• September 28, 2016

FOOTBALL: Buffaloes look to get back on track

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Posted: Thursday, September 22, 2016 11:35 pm

After beginning the season 2-0, Florence has come back down to earth a bit.

In Week 3, the Buffaloes were topped 38-27 at Holland, and they fell 38-8 last week to Salado at home.

Florence head coach Zane Bode said the coaching staff is trying to keep the kids’ heads up in order to get past their current two-game losing streak.

“That’s more of what coaching is than Xs and Os,” Bode said, “trying to get them to understand that we’ve played some good people. Everybody we’ve played so far has been a playoff team.

“Even when it doesn’t go your way, you’ve got to look at, ‘Did we get better?’ We did some good things Friday night against Salado.”

Bode felt there were plenty of “teachable moments” in their loss to the Eagles, and he hopes the players learned from those moments and apply it this week.

“If we can correct some things and get everybody on the same page, there’s good things and bright sunshine ahead,” Bode said. “But it’s hard to see that, right now, when it seems really dark.”

Tonight at home, the Buffs will look to rebound against Class 3A, Division I Marion before entering their open week.

The Bulldogs (1-3) are currently on a three-game losing streak. After defeating Austin Eastside Memorial in their season opener, they have lost to Geronimo Navarro, Devine and Goliad by a combined 104 points.

But despite Marion’s lack of recent success, Bode has a lot of respect for tonight’s opponent and is not taking them lightly.

“Marion is an outstanding football team,” he said. “They made the playoffs again last year, and it’s going to be an outstanding challenge for us. I’ve been telling the kids — that’s what we’re wanting.

“We want a challenge, and sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t. But you’ve got to relish the battle and the challenge and go see where you stand with these people who are where we aspire to be.”

The Bulldogs will utilize a balanced offensive attack out of the spread, and they will use a two-man rotation at running back in what has turned out to be a highly-effective running game.

But Marion will also have to contend with a two-headed attack on the ground from Florence, as running back Edel Hernandez and junior quarterback C.J. Giddens have garnered a lot of attention defensively from the opposition.

Where the Buffs are trying to improve offensively is the passing game, where they have struggled a bit in taking advantage of pass catchers like Zack Pluhar, Martin Quenga and Terrell Lee.

To Bode, however, it’s all about the defense, where he has been pleased with the development of nose guard Alex Gamboa and linebacker Ramiro Gomez.

“I’m an old defensive guy,” he said, “and I’m a firm believer that no matter what you do on offense, it boils down to defense. … I feel like if we score 14 points, we ought to be able to win the game.”

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