Bulldogs get ready to face Troy in pivotal conference matchup

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Mission High School football coach Tyler Murray will not concern himself with the Flint Creek-Charlo game until his Bulldogs’ team can prove they can take care of business when they host Troy at 7 p.m. Friday night at Mission High School.

Mission fell to Clark-Fork 60-44 Friday night, but a win this week could potentially set up a crucial matchup with perennial Class C 8-man powerhouse Charlo the following week.

In a hypothetical scenario where the Bulldogs defeat Troy, they provide themselves with a chance to position themselves to be a part of the upper brass of their conference and the same win-loss record as the loser of the Charlo-Flint Creek at 7 p.m. Friday in Phillipsburg.

“We won’t look too far ahead (of our game against Troy),” Murray said. “We will keep that in mind after the game. We want to secure a victory against Troy then move onto Charlo. We want to end every week 1-0 and we didn’t accomplish that (against Clark Fork). I really don’t care about the Flint-Creek-Charlo outcome until Saturday morning.”

The Bulldogs have the opportunity to capitalize but Murray only wants them to focus on the fundamental components that made his team successful in their season-opening 44-12 victory last Friday against Victor.

“We have a lot to work on if we want to ride this ship for the season,” Murray said. “We were too soft as a team and not very physical. We didn’t tackle well at all and I take a lot of credit for that because we didn’t work very much on tackling this week as a team.”

The Bulldogs squandered three opportunities inside the red zone against Clark Fork. According to Murray, the missed chances were difference makers.

“We turned the ball over on offense in crucial times when we had an opportunity to score three times inside of the 10-yard-line and didn’t come away with any points on that,” Murray said.

Mission, a team that has developed a reputation for creating turnovers, was overly aggressive in their approach in the loss to Clark Fork, according to Murray.

“We tried to force too many turnovers and the ball just wasn’t coming out,” Murray said. “As a result, we were letting them get five or so yards after contact and they kept moving the chains. We have to work on getting a guy down when we tackle.”

Because of his team’s over-aggressive nature against Clark Fork, Murray said he and his coaching staff will focus on the basics in this week’s pivotal early-season conference match up.

Headed into this week’s game against Troy, Murray said he is going to refocus the team’s attention on the fundamental elements of football.

“I watched Troy play Arlee the first week and other than that, I really don’t know much about them going into the start of the week,” Murray said. “We are going to worry about ourselves and do the things that we need to do in order to win the game. We are going to make sure that we are ready for anything and play our style of football instead of worrying so much about the opponent.”

Murray mentioned a couple of his play makers Flint McPherson and Wacey McClure, who he credited to being solid contributors to the Mission football program.

“We have great play makers and the biggest thing is Wacey and Flint make plays for us,” Murray said. “It is awesome because we need that consistency not to turn the ball over during game situations. We had three interceptions in this game and two in the last game and that is not off to a good start with fumbles. We missed a hand off and that is easy stuff that we can work on.”

The Bulldogs and Murray said they are “confident” they can return to form headed into this week’s conference match up.

“This game should get us back on the winning side of things and if we come away with the win here, it will help us leading into the Charlo game (next week),” Murray said. “We just have to get better as a team. I haven’t watched much film but we have to adjust to it this week and worry about ourselves getting better as a team (headed into the game with Troy).”

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