Ready to Play Dogs regroup for Chilton County
Special to the Reporter
Editor’s note: This is the fifth in a series in which the Reporter will follow a Shelby County football team as it prepares for an upcoming game. A different team will be featured each week.
Montevallo managed a solid defensive outing, but the Bulldogs could not overcome four turnovers, falling 10-7 to Corner on the road last Friday night.
The MHS defense set the tone in the first quarter, holding the Yellow Jackets to minus three yards of total offense.
Seven of Corner’s eight offensive plays in the opening period went for no gain or a loss.
Corner did manage a 29-yard Jamie Manning field goal to open the second quarter, however, to take a 3-0 lead with 11:19 remaining in the half.
After the Bulldogs went three and out on the next series, the Yellow Jackets drove the ball to the MHS 31 before Cory Lovelady picked off a pass and returned it 50 yards to the Corner 34.
From there, Ward accounted for 24 yards on three carries, Lovelady picked up two on a reverse, and Brian Fulghum did the rest, punching the ball in from the six yard line with 4:31 left until halftime.
Heath Pickett stayed perfect on the season with the extra point as the Bulldogs took a 7-3 lead.
The Yellow Jackets mounted a brief threat before the intermission, but Ward picked off a pass at the 15 yard line to end it with under a minute left to play.
MHS freshman Philip Evans opened the second half with a 32 yard kickoff return, but two plays later, a Bulldog fumble set up Corner at the Bulldog 30 yard line.
It took the Yellow Jackets just five plays to score, with Brett Coggins going the final six yards.
Manning’s extra point gave CHS the lead for good with just under three minutes gone in the third quarter.
Montevallo’s defense again began to dominate the game, with Corner managing a net 40 yards from that point on, with one pass play picking up 32 yards.
The Bulldogs continued to mount offensive threats, but all ended with turnovers.
In the second half alone, MHS lost three fumbles and threw one interception to end any hopes of a comeback.
Head coach Jim King had high praise for his defense, led by senior Robert Horn’s ten tackles.
Fulghum added seven stops, while Patrick Campbell and Roderick Farrington had six each.
Lovelady finished with a pair of interceptions, returning them for a combined 68 yards.
Ward led all rushers with 154 yards on 28 carries, his second game this season to go over 140 yards.
Like all teams statewide, the Bulldogs get away from the region schedule this Friday night, and will host Chilton County High School.
After a 1-3 start, head coach Jim King said, &uot;We want our entire program to be about discipline, hard work, and character.
Our guys believe in that, and despite our record, they have done everything we have asked them to do to get this thing going in the right direction.&uot;
Here’s how the Bulldogs will spend a week of preparation for their upcoming game with Chilton County.
Friday, Sept. 19, 10:30 p.m.: MHS returns home after a 10-7 loss at Corner.
While the cleanup crew picks up, sweeps and mops the locker room, the coaching staff gets started on laundry detail.
Friday, 11:30 p.m.: Coaches break down the MHS-Corner game film, grading the offense, defense, and special teams.
They select Robert Horn as their ‘Junkyard Dawg Player of the Week’ and make notes for other team awards.
Friday, 2:30 a.m.: After discussing plans for the upcoming week, it is early Saturday morning before the coaches leave the office.
Saturday: Coaches take their only day off of the week.
Sunday, 10:00 a.m.: After attending early church service, Coach King comes in to cut grass and line the practice field.
Then the coaches’ office has to be cleaned from Friday’s late-night session.
Sunday, 11:00 a.m.: King breaks down Montevallo’s last two games for tendencies. &uot;I want to be sure that I see exactly what other coaches see when they scout us,&uot; King says.
Sunday, 1:30 p.m.: The rest of the coaching staff arrives.
Twice, the coaches watch the last two games of the upcoming opponent all the way through. Then they watch them again, breaking down offense, defense and special teams.
Sunday, 5:30 p.m.: Coaches discuss the Chilton County game plan. They also discuss team morale and the week’s practice schedule.
They finish around 9 p.m.
Monday, 2:10 p.m.: Players work out and watch film during athletic P.E.
Monday, 3:10: Coaches meet with the team in the locker room to give out team awards from the Corner game. &uot;Besides the Junkyard Dog award, we give skull stickers for outstanding Special Forces play and Dog Bone stickers for academic achievement and personal discipline,&uot; King explains.
Monday, 3:30: Full pads specialty groups
Monday, 3:40: Stretch
Monday, 3:50: Special Forces (the coaching staff’s name for special teams).
Today, the team works on punt coverage and kickoff coverage.
Monday, 4: Group offense corrections.
The team reviews last week’s game mistakes.
Monday, 4:15: Group offense game plan.
This is only be a short review of what the team will be working on for Chilton County.
Monday, 4:30: Quarterbacks and receivers work on air routes. Offensive line and running backs work on the run scheme.
Monday, 4:45: Team offense works on recognition.
The squad gets its first look at how Chilton County lines up and their defensive tendencies.
Monday, 4:55: Water Break
Monday, 5: Group defense corrections.
The team reviews defensive mistakes made against Corner. There weren’t many, as the Yellow Jackets finished with just 137 yards of total offense.
Monday, 5: Group defense game plans. Any changes that need to be made for this week’s game are previewed.
Monday, 5:20: Linebackers and secondary go to perimeter drills. Tackles and defensive ends do line work.
Monday, 5:35: Team defense. The team walks through Chilton County’s formations and favorite plays.
Monday, 5:50: Conditioning
Monday, 6: Practice ends and players clean up the locker room.
The team takes this duty seriously, with the motivation coming from teammates as well as coaches.
King says, &uot;It just gives them a reason to take pride in their field house. We want them to know that this is their field house and their program. It gives them a sense of ownership in what we’re trying to do here.&uot;
Monday, 8:30-9: After another round of discussion regarding the Chilton County game plan and the next day’s practice, the coaches head home.
Tuesday: The players go through basically the same practice as Monday, with the addition of an Oklahoma drill. Every Tuesday, there is some type of intense blocking and shedding drill. Special teams emphasis is placed on punt coverage, punt return, and kickoff return today. Coaches reverse the order of offensive and defensive work, and the team gets some additional work in a half-line perimeter drill.
Coaches meet again after practice to finalize the game plan and script out Wednesday’s offensive and defensive scrimmages. &uot;Our game plan is basically in at this point,&uot; says King, &uot;but we’re still looking for any changes that we need to make.&uot;
Wednesday, 2:10 p.m.: Players work out and watch film in athletic P.E.
Wednesday, 3:15: Specialty groups in full pads.
Wednesday, 3:40: Stretch.
Wednesday 3:50: Special Forces work. Today, the team works on punt coverage, extra points, field goals, and defending extra points and field goals.
Wednesday, 4: Group defensive work.
Wednesday, 4:10: Team defensive work. A scout team runs the Chilton County offense while the first team defense works on situations and recognition live.
Wednesday, 4:40: Water break.
Wednesday, 4:45: Group offensive work.
Wednesday, 4:55: Team offense.
The squad runs 35-40 plays with different packages against Chilton County’s defensive sets.
Wednesday, 5:25: Conditioning
Wednesday, 5:35: Practice ends and coaches meet again to discuss if any alterations need to be made to the game plan based on what they have seen in practice.
Thursday, 2:10 p.m.: Players watch film during athletic P.E.
Thursday, 3:15: Stretching. The team is practicing in helmet, shorts and t-shirts today.
Thursday, 3:25: Scripted game situation practice. The team runs in order:
kickoff return, six base offensive plays, punt coverage, four plays of team defense, and punt return. Then they move on to special offensive packages, trick plays, extra point, kickoff and goal line defense. Next it’s extra point and field goal block and coverage, receiving the ball after a safety, the two-minute offense, killing the clock, and milking the clock.
The team finishes up by fine tuning field goals, onside kicks, the hands team, taking a safety and taking a knee.
Thursday, 4:25: After the fast-paced workout, the team gets together and the coaches talk about carrying themselves on Friday with class and maintaining discipline throughout the day at school.
Thursday, 4:30: The team remains at the school to have meal together before going home.
Thursday, 6: The coaches go home early today after a final meeting to tie up any loose ends.
Friday, Gameday, 3:15 p.m.: Fellowship of Christian Athletes gathering
Friday, 3:30: Pregame meal
Friday, 4: The ‘Calm Before the Storm’. This is a period where players get quiet, lie down and rest or focus themselves for the game.
Friday, 5:15:Taping and dressing
Friday, 5:40: Dog Walk to Theron Fisher Stadium
Friday, 5:50: Pregame warmup begins
Friday, 7: Kickoff