"It'll be kind of like playing our first game. We haven't played in so long so we're excited. "
CRESTVIEW — "I'd have said you're crazy."
Confronted with the reality that his defense enters Week 5 without giving up a single score, Crestview head coach Tim Hatten could only laugh it off. Had you told this to him in the preseason, along with the fact that his team is undefeated, he would have questioned your sanity.
"It's just been an odd year," he said.
His starting quarterback, senior Rod Bouchard, has played just one half all year.
His defense has scored three more touchdowns than its opponents.
And, by the time West Florida comes to town for Friday's 7 p.m. kickoff, the Bulldogs will have had a 21-day sabbatical following their 32-0 win at home over St. Martin.
Hurricane Irma canceled their home tilt against non-district foe Navarre on Sept. 8. A week later Tampa Catholic phoned that it wasn't equipped to host the Bulldogs.
Two weeks, two cancellations.
Crestview remains 2-0. West Florida, meanwhile, has played eight more quarters en route to a 4-0 mark.
"All you can do is play the schedule you got and do your best," Hatten said.
As for West Florida, Hatten called the Jaguars "a pretty good team, the best by far we'll face on our schedule this year."
"They have great skill players, a great defense, a good kicking game ... everything you'd want in a good high school football team, they have," he said.
Their wins are impressive enough.
The 5A powerhouse routed Escambia 42-20 and cruised to a 41-28 road win over a 2-1 Tate team that running-clocked Choctaw in Fort Walton Beach. The Jaguars followed with a 34-26 victory at D'Iberville (Mississippi) before handing 3-1 Mosley its first loss in a 22-14 win at home.
Defensively, there's no way Crestview maintains the scoreless pace. Especially against a multi-faceted Jaguars offense averaging 35 points per game.
Boding well for the Bulldogs' defense is its nose for the ball. Three weeks ago Jaden Voisin scored on a 68-yard fumble recovery and Dadalus Livingston put six on the board by falling on a fumble in the end zone.
The week before it was a 17-yard pick-six by Chris Johns.
"They're playing well and creating turnovers and capitalizing on mistakes," Hatten said.
On the other side of the ball, Bouchard is healthy after missing the last game and a half with an ankle injury. The senior has four touchdowns in his only two quarters this season.
"He's got some life in his feet now so that's one of the silver linings to this break," Hatten said.
Three weeks off, though, will create some rust on both sides of the ball.
"It'll be kind of like playing our first game," Hatten said. "We haven't played in so long so we're excited. We're looking forward to continuity."