Bulldogs ready for kickoff

Published 9:00 pm Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Junior feature back Deshaun Wethington will be a key part of King's Fork High School's offensive attack in tonight's Bulldog gridiron season premiere. KF hosts Deep Creek High School at 7 p.m. (Danny Haymond photo)

Junior feature back Deshaun Wethington will be a key part of King’s Fork High School’s offensive attack in tonight’s Bulldog gridiron season premiere. KF hosts Deep Creek High School at 7 p.m. (Danny Haymond photo)

The Suffolk team that made Thanksgiving week a high-school football week in 2013 due to the length of its postseason run returns to the gridiron tonight for another season of great expectations.

The King’s Fork High School Bulldogs host the Deep Creek High School Hornets this evening.

“I’m excited, the players and coaches are all excited to get the season under way,” Bulldogs coach Joe Jones said on Thursday. “We’re hoping to have a big crowd there tomorrow night, even though school’s not in session.”

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King’s Fork, which finished 9-4 last year, got its first-ever playoff wins during that run and is hungry for more.

“We think we’ve got a good mix of experience and size and athletic ability and especially depth,” Jones said. “We’re hoping that’s going to really pay off for us as we get into the season.”

Tonight, the Bulldogs aim for a positive follow-up to their 50-6 season-opening win over the Hornets last year.

“They’re a better football team this year than they were last year,” Jones said of Deep Creek, which went 2-8 in 2013.

He also said they showed a lot of improvement from their first to their second preseason scrimmages.

“They’ve got nothing to lose,” he said. “We’ve been there, I’ve been there,” as they seek to get their program started and get that signature win.

The Bulldogs will look to limit senior quarterback Terrence Shambry, who threw for 1,361 yards and seven touchdowns in Deep Creek’s no-huddle offense last year.

The Hornets also have two other key offensive weapons returning — senior running back Armond Askew and senior wide receiver Keshawn Sykes — which KF will aim to contain.

“We want to try to gang tackle and be sure tacklers,” Jones said. “There’s going to be times that we’re going to have to make open field tackles because they spread the field so much.”

On offense, Jones said the Bulldogs will need to be effective on the line to create opportunities for junior feature back Deshaun Wethington and to protect junior quarterback Ryan Kluck.

Jones said the two teams run very similar defenses, and King’s Fork’s offense has been preparing for it.

“We’ve been working on some of the things they do,” he said. “They like to bring pressure from the outside.”

Playing Deep Creek is special for Bulldogs defensive coordinator David Waddell, who was the head coach there for about four years, he graduated from the school and his wife still teaches there.

“He’s especially keyed up for this one,” Jones said. “As I always said, Deep Creek’s loss was our gain.”

Aside from some bumps and bruises, King’s Fork is healthy entering tonight’s game. The kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.