CRESTVIEW — When Crestview High School's football team travels to Milton on Friday to take on the Panthers, both teams will try to get back on track after homecoming losses.
Crestview lost to Choctawhatchee 21-6; Gulf Breeze shocked Milton 48-26.
But Bulldog Coach Tim Hatten said he doesn’t think the Panthers will show the Bulldogs anything they haven’t seen on either side of the football. “They have a power running game more than anything else,” he said. “They have a kid that goes vertical and catches the ball. We will need to be able to execute our offense, certainly a lot better than we did against Choctaw.
“We just didn’t do a lot of things right (on Friday). We are going to be a lot better prepared on offense and not hurt our defense.”
Milton (4-2) runs a base three-man front on defense. "They walk some people up and give you some different looks,” Hatten said. "They have decent speed. They move around quick to the ball. They are well coached. They are like every other team in our area."
The Bulldogs (3-3) should have a better chance Friday with starting quarterback Rusty Moorer's return. Moorer broke his hand during the season opener's first quarter against Northview.
“We need to get Rusty in the game,” Hatten said. “I don’t think (the game) really matters, as far as the playoff picture and our future, but it matters for our mojo, with Rusty getting in there and getting synced up and starting to get used to the flow.
“It’s kind of like the first ball game. It doesn’t mean a lot record-wise, but you want to get off on a good, even jump, so to speak. It’s really like the first game of the season for Rusty.”
Hatten said he hopes Moorer’s return provides the spark the Bulldogs need heading down the season's final stretch.
“A lot of people have counted us out, and rightfully so,” Hatten said. “But they don’t understand what it’s like to play without that guy (at quarterback) doing what we do.
“We are in total control of our own destiny. All we have to do is win, and it doesn’t matter what anybody else does. You just play.”