Bremen coach Ricky Tolleson isn't going to change anything he does or the way he prepares his team, he just knows his Blue Devils (3-3, 2-2 Region 5-AA) will have to perform better than they did against Kendrick.
"It's the same Bremen. We're still working on fundamentals, still working on our kicking game, still working on our blocking and tackling, still working on our execution and our game management. We've had one OK day of practice and we've had a good day of practice. But our preparation is no different than it's been in the past. We just have to block, tackle and execute," Tolleson said.
While no coach likes to have three losses through six weeks of the season, the one thing Tolleson can look at is how his team has responded following the previous two losses. The Blue Devils have won each of their games following a loss by a combined score of 89-14.
The veteran coach attributes that to the strong work ethic that has become as much of a Bremen tradition as winning.
"Our kids play with a lot of effort and a lot of heart. They've found a way to respond, and I think they'll respond. I'm proud of them. I'm not disappointed. Our issues are not happening because we want them to happen, sometimes it's just part of the game. I think we put a lot of attention and focus on doing those things well — that's blocking and tackling and executing — we haven't done all three well this year, but it's not because they aren't trying or a lack of effort," Tolleson said.
The Blue Devils will get one of the hottest teams in Region 5-AA, as Spencer (2-3, 2-1) is coming off a pair of big wins and their open week before heading to Bremen. While the Greenwave offensive line and defense may be weaknesses, there is plenty to make up for it.
"They're loaded with athletic players. I think, from what I've seen on film, they've got the best quarterback in the region. I know that's saying a lot, but I think he's really good. He throws well and runs well. Then they've got two tailbacks that are as good as anything I've seen this year," Tolleson said. "They've got as dangerous an offense as there is in our region, I think."
With two region losses already, each game adds that much more importance for the Blue Devils as they try to keep their streak of 14 straight playoff appearances going.
"Every game's important to us — all of them — but the region, especially. Our backs are against the wall right now. All of our games, in a way, are playoff games. Where we're sitting right now, we've got to win to get to play some extra football at the end of the season. Our kids know that. They know our streak's on the line. Our seniors are aware of that. It's a big ball game Friday night, and I think our kids will rise to the occasion," Tolleson said.