Nederland Bulldogs heading back on the road after 1st loss. Tough Dayton squad awaits.

Published 12:16 am Thursday, October 14, 2021

NEDERLAND — For the first time this season, Nederland entered the practice week coming off a loss. The Bulldogs are looking to regain their footing after a 14-2 defeat to Texas City Friday.

For the second week in a row, Nederland (5-1, 2-1 in District 12-5A) is on the road, this time traveling to Dayton to take on the Broncos (2-4, 1-2).

Nederland Head Coach Monte Barrow said his team is responding well.

“We talked to them Monday about how the district race is about ups and downs, not unlike in a football game,” he said. “The season is a little different. You get the one loss and you are really in a position where you don’t want to get that second one, because you might be depending on someone else as far as playoffs go.”

Prior to the game against Texas City, Barrow said the game against the Stings, who are No. 1 in the district, would be a good test to see where his team stands. With the narrow defeat in the rearview, Barrow said he saw some things he liked.

“I thought our defense held up really well and kept us in the game,” he said. “They stepped it up in the second half. On offense, we have to take things that happened to us in that game and learn from it.”

The offense will likely have to step it up against Dayton, which has the No. 3 offense in the district.

The Broncos are led by quarterback Blayne Denton, who leads the district with 1,519 yards through the air to go with 17 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

“They give you a ton of looks on offense in different formations,” Barrow said of Dayton. “The fact that they do so much, you aren’t able to spend a lot of time on what they do most, because you have to make sure you cover all of these different looks. We are going to be tested in the (secondary). They have big-play potential and are playing good right now.”

Dayton is coming off a 44-0 win over Santa Fe. The Nederland defense is also keeping an eye on Dayton receiver Ashton Garner, who leads the district with 36 receptions, 736 yards and 10 TDs.

Barrow said his team gets playoff experience just by getting on a bus for the second week to travel.

“If you want to be a playoff team and win in the playoffs, you are going to have to get on the bus and take a road trip that is an hour or two and still perform,” he said. “We put in on the kids to take their preparation from last week and think about things they were ready for and things they weren’t. Collectively, we have to be ready as a team moving forward when the game starts.”

Nederland quarterback Luke Broussard leads the team in rushing with 390 yards on 76 attempts. He also is fifth in the district with 925 yards passing with seven touchdowns and eight interceptions.

The game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Bronco Stadium. Those not able to make the trip can catch live stream for free on the Sheffield Productions YouTube channel.