The Mexico Bulldogs have been working hard preparing for their Homecoming game against their conference opponent Kirksville Tigers. Last year the 'Dogs beat the Tigers 60-56 in a regular season game. MHS football coach Ty Harrison says his 'Dogs "will need to play with the confidence we played with last week" to beat the Tigers on Friday.
Kirksville's win/loss record is now 2-4, and the Bulldogs' season record is 0-2, with a 1-5 conference run.
Harrison said his Bulldogs have been working this week on eliminating penalties and fine-tuning offensive and defensive schemes. His opinion of the team's performance after watching game film from the Sept. 28 winning game against the Warrenton Warriors was: "offensively it was our best game of the year."
Harrison added, "There was good balance, throwing and running the ball. Defensively, we made critical stops and got critical turnovers when we needed them." He plans to rotate some younger players in again this week.
Coach Harrison said Mexico needs to improve their special teams and big plays, continue to sustain some drives offensively, and have no big plays given up defensively. In practice this week, he said, they worked on those issues and being "assignment sound."
"We are working on consistency in team periods," Harrison noted.
The key factors in Friday's game, both offensively and defensively, Harrison said are, "We need to stop their run and force them into 3rd and long situations."
According to Ledger archives, Mexico has faced the Kirksville Tigers eight times in homecoming games since 1974, and have beaten them five times, lost two and tied one. The two losses were in 1980 and 1988 when Kirksville beat Mexico 6 to 3 and 13 to 7 respectively. The Bulldogs beat the Tigers in 1974, 1988, 1992, 1999 and 2001 and tied 6-6 in 1978.
The two teams will meet at 7 p.m. on the Hawthorne Heights field.
Note: The 2012 Homecoming Souvenir Sports Tab will be printed in Friday's edition of The Mexico Ledger.