VANCLEAVE, MS (WLOX) - High school football teams preparing to play Vancleave had better get ready for a battle in the trenches. The Bulldogs, who have only 7 seniors on the roster, rarely throw the football.
Head coach Lavon Capers has his Bulldogs off and running, using a Flex Bone offensive attack that has piled up 563 yards rushing in two games. Six turnovers in game one, a a 46-33 loss to Forrest County AHS, cost them any chance at a win. The Bulldogs bounced back and beat West Harrison 30 to 12 on Friday.
Coach Capers says a solid offensive line is getting the job done in the trenches.
"Taylor Bicknell, Quinton Murphy, Zack Overstreet, Matthew Mixon and Austin Thomley are our five starting offensive linemen. We couldn't ask for anything better from them from the first two games."
Offensive guard Quinton Murphy said, "I feel like this year we're stronger together mentally and physically and more of a unit. So, if we keep on pushing we can get back to the playoffs gain."
185 pound quarterback Tristan Glass runs the Bulldogs Flex Bone attack to perfection. The Bulldogs also displayed a different setup for point after touchdown attempts and it resulted in a two point conversion by Glass in Friday's win over the Hurricanes.
Glass said, "That's something we've done in years past but we brought it back this year. We'll line up and if the defense lines up the way we want them to, we'll call the play we want."
Lane Wise doesn't play like a 145 pound running back. His lack of size hasn't stopped the senior from rushing for 228 yards and a touchdown. Wise was a state qualifier in powerlifting.
Wise said, "Our strong points start with our brothers beside us. Without the trust and belief that they can do something, I mean, we really couldn't do anything."
C-J Johnson has powered his way for 193 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
Sophomore running back Kena Stephens also excels on defense at free safety. He packs a wallop at 150 pounds.
Coach Capers said, "We ask Kena to do a lot on defense. We play him at free safety. We play him at strong safety and we also play him at outside linebacker."
Could this be the year, despite only seven seniors on the roster, that the Bulldogs crack the playoffs as one of the top four teams in the Region 8-4A ranks?
"I think we have a real good shot at making it to the playoffs, "stated coach Capers. "Our goal is to go in to every week preparing for our region schedule. It will come up in the next three weeks and hopefully give those team a run for their money."
Vancleave (1-1) entertains undefeated Greene County (2-0) Friday night at 7 p.m.