Bulldogs refreshed for run starting with Raiders

first_img “For us, with the wear and tear of the season, we were able to get our bodies back fresh,” he said. “We were able to regroup from any little nicks and injuries we may have had. Now we’re able to focus on what we have coming on down the stretch.”Barrow said over these next two weeks, he wants to see his team cut down on the mental mistakes.“We’re still trying to become a consistently smart football team,” he said. “At this point in the season, you want to be beat by a better team. You don’t want to get beat by a team because of something you did. If you get beat, you want it to be because they are better than you. We’re looking to knock off those mistakes — the pre-snap penalties and things like that that can cost you down the line.” By Chris MooreSpecial to The NewsNEDERLAND — Coming off of a bye week, the Nederland Bulldogs look to end the season on a high note. The Bulldogs (5-2, 4-2 in 22-5A) still have the Lumberton Raiders and Port Neches-Groves Indians on their schedule.The playoffs are just two weeks away, and Nederland head coach Monte Barrow said the late bye week helped his team refocus. One mental mistake Nederland could get caught doing is looking ahead to Mid-County Madness. With the rivalry game against the undefeated Indians is on the horizon, the Bulldogs can’t get too anxious. “We try to look back and remember feelings we had when games did not go our way,” Barrow said. “We really try to focus on not having that feeling again. One way that can happen is by overlooking a team. It has nothing to do with how good Lumberton is. We know who we play the next week. When this week started, we know who we have to focus on.Barrow said that this late in the season, the players know what they are supposed to do and that execution is the key to success.“It’s a matter of keeping 15- to 18-year-old minds focused on the task at hand,” he said. “There are so many other things going on in high school players’ lives. When you get them in that setting, whether it be a practice or in a game, they have to be able to turn that switch and have total, 100 percent focus on the task at hand.center_img “All season long, they have been able to focus on something in practice and make it better in the game. The last week and-a-half, we have been able to focus on the mental part of it and being smart football players. Hopefully it shows up on Friday night.”The task at hand this week is containing Lumberton’s ground game. The Raiders rushing attack, led by Josh Ward, should keep the Bulldogs’ hands full on Friday, but Barrow said his defense is ready for the challenge. “(Lumberton has) a big offensive line,” Barrow said. “They’re going to try and control the clock and run the football. We pride ourselves on stopping that part of an offense. It’ll be the battle of two wills there.”The Bulldogs travel to Lumberton for the matchup at Raider stadium.Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.last_img