CRESTVIEW — A rugged Milton Panther football team comes calling to Crestview High School’s Jack Foster Stadium on Friday as the Bulldogs open the 2014 season.
Crestview Coach Tim Hatten said it will be all systems go and all hands on deck for the Bulldogs.
“This is for real,” he said. “There’s nothing 'practice' about this. There is nothing half-speed about it.
“... We are playing for keeps now and it becomes the game of football as we all know and love."
Milton reminds Hatten of the Pace team that beat the Bulldogs 27-7 in last week’s Kickoff Classic.
“They are going to bring it downhill (the football in the running game) about like Pace,” Hatten said. “We are going to have to be on top of our Ps and Qs. Hopefully, we can do some things that we did not do Friday night.
“We have got to be able to stop folks from coming downhill at us. It’s good that we played Pace and found out we have some problems we need to address. When you start talking about stopping the downhill run, they are good at it and I think Milton is going to be good at it, too.”
The Bulldog varsity offense only ran 16 plays against the Patriots as Pace controlled the ball and the clock with the running game.
On the bright side, Hatten thinks he’s found his running backs.
Marcus Mobley, a junior transfer from Pensacola High School, had a touchdown run of more than 60 yards against Pace for Crestview’s only varsity score. Senior D.J. Stewart also solidified his spot in the backfield.
“I think D.J. Stewart and Marcus Mobley give us a really good one-two punch in there,” Hatten said. “And Malique Studevan will come in there and get some carries in spots.
“We will be OK. I feel a little better about running back."
Quarterbacks Corey Armstrong and Rusty Moorer looked OK against the Patriots, Hatten said.
“We’ve got some room for improvement with both of them,” he said. “I think Corey played a decent game. That was Rusty’s first varsity game so I think it could have been first-game jitters for him.
“I don’t think they played bad. I don’t think they played great. We are satisfied with where we are and we just need to get better.”
Hatten knows Crestview’s success Friday will depend on how well the much heralded Bulldog defense rebounds from a disappointing showing against Pace.
“We have to stop the downhill run,” he said. “If you do that you have a chance and if you don’t you have no chance.”
WHAT: High school football, Milton at Crestview
WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday
WHERE: Jack Foster Stadium, Crestview High School