Bulldogs aiming for much better start than in 2008
After four yars of suffering the Mullinnix twins' wrath, teams will be relieved to see Justin and Jordan sitting harmlessly in the stands along with 15 other lettermen who drove the Panthers to new heights.
Their father—coach Brian—is still on the sidelines however and poised to go it alone in his fifth season as Panther coach where he has fashioned a 31-13 mark.
Normangee—which has made five playoff appearances this decade—returns nine lettermen and eight starters off an 8-5 regional semifinalist team.
Sophomore Dominique Barton (6-1, 170) will have the daunting task of replacing four-year starter Justin Mullinnix at quarterback. His brother Jordan was an allstate running back and ran for over 3,000 yards in the past two seasons.
Barton and the new backfield will have the safety net of playing behind an experienced line, anchored by guard Josh Graham (6-2, 215) and center Trey Watkins (6-0, 230).
Normangee—which is picked fourth in district behind favorite Lovelady—will be without the services of all-state wide receiver/ safety Whitley Reed who was badly burned while his brother was killed after being electrocuted while the two were trying to erect a homemade flagpole on Aug. 13.
Reed had moved to Normangee after evacuating from Sulphur, La. during Hurricane Rita in 2005.
Reed grabbed 38 passes for 684 yards last season.
Thorndale is hoping for a little better showing than last year's 34-0 season opening disaster at home.
The Bulldogs will be more sure of themselves this time around with their starting quarterback securly under center, which was not the case last year.
Junior Paxton Jordan, who was last season's leading rusher as a running back, will drive the Bulldogs' new offense (Wing-T) under new coach Kade Burns.
What—Thorndale (5-6) at Normangee (8-5). When—Friday, 7:30 p.m. Where—Panther Stadium (450 capacity, grass). Last year—Normangee won 34-0
This week: Thorndale at Normangee; Milano at Waco Christian; Moody at Thrall; Granger at Johnson City; Holland at Itasca.
BULLDOG SEASON STATISTICS
Rushing—Maupin 98-448 4TD, Morton 32-159 3TD, Jordan 98-424 5TD, Schneider 63-272, 5TD.
Passing—Salinas 30-64-2, 325 yards 1 TD; Schneider 13-39-3, 212 yards, 2 TD.
Receiving—Maupin 6-68 1TD, Ware 7-120 1TD, Falke 6-105, Ging 3-17, Schneider 2-23.