This week, the 5-1 Brookfield Bulldogs come home to take on the Palmyra Panthers. Palmyra has shocked the football world by starting off their season 6-0. They have downed Clarence Cannon Conference powerhouses Macon, Centralia and Clark County already this year.
"We have been able to beat Palmyra every year so far in Conference play, so our kids are fairly confident," said Head Coach Nile Thudium. "This is essentially the same team we played a year ago, they lost a few kids, the vast majority of their starters are back. We feel like we are playing at a high level defensively and on special teams. If we can find a way to score points, we will be a really good football team."
The Panthers have found a way to utilize a ton of offensive talent, by running all kinds of offensive formations. With a lot to prepare for, many teams defenses have been caught unprepared for Palmyra this season.
"Offensively, they run everything from a Split-back Veer to the Spread," said Coach Thudium. "You don't know what to prepare for, they are really all over the map offensively. They have a great deal of talent. We will prepare for the Veer and the Spread. You can't prepare for everything they will throw, but we will do our best to shut down their primary plays."
Coach Thudium noted that the defense will need to play disciplined, and read their keys to make sure they are on the ball. The team will also have to tackle well in space.
Last week, the Dogs showed some new offensive wrinkles against South Shelby. But the team continues to struggle to find an offensive identity.
"We are going to continue to tweak our offense until we find something that works," said Coach Thudium. "We came in with an offense that we thought fit our talent. But for whatever reason it has not. We will continue to spread them out. We will continue to look at what is working, and will mix those plays in with new ones."
Palmyra runs a 5-2, Cover 2 defense. "They are very athletic, and have speed. We will have to execute well, and stay on our blocks if we want to be successful."
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. this Friday night at Burlington Field.