The Jasper Bulldogs are coming off a tough Week 4 loss to Diboll, 14-9, but it was all part of the plan according to head football coach Darrell Barbay.
"We're OK," said Barbay, "Dogs are always going to be alright."
The game with Diboll was not originally scheduled, both teams had separate games which were cancelled earlier in the week due to flooding from Tropical Storm Imelda. Both coaches agreed to play each other late Thursday afternoon.
That left no time for game planning.
"I held a couple of kids out for the opponent I thought we were going to play," said Barbay.
"I didn't let some kids play because they hadn't practiced that week, it came back to us, we're better for it, we needed to play."
The Bulldogs had already experienced a cancellation to Lumberton in Week 1 due to lightening. Now they take on a humbled La Marque team that is coming off a 62-0 loss to West Columbia last week.
"They're a very athletic team," said Barbay.
"Defensively they're going to line up and come after you. They swarm to the ball, they fly around, they tackle good. Offensively they spread the ball, will run the inside zone with their pro style. We will need to play well."
The Jasper offense will continue to ground and pound with their running game, led by Carl Limbrick and Montavian Hunt. Hunt is coming off a "high ankle sprain" but will be ready for Friday night.
"He's the type of kid who'll never say he can't go," said Barbay.
"Hunt is a special kid for us who will touch the ball a lot Friday night."
On defense, Avion Bennett (2020, LB, 17 Solo Tackles) and Shean Singleton (2021, LB, 9 Solo Tackles, 5 TFL) lead a crew who only gives up 14 points a game and thrive off sacks (8) and interceptions (4).
"We've played solid defense all year, last week was probably the best defense we've played all season," said Barbay.
"Terrien Collins had a great game for us with three interceptions, he's really stepped it up. We're playing really good ball defensively right now."
Next week the Bulldogs take on a tough West Orange-Stark team and then open their season October 11 on the road at Shepard.
VYPE SETX PODCAST: Jasper HC Darryl Barbay - Week 5 Preview
The Jasper Bulldogs are primed for a state title run in 2019 as the regional semifinalist from last season return heavy artillery for the upcoming season. A big part of their talent base starts with returning district MVP Montavion Hunt (1,514 yards, 20 TDs rushing) who could be the best player in southeast Texas.
"We think we have a chance to be really good," said Bulldog head coach Darrell Barbay.
"Athletically I think we're about as good as anyone, our challenge will be to keep our focus. As a staff we have to be focused and our kids will have to keep their focus."