Bulldogs looking to flip script after rocky start
By Tyler Henry
Contributor Salina Post
Despite opening their 2022 campaign at 0-5, the Bennington Bulldogs remain optimistic about the progress they have seen and will look to put the pieces together in the final three games of the season.
“This team has consistently improved in key areas throughout the year, especially on that offensive line,” Bulldogs head coach Bryan Shamburg said. “Overall, as the season went on, we came together better as a team and the guys stayed coachable.”
Statistically, Bennington was far better than your average 0-5 8-Man team, falling to 4-1 Sylvan-Lucas by just four points and 4-1 Ell-Saline by just 14.
With such thin margins, the Bulldogs are not far from an elusive first victory, but will have to tighten up some issues to seal the deal and get there.
“The difference between narrow losses and narrow wins comes down to turnovers and stopping the big play,” Shamburg said. “If we can take better care of the ball and stop big plays, we can reverse this scenario.”
In terms of raw offense, Bennington has only been passed by 137 yards in five games, thanks in part to second-year caller Kian Wilson.
Wilson threw for over 700 yards in just five games with six touchdowns on the season but made a few underclass errors handing over eight picks in 2022.
As the season progressed and the young quarterback settled in, Bennington built his offense on a passing game that will be the unit’s strength down the stretch.
“We are getting better at passing the ball,” he said. Our receivers were better and it allowed us to use our speed.
While a long, narrow losing streak would be infuriating for most locker rooms, the Bulldogs have remained steadfast in their commitment to patching up their holes and moving forward.
“Since the games have been so close and since we were able to score quickly, the attitude of the guys has been great,” Shamburg said. “They’ve been very coachable and they understand what we need to fix to get to where we want to be.”
With two games up against 1-4 Rock Hills and 1-4 Lincoln, the Bulldogs will have a great opportunity to build momentum heading into a Week 8 clash against 4-1 Clifton-Clyde.
“We would like to win,” he said. “If we can fix a lot of the mistakes that we talked about, we think it’s possible, but we have to take it one game at a time. If our guys can get a big win, I think that would be a huge monkey on our backs.
Bennington will be back in action on Friday when they travel to Mankato for a battle with Rock Hills.
For continued coverage of Bulldog football, stay tuned to the Salina Post.