Next up for the Dogs Morgan County High School Dogs vs. Oconee County Warriors Friday, Sept. 27, 7:30 p.m., Oconee County High School in Watkinsville

By Nick Nunn, Staff Writer

“Anticlimactic.”

That’s how Morgan County’s Head Football Coach Bill Malone described the bye week that the team endured last week.

And why not? Without a Friday night game to look forward to, the practices would become a set of endless drills before a night at the house.

Still, the bye week served its purpose, and Coach Malone said that the team and coaches were able to get a little more rest than in a normal week.

But a climax is now on the horizon: the first region game of the year against the Oconee County Warriors this Friday in Watkinsville.

A cursory look at Oconee’s record so far this year will tell you that the Warriors have lost their first three games, but Malone warns against misjudging Oconee’s potential.

“They’ve played some great competition, and they’re working on everything they can work on,” said Coach Malone, who stated that he is sure that the Warriors will be able to pull their team together during the course of this season; he just doesn’t want them to do it this Friday.

Malone said that he is curious to see how the Warriors’ defense will attempt to hold Morgan County’s offense, and said that the Bulldogs’ defense will “stick with their receivers and cover space” in order to deal with Oconee’s spread offense.

Again, Coach Malone noted that one of the biggest hang-ups for the Dogs right now is their errors on the line, which lead to penalties. Malone chalks these errors up to “mental mistakes” and a drop in confidence just before the snap.

Now that region games are beginning, mental mistakes that cost the team yardage have a real impact on the rest of the season.

With region wins and losses being the determining factors for post-season play, Oconee County and the remaining games this season will have a direct effect on the length of this season.

“There is a definite end to the season,” said Malone, “but we can extend the end of the season if we play well.”

Malone said that the first region game being on the road is a “pain in the neck,” owing to the fact that it is always “difficult to manage 85 to 90 kids.”

However, whatever difficulties a road game might create – even if the school is only a half-hour up the highway – all of that disappears right before the opening kickoff.

“Then,” says Coach Malone, “it’s just a football game.”