“We have been surprised with the run game,” Driskell said. “We have been spreading the ball around a good bit and Damontes and Marcus are our 1-2 punch. We have had some other more weapons that we can get the ball to throwing the ball this year.”
With this being a homecoming contest, the Bulldogs are hoping to keep the game close until the final minutes on Friday.
“They (Malakoff) will be excited for this game,” Ragle said. “We try to take it one game at a time and this is the next one. We want to do what we do and hopefully keep it close in the fourth quarter and win it.”