The Culver Bulldogs football team made a statement early in their first game, traveling to Illinois Valley, in southwestern Oregon, for a 39-0 victory Sept. 6.
"Kids played hard, tough; we still have a ton of things to work on," head coach Shea Little said. "We had a ton of blown assignments and responsibilities, alignments, but for the most part, to come away with a win is exciting. The kids showed a lot of teamwork, they really rallied together. The game could have changed at any time, Illinois Valley was not a bad team. The kids played well and it was good to see them earn success after all the work they have done."
Culver racked up 297 rushing yards, averaging 8.7 yards per carry on 35 attempts and two touchdowns. The Bulldogs had nine different players run the ball during their victory.
Senior quarterback Justyce Loredo went 8-for-18 with 88 yards and three touchdowns passing the ball. He also ran the ball seven times for 86 yards, averaging 12.3 yards per carry and two touchdowns on the ground.
"We have a lot to work on, especially in the passing game," Little said. "The first three quarters we ran the ball for the majority of the time with a little bit of play action. We focused on the run game, but we had a lot of blown assignments and people not knowing their assignments. We worked on that for three quarters, making sure we had a cushion and in the fourth quarter, we just passed and worked on our passing game, quarterback reads, things like that."
"You could tell we weren't very polished in the passing game and Illinois Valley understood that too," he said. "It is not like we were trying to run the score up or anything. If we want to be successful we have to have a passing game. So in the fourth quarter, we threw the football. We ended up scoring a few, which was good, and saw some small improvement."
Zachary Wiseman made a bulk of the carries with 10 and ran the ball for 58 yards. Jordan VanAlstyne had three carries for 33 yards and Coy Aldrich ran the ball four times for 25 yards.
The team had 385 total yards on offense, with Loredo having 174 yards of total offense and five touchdowns.
The Bulldogs' defense, which shut out Illinois Valley, was led by Aldrich, who ended the game with 10 solo tackles. Wiseman had six tackles for the Bulldogs and VanAlstyne ended with five. Loredo also scored on an interception on defense.
"Defense played well and we were able to score one," said Little. "They did well, they rallied; we still aligned wrong and have some things to work on as a team, but we swarmed to the football, flew around and did some good things on defense. We really saw kids learn to shed blocks, so it was good. Coach Davis called a good game and put kids in good adjustments after half."
"Every win is a great time," Little said. "It lets you party and relax on the way home. It lets players know that all that work and time put in was worth it. We are going to take every win and celebrate, take every loss, if we have some, and learn from it and come back with the same attitude."
Culver has another away game this week as they take on Rogue River at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13. Rogue River is coming off an 24-8 win against Lakeview Sept. 6.
"Every week, we are going to focus on our game and our assignments, knowing the game," Little said. "Obviously we have scouted Rogue River and things like that, but we are focusing on our game, trying to polish that. We are not anywhere close to polished, but we are going to try and improve."
"They beat us last year and they are a good team," he said. "They are switching some things up, doing more misdirection offensively. Their defense looks similar. They beat us last year and we are going to try and switch that this year and rally. The team is going to try and improve and hopefully, get the job done on Friday night."
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