By Raegan Stanley
Killeen Daily Herald
The Shoemaker Grey Wolves knew they had their work cut out for them last week against Killeen High and tonight will be no different as the Wolves face No. 1 Copperas Cove.
The Bulldawgs are 2-0, defeating Tuloso-Midway 36-7, while Shoemaker has split games, falling 17-14 to Killeen last Friday.
"I think it's going to be a difficult game," said Dawgs coach Jack Welch. "They have a lot of athletes and they are very well-coached."
Welch said that he considers Shoemaker a tough opponent, especially after the way they played against Killeen, a program he also considers to be one of the best in the area.
"The good thing about football, there's always another week," said Wolves head coach Ken Gray.
Thus far, it seems as though the Wolves' toughest opponents have been themselves.
Several costly mistakes against Killeen show the overall youth of the team and experience is one of those things that can only come with time.
Gray has said since preseason that the biggest factor against his team is inexperience.
That fact has not manifested itself in playing ability, as Shoemaker always produces top athletes, but has instead shown a propensity for costly penalties and fumbles.
The Wolves fumbled six times against Killeen and had 50 yards worth of penalties and "something like 90 yards lost" in bad snaps, said Gray.
Despite these weaknesses, Welch says his team will have their hands full.
"They run a 3-5 defense and so with those five linebackers, they do a lot of blitzing," Welch said.
"To combat that, we have to have our assignments down. Our guys have got to block their man."
Welch will depend on his offensive line of Sean Doherty, Nathan Kepler, Sean Robertson, Anthony Mackey and Jerry Hill to open holes for running back Troy Vital and quarterback Robert Griffin.
"As talented as they are, you just can't beat yourself," Gray said.
Offensively, Shoemaker will be depending on quarterback Andre Smith, who Welch says can "throw on a dime," and
running backs Lyvell Marzett and Dion Demers.
Demers is second on the team in rushing yardage with
92 yards and two touchdowns.
Smith also relies on the speedy and precise receiving duo of M.J. Porter and Derrick Mays.
"You have to make plays when the opportunity is there to make plays," Gray said of what the Wolves need to do against Cove.
"I'm really happy with the kids, their work ethic, their enthusiasm. We just have to take those opportunities."
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Leo Buckley Stadium in Killeen.
Radio broadcast of the game will begin at 6:30 p.m. on www.kdhpressbox.com and play-by-play text will begin at 7.
n The Copperas Cove Quarterback Club will meet Thursday, Sept. 13 at 6:30 a.m. at the Copperas Cove High School Athletic Annex.
Head Coach and Athletic Director Jack Welch will review last week's game against Tuloso-Midway.
Welch also will preview the upcoming matchup between his Copperas Cove Bulldawgs and the Shoemaker Grey Wolves. Breakfast is sponsored by the Cove Exchange Club.
Friday, Sept. 21, the Quarterback Club will meet at 6:30 a.m. and the breakfast sponsor will be the Cove Herald.
Contact Raegan Stanley at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (254)501-7564.