COPPERAS COVE — Physical, explosive football is what coach Jack Alvarez envisions the Bulldawgs running in the fall.
He got a glimpse of that vision Friday.
The Blue and White Spring Game was held at Bulldawgs Stadium in front of a large Copperas Cove crowd. The White Team topped the Blue Team 21-7.
Junior Isaiah Haines had a pick-6 to put the Blue Team on the board after trailing the White Team 14-0.
Offense got off to a hot start thanks to running back Micah Cox rushing 48 yards up the left side of the field after breaking away from the defense.
With the extra-point attempt, the White Team took an early 7-0 lead.
Cox finished his junior season with the Dawgs with a total of 900 rushing yards and a second-team all-district selection.
On the next drive, the White team was back in scoring position thanks to junior quarterback Russel Cochran finding wide open receiver Jahmeel Rice downfield.
Rice is coming off a junior season of 36 receptions for 562 yards, eight touchdowns and an all-district honorable mention nod.
Shane Ritchie rushed for 15 yards for the White Team’s second touchdown, and the extra-point attempt was good.
“I like for us to play physical,” Alvarez said. “But I also like for us to play explosive, and we did a lot of those things today.
“Now we made a few mistakes, we got things we can fix, but they’re starting to get the idea, I think.”
A majority of the offensive line are underclassmen with little to no varsity experience. The Dawgs are graduating 38 seniors from last year’s team.
Friday night was their first taste of what the younger players will be up against in the fall.
“They now definitely understand that they’re going to get hit in the mouth every play,” said Aaron Shanahan, one of the only two starting offensive linemen returning from last year’s squad. “They just have to go nonstop back-to-back — fast, hard, as much as they can.
“I feel like as long as we work together and they go hard every play, we can do whatever we need to do this season.”
The White Team capped the scoring when Xzavier McCarter ran the ball up the middle and into the end zone for the final touchdown of the evening.
“They’re a fun group to be around,” Alvarez said of his team. “I think they’re hungry to win and play at a high level.
“Anytime your kids are willing to make a great effort, it’s always fun.”
Although Alvarez’s first spring practice with Copperas Cove has come to an end, the Dawgs know there is still work to be done.
“This summer, hopefully everyone will show up every day and work their hardest,” Shanahan said. “The goal is to have all of our people show up every day, work hard, get those little things in and critique them.”
After seeing the way his team performed Friday night, “You know the fall is going to be fun,” Alvarez said.