Week zero was in full swing for Empire this past Friday night when they hosted the Wellston Tigers to start the year as the Bulldogs bulldozed past the Tigers 66-20.
The Empire defense came out strong in the first drive, with a quick three and out, forcing a Tigers punt.
Next play, Daniel Alvarez would return the punt 68-yards for the touchdown, starting the game off to a red-hot start.
Clayton Nunez then converted the two-point conversion, giving the Bulldogs an 8-0 lead in the first two minutes of the game.
Wellston responded in the ensuing drive with a 48-yard touchdown run by Kage Danker.
With the two-point play being no good, the score stood at a close 8-6 midway into the first quarter.
Empire did not lay down easy at all, getting right back to work as Mitchell Monteith gashed the Tigers defense with a 15-yard run deep into Tiger territory.
Gabe Diaz got his first high school touchdown, taking the snap and rushing it into the end zone.
With the unsuccessful two-point conversion, Empire then carried a 14-6 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Bulldogs became unchained in the second quarter, punching right back with a 25-yard pass touching from Monteith to Alvarez.
Even with the two-point play being no good, all the momentum swayed in the favor of the Bulldogs.
Ensuing kickoff, the Bulldogs recovered the onside kick to give Empire the ball back with excellent field position.
A long run by Monteith and a good screen play by Nunez set up Empire with another goal-line situation to take control of the game.
Nunez answered the bell, punching it in for the touchdown. With the two-point conversion being no good, the score stood at 26-6 halfway into the second quarter.
Empire did not stop there, as Alvarez got the interception and returned it for the touchdown to continue his dominate night.
With the successful two-point play, the Bulldogs now carried a commanding 34-6 lead.
Wellston finally answered back, scoring off a deep touchdown throw by Danker.
The Tigers got the two-point play, making it 34-14 as Empire struck back a little later in the next drive.
Monteith added to his passing touchdown with a rushing touchdown to add to the Bulldogs already big lead over Wellston.
Nunez then converted the two-point play, making it a monster 48-14 lead for the Bulldogs heading into halftime.
The second half brought a lot of the same, as the Bulldogs looked to put the final nail in the coffin.
Alvarez continued his special night, getting his second pick-six, giving Empire another defensive touchdown and Alverez’s fourth touchdown.
With the two-point no good, all things were well as the Bulldogs looked to end it as the score was in favor of Empire at 54-14.
Wellston got another long touchdown pass, trying to climb out of the deep hole already created.
The two-point was no good, as Empire held a 54-20 lead at the eight-minute mark in the third quarter.
Diaz answered right back, finishing the long drive with his second score of the night as the two-point attempt failed and Empire took the lead at 60-20 with a defensive stop setting up the next score for the Bulldogs.
The Tigers then threw yet another interception to Alvarez, who got his third interception of the night.
The interception set up a Monteith rushing touchdown, ending the game at 66-20 in the third quarter as they reached the mercy rule.
Having a four touchdown game from Alvarez, the Bulldogs improved to 1-0 on the season and they will look to go 2-0 this week against a Stephens County rival.
They will host the Velma-Alma Comets with the game taking place at 7 p.m. Sept. 3 at Empire High School.