The Thomson High School Bulldogs will roll out the black-and-gold welcome mat Friday night for the Westover Patriots - a team that eliminated the Dogs from post-season play in 2004.
"We don't want a repeat of that to happen this year," THS Head Coach Luther Welsh said Monday.
The Patriots come into the contest with a record of 6-4, operating a multi-faceted offense.
"They sometimes run out of the spread offense; other times they are in the shotgun and Power I," Coach Welsh said. "They change up a lot, depending on the situation."
Thomson heads into the game with a 9-0-1 record, starting to peak at just the right time, Coach Welsh said.
"Now is the time to get better, if you're going to get better," he said.
Thomson's offense hasn't played much better this season than it did last week against Washington County, thanks in large part to a consistent effort up front to open holes for Bulldog runners. The Bulldogs beat the Golden Hawks 34-10 in the Brickyard.
"That's what we've been trying to tell our offensive line all season long is that they had to become consistent in their blocking so we could score," Coach Welsh said. "They finally listened."
Thomson's James Bonner split WaCo's defense for 130 yards and three touchdowns on 16 carries.
The Bulldogs (9-0-1) went running back by committee and took thier first drive 59 yards for the score in just under five minutes. Bonner punched in from the 6-yard line. The Golden Hawks (4-6) ran off two straight first downs and promptly stalled on the ensuing drive.
The Bulldogs seemed to come up with a big run exactly when they needed it. On back to back drives in the second quarter, Bonner broke free for 49 yards, and quarterback Brandon Turman took it 55. Both drives ended in Bonner scores.
Washington County took a late first half kickoff to the Thomson 36, but Darius Eubanks picked off quarterback a Markeist Warthen pass on the first play from scrimmage. Eubanks sprinted 64 yards down the left sideline for the touchdown and a 28-0 lead.
"I just listened to what (defensive backs) coach Curtis Williams taught us through the week at practice," Eubanks said.
Thomson defensive linebacker Stedman Grant gave an awesome performance against the Golden Hawks. Grant, a junior, recorded 19 tackles against Washington County, thus giving him a total of 101 tackles on the season.
"He played a very outstanding game for us on defense," Coach Welsh said.