By Albert Trevino
The (0-4) Corrigan-Camden Bulldogs will face off against the (1-3) Hempstead Bobcats at home this Friday.
For the last non-district matcwh of the season, the Bulldogs are still looking for their first victory in hopes that the momentum will spark them into district play.
“Just like any other game, we are finding ways to get better and make plays. This is the last opportunity to have a great game that will not affect the playoffs,” said Bulldog head coach Brett Ratliff. “We still need to play relaxed and focused, building on some of the success we had last week.”
Corrigan’s young offense showed improvement in last week’s loss versus Coldspring-Oakhurst, putting up 27 points. This was thanks in large part to the execution of the Bulldog passing attack, which helped convert huge first downs in that match.
“If we can find and exploit holes in the defense, that is where our maturity is – in the pass game. Most
of our weapons are in the receiver position,” Ratliff said. “(Michael) Sullivan is starting to figure out where he needs to go with the ball. We hope our receivers can show up again and try to build on that.”
Hempstead suffered their third straight loss last week in a 34-28 match against the Shepherd Pirates. The Bobcats’ single victory came in week one versus the Northeast Early College Raiders (Austin).
Second-year Hempstead head coach Markeith Wesley worked alongside Ratliff and Bulldog defensive coordinator Amaro Villarreal during their time with the Navasota Rattlers.
The Bobcats struggled last season with an 1-9 overall record and 0-4 record in district. Ratliff expressed his respect for his former colleague, who is also rebuilding his varsity program with a new system.
Corrigan won last season’s matchup, but Ratliff still expects a competitive effort from Hempstead.
“[Wesley] is trying to build a good program over there. They are only going to get better over time,” Ratliff said. “I believe we can be successful, but they are definitely going to be ready and want to win this game.”
The Bobcat spread offense is likely to air it out, led by senior quarterback Marlon Fisher. Hempstead also has a strong rushing option in senior Floyd Ragston. Setting up easy third downs and ball security will be the keys to success for Corrigan this Friday, according to Ratliff.
“[Fisher] loves to set up the pass in the scramble and they found a running back in Ragston, who is dangerous too,” said Ratliff. “Offensively, we need to execute on first and second to put us in a better position. Also, we need to win the turnover battle.”
Friday’s non-district game is set for 7:30 p.m. at Bulldog Stadium in Corrigan.