Empire Player

Mitchell Monteith looks down the field in a scrimmage earlier this year. Monteith and the Empire Bulldogs are 1-0 after a 26-14 victory over Quinton this last Friday evening.

The Empire Bulldogs had a long trip that went well with a 26-14 opening game victory at Quinton. However, the team wasn’t satisfied with how they played.

On the third play of the game was a touchdown, a 16 yard run from Peyton Booth put Empire up 6-0 and went into halftime with the 6-0 lead.

In their first possession of the third quarter, the Bulldogs got another touchdown from a 24 yard pass from Mitchell Monteith to Booth with the two point conversation good from McRay Webber.

Monteith scored the next touchdown on a one yard keeper with the final touchdown coming from a 64 yard kick off return by Logan Whitten to get the victory in the game.

It was the first victory under Coach Brant Hayes at Empire and he was thankful for the victory despite the long road trip it took to get to the game.

“It was a long trip and once we got there, the kids, it was hard for them to get relaxed while getting into the flow of the game,” Hayes said. “We jumped out to a 6-0 lead real quick and then we kind of got into a lull. We played really good defense all the way through until we got tired. Then we kind of started to do our own thing and let them score a couple of touchdowns in the second half.”

Empire, now 1-0 on the season, will have a full week off with a bye and Hayes knows his team has some work to do to be focused on returning to action next week against Velma-Alma.

“The main thing that stood out was our conditioning. I know it is a negative, but we got to get in better shape,” Hayes said. “We will use that this week and have a bye week this week so we are going to do some conditioning and a lot of individual stuff. We saw some good things from kids that are freshman who started both ways, never played on Friday nights, and they really held their own.”

The Bulldogs coach said the team took Monday off and watched film Tuesday and the players noticed they could have done better than the opening game.

“I think the kids really saw how after film session why they weren’t satisfied Friday night after the game, which is a good thing,” Hayes said. “They saw after film session how bad we really played as a whole group. Not playing bad bad, we were in the right spots but we are taking the wrong angle. We were taking things that we have never been really taught. We can fix those things in practice and they all played through the whole game.”

Kick off for the next game for the Bulldogs against Velma-Alma will be at 7 p.m. Sept. 13 at Velma-Alma High School.

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