Bulldogs don’t want Mid County Madness win to define them, ready for Santa Fe

Published 12:31 am Thursday, September 30, 2021

NEDERLAND — One week after the Bulldogs defeated rival Port Neches-Groves, Nederland is switching its focus to Santa Fe.

Nederland (4-0, 1-0 in District 12-5A Division II) is hosting Santa Fe at Bulldog Stadium at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

“We told the kids that they are going to have this feeling for the rest of your life,” Head Coach Monte Barrow said of the team’s win over PNG.

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“This could be part of what defines this team after the season. We just don’t want it to define us right now. I think we have enough leadership on this team to recognize that there is a lot of season left. We are not guaranteed the next play and we have to make the most of it.”

This week might not have the same pomp and circumstance as last week’s Bum Phillips Bowl, but Nederland is leaning on homecoming activities to help as a small step down.

Barrow said his team will be ready to take on the Indians (0-4, 0-1), who are hungry for their first win of the season.

Santa Fe is coming off a 60-0 loss to Texas City.

“We are going to respect anybody that puts a football team on the field,” Barrow said. “I don’t care what their record says or what they put on film. They are a prideful group. They have been down a little in their under levels the last couple of years, but they are doing what they can to get the most out of it. It doesn’t matter who it is. We have to do us and do it well.”

Last week’s win was the second game in a row where the Bulldogs came from behind in the fourth quarter to get a victory.

“It is a great thing to have,” Barrow said. “It is not something my heart can take every Friday night. It is not something we practice. To have that to draw from if you are sitting at halftime in a deficit down the road is a big thing. That is not only for a football game. That is for life. You are never down and out.”

Linebacker Jaice Beck said his team wants to get up early in games but added it is nice to see them not give up.

“We practice for four quarters,” he said.

Barrow said his team’s dedication to conditioning helps with the second-half pushes.

“When we are practicing offense, we have leaders stepping up on defense and doing extra running on their own,” he said. “We haven’t experienced, to this point, any of the cramping or stuff like that.”

Beck said the results speak for themselves.

The Bulldogs defense is tied for third in the district in yards allowed per game with 263.

Nederland ranks fourth in the district in total offense with a good mix of running (725 yards) and passing (647). In four games, Nederland averages 343 yards of offense per game.

Santa Fe is in last place with 122 yards per game.

Those unable to make the game can catch it on the Sheffield Productions YouTube page.