Richard Stroud

Grove Sun

JAY- The Jay Bulldogs will go into their game against McDonald County (Mo.) Friday needing a win after two straight losses to open the season.

After being shut out by Gravette (Ark.) in week one, the Bulldogs lost the Delaware County Bowl against archrival Grove 51-27 last week.

But despite the loss, head coach Shane Holland saw a lot of positives in a game that wasn’t nearly as lopsided as the score indicated.

“We played pretty well offensively,” Holland said. “We threw the ball extremely well. When we wanted to, we ran the ball really well. We just have to keep doing what we’ve been doing offensively. We’re doing things right there. And we should be, those are experienced guys.”

An inexperienced Jay defense has struggled, especially in last week’s loss to the Ridgerunners. In all Grove racked up nearly 500 yards of offense, including 362 yards on the ground.

“Defensively we need to get better,” Holland said. “We’re nowhere near where we need to be. Speed was a big deal in that game.”

The Bulldogs will face a different challenge in the Mustangs. Though coming off a 10-0 loss to Monett (Mo.) last week, Holland feels the Mustangs will be a challenge.

“They’re big and physical. They like to run the ball inside. They don’t throw the ball much. Defensively, they’re big and physical up front.”

The Bulldogs will go into Friday's game hoping to avoid the crippling mistakes that have plagued them the first two weeks. Against Gravette, a fumble near the goal line just after halftime changed the game against the Bulldogs. In last week’s game against Grove, a fumble on Jay’s first possession of the second half led to the Ridgerunners opening up a 38-21 lead.

“We had about a six minute span where we couldn’t match them score for score,” Holland said. “Then we had to throw every down and it’s hard to throw the ball in that situation. We were pretty balanced in our play calling before that. The game wasn’t as bad as the score would indicate.”

The Bulldogs will go for their first win of the season against the Mustangs Friday at 7:30 at Jay B. Earp Stadium in Jay.