Week One Preview: Carrollton Trojans @ Trenton Bulldogs
Last year, the Carrollton Trojans toiled away to the tune of an 0-10 season. This year, however, entering the week one match-up between the THS Bulldogs and Trojans, Carrollton has something Trenton does not – experience.
And a lot of it.
The Trojans return 10 players who were starters at one point or another last season. So, despite the record Carrollton posted last season, the Trojans have to be viewed as a threat.
“They have a lot of kids with game experience,” Trenton Head Coach Wes Croy said. “Whether you are 10-0 or 0-10, experience on Friday night is valuable. Even though they were 0-10 last year, they still made gains athletically and individually throughout the course of the season and that is going to pay off for them this year.”
Trenton, meanwhile, is nearly the exact opposite. The Bulldogs are young, starting five sophomores on Friday night. Trenton does have some experience returning at spots, but the Bulldogs will have to lean on athleticism and skill more than experience when they line up against the Trojans.
“Hopefully, we play well enough and put enough ability on the field to counter their experience,” Croy said. “We are the exact opposite. We are very inexperienced this year and we are young. We are going to start a lot of sophomores and a lot of juniors. We are really going to need our senior class and their leadership to carry us through early in the year.”
With a team like Carrollton, which has been downtrodden in the recent past, getting off to a quick start could turn into a huge advantage for the Bulldogs.
“I think it’s extremely important to jump on them early if we can,” Croy said. “Like I said, they are a team that hasn’t had a lot of success over the years. I’m sure that they are well prepared for us. They are well-coached and when you get kids that haven’t had a lot of success and you allow them to have good things happen early in a football game, they will build off that and get more and more confident. It would be to our advantage to do things well early and, hopefully, if we can do that, we can get them back on their heels and put some doubt in their minds.”
Carrollton’s biggest weapons lie in the backfield with running backs Ridge Mathis and Keaton Sullivan. Last season those two, along with Mark Hundley, who moves from quarterback to tight end this year, combined for 106 rushing yards against the Bulldogs in week one. The Trojans had Trenton on the ropes before a late rally gave the Bulldogs an 18-14 victory. Needing a late rally to pull out a narrow win is something Trenton will look to avoid this season.
The Bulldogs and Carrollton will kick off at 7 p.m. on Friday at C.F. Russell Stadium in Trenton.
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