2014 double-OT loss fresh on Dogs’ minds
Published 11:52 pm Thursday, October 29, 2015
NEDERLAND — For the first time in quite a long time, Nederland coach Larry Neumann has admitted a game last year matters in a way to his team in 2015.
It is very simple to understand why considering this week’s opponent — the Goose Creek Memorial Patriots.
It was the Patriots in 2014 who became the first team since 2010 to defeat the Bulldogs in a district game. Going into the contest, Nederland had won 29 straight league games.
Goose Creek Memorial defeated Nederland, 57-56 in double overtime last season, and it cost the Bulldogs their fourth consecutive outright district title. Nederland shared the title last year with the Beaumont Central Jaguars.
So yes, revenge is a factor tonight in Baytown.
“Every game we play from here on out is a championship game from here on out,” Neumann said. “If you can’t get motivated to play in a championship game, you probably can’t get motivated. Before this week, our focus has really got sharp. I don’t see any tiredness in this football team.
“They [the Bulldogs] know some of the history between us. I don’t know if you can say revenge is a motivator, but our players are aware of last year and the feeling the players that were on that team had after that event. That doesn’t guarantee you anything this year, but I know we are working hard and will hopefully not let that happen again. You still have to play on Friday night.”
Nederland checks into the game the lone undefeated team through District 22-5A play with a 5-0 mark. The Bulldogs (6-2) face a Goose Creek Memorial team who comes in 3-5 overall and 1-4 in the district race. Nederland is one of three teams to already clinch a playoff berth along with Port Neches-Groves and Central who are both 4-1.
“The quarterback from last year they moved to wide receiver [Myles Duke] is a dangerous individual anytime he touches the ball,” Neumann said. “They have two quality quarterbacks, one more of a runner, but they both can run and can throw. They change their offense a little bit when either one is at quarterback.”
Senior Hunter Hamm is the more pure pocket quarterback for the Patriots while Deandre Herman is the more significant threat to take off and run when under center. Duke is fourth in the district with 24 receptions for 454 yards and three touchdowns.
The Patriots offense comes into the game dead last in the district. Goose Creek Memorial averages 297.8 yards per game.
“Defensively, they give you a bunch of different looks,” Neumann said. “They keep you searching to find them defensively. They do a lot of movement in the front.
“Their record does not reflect as good a football team as they are. They are capable of beating anyone on any night. We are aware of that. We just have to be at our best.”