Rivalry Win Aside: Bulldogs turn attention to Trojans

WHITE HALL – The time for celebrating last week’s victory over rival Watson Chapel is over for the White Hall Bulldogs as they turn their attention to tonight’s game against Hot Springs.

“We have kind of let that go,” White Hall head coach Mike Vaughn said. “Right now, we are worried about Hot Springs.

“If we don’t win this football game, we are right back to where we started.”

White Hall (6-1, 3-1 5A-South) is currently in a three-way tie for second place with Watson Chapel and Hope. Chapel will host Magnolia and Hope has conference leader Camden Fairview at home tonight.

“Anyway you look at it, there are three more conference games left,” Vaughn said. “A lot of things could happen.

“We could go from top to bottom in a hurry.”

The Bulldogs defeated the Bulldogs 14-6 last week – their third straight win over their cross-town rival. Junior Kendrick Edgerson ran for 127 yards with two touchdowns.

Quarterback Kirk Baugh was 8-of-10 for 78 yards. Vaughn said Baugh’s lack of performance had a lot to do with what Chapel’s defense was throwing at him.

“They took certain things away from us and basically they wanted us to run the football,” Vaughn said. “That’s what we ended up having to do.

“But I thought Kirk played a good football game.”

Edgerson has 121 carries for 935 yards with 14 touchdowns so far this season. He is still nursing a leg injury that he suffered two weeks ago.

Vaughn wasn’t even sure if Edgerson would play against Chapel until the day of the game. According to Vaughn, Edgerson had a light week as the Bulldogs prepare for the Trojans. But injuries at a couple of spots concern Vaughn.

“We don’t know who is going to be there, so that is going to be a challenge for us,” Vaughn said.

White Hall already lost senior wide receiver Irvin Tisdale to a season-ending injury three weeks ago.

Hot Springs (3-4, 2-2) won its second straight game last week as the Trojans defeated Magnolia 21-19. The Panthers turned the ball over four times and missed two extra points.

The Trojans posted their first non-losing record since 2007 last fall, and the five wins equaled the total from the previous three years combined. Vaughn gave a lot credit to fourth-year head coach Chris Vereen – who graduated from White Hall.

“He is a outstanding coach,” Vaughn said. “He is probably one of the better-coached teams in the league.”

White Hall will have its hands full tonight as the Trojans like to run the option out of the flex bone, which is something the Bulldogs don’t have a lot of experience against.

“Our major problem is going to be lining up properly,” Vaughn said. “Last year, they caught us not lined up at all a few times and made some big plays on us.”

White Hall defeated Hot Springs 40-28 last season.

“When kids don’t have to work on assignment football every day, it is very difficult to prepare for,” Vaughn said. “It is hard to simulate it. Our scout team had trouble running it.

“It is a difficult thing.”

Hot Springs running back Kenny Kelley earned all-league honors last fall after rushing for almost 600 yards. He averaged 7.1 yards per carry.

“It is kind of like if you run the ball every play and you play against someone who throws it every down,” Vaughn said of his preparations. “It is difficult to make that adjustment.

“They like to run the option out of the flex bone. They use several different formations but basically it is the option game.

“Its not easy but you try to simulate it the best you can.”

Tonight’s game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.