The Wortham Bulldogs have not had the best of luck in their match ups against Mildred in recent years.

The Eagles have won each of the last six meetings, outscoring Wortham 205-82. This year, Wortham coach John Gillen says he expects things to go back in the Bulldogs favor as Wortham travels to Mildred Friday.

"They have gotten the best of us over the past several years," Gillen said. "It used to be us that would beat Mildred every year but they are on their streak now.

"I think it is time that the tide turned and we ended that streak."

Beating Mildred, however, will be no easy task.

After losing their first game of the season to Waco Reicher, the Eagles turned things around to beat Hillsboro 35-14 last week.

Running back Dang Nguyen led the Eagles offensive attack against Hillsboro, rushing for 171 yards and three touchdowns.

Mildred (0-0, 1-1 District 14-2A) will also be attempting to utilize more of its passing game with quarterback Thomas McDonald completing only four passes for 48 yards and two interceptions in two games.

The defense of Mildred has also stepped it up, intercepting five passes this season.

Stopping the Wortham running game will be the focus of that defense this week.

The Bulldogs' quarterback Jake Jones showed that he was capable of keeping the ball himself and running for big yards as he racked up 204 rushing yards and two touchdowns in Wortham's 34-26 loss to Riesel.

"Jake will be the main guy we are going to try to stop," Mildred senior linebacker Preston Stephens said. "We will have to make sure we play good defense against [Wortham] for the entire game.�"

Jones' passing game has also improved. After completing just four passes for 58 yards against Blooming Grove to open the season, Jones threw for 201 yards last week.

"We always expect Jake to have a good game," Gillen said. "We are going to need a big game out of his this week, but he is always ready to play come Friday night."

Turnovers have been something that has plagued Wortham to begin the year, fumbling 10 times.

That is something first-year Mildred coach Patrick Harvell will look to key on with his defense.

"We don't tell our kids three and out, we tell them we want one and out," Harvell said after the Hillsboro win. "We want to create turnovers."





Wortham at mildred

7:30 P.M. Friday

AT Asby field





RECORDS: Class 1A Wortham 0-2. Class 2A Mildred 1-1.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Wortham: QB Jake Jones, RB Chris Perez, DB Hance Spencer, OL/LB Blake Ridge. Mildred: QB/FS Thomas McDonald, RB Dang Nguyen, OL/DE Payton Weaver, L Casey Russell.



Offense:

The Mildred offense picked up the pace last Friday scoring 35 points after being shutout against Waco Reicher in Week 0. Running back Dang Nguyen rushed for 171 yards and three scores in the Eagles 28-14 win over Hillsboro. Wortham quarterback Jake Jones kept the chains moving for the Bulldogs with 204 yards and two touchdowns against Riesel.

EDGE: Mildred



Defense:

The Eagles’ Thomas McDonald was Week 1’s defensive player of the week, nabbing two interceptions and recording 10 tackles in Mildred’s 35-14 win over Hillsboro last week. The Bulldogs’ defense has allowed 38.5 points per game in their first two games while Mildred is giving up an average of 21 points.

EDGE: Mildred



Intangibles:

Mildred has gotten the upper hand the last six times these two teams have met, but Wortham is ready to get back in control. Wortham defeated Mildred 30-0 in the Area round of the playoffs in 2000.

EDGE: Wortham



Overall Edge: Mildred



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Shawn Edwards may be contacted via e-mail at edwards@corsicanadailysun.com

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