Football in the desert is like nowhere else as temperatures soar over 100 degrees. The heat will be on Bulldog head coach Yori Ludvigson and his staff to put a competitive team on the field this year.

The Bulldogs lost a very athletic group of seniors from last year’s 3A Sunrise League Championship squad. The Dawgs went 4-0 in Sunrise League play and 9-2 overall and Ludvigson and his staff will have to reach into their magical hats to repeat.

“Were young, but the kids have worked their butts off in the weight room and at summer sessions,”  Ludvigson said. “How do you replace last year’s great senior class, you don’t. We have 81 kids come out but 39 are freshman. We have only 15 seniors and a light junior class. Our two returnees in the line, Daydon Payne, Jaden Dalton and Taua Fiso will need to open holes for 3A All-State running back Jayden Perkins and two back Cresent Crandall.

“We lost a big starter in Trevon Hollingshead who went down with an achilles tear during summer sessions. He will be difficult to replace. Perkins younger brother Jeremy has performed well this summer as a lineman and will be counted on in our running game”

Senior running back Perkins ran for 1,369 yards in 276 carries last year and no doubt will be called on to carry the load for the Dawgs. Crandall and Tim Moeai will have to step in to keep Perkins from wearing down and forgo injuries.

Senior Cade Anderson will be behind center and will count on his two games of experience relieving the departed Hogan Fowles to lead the Dawgs offense. Anderson passed for 151 yards on 10 of 23 attempts and three T.D.s in2016. The receiving core is young with no returnees and will need a couple of games under their belt to perform well.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Dawgs will be led by hard hitting 3A all-state lineman Tim Moeai and Perkins and Crandall from their linebacker spots. The Bulldogs will be counting on improved play from seniors Dallen Tanner, Cole Stenberg, Nathan Reber, Riley Waite and Dakota Mumford.

“We will be running a multiset offense this year,” Ludvigson said. “We will make the playoffs as there only four teams left in 3A Sunrise League play. Boulder City has opted to an independent schedule.

“Chaparral is the favorite in Sunrise League play but Moapa Valley seems to always reload each year. Last year’s 3A State Champion Desert Pines lost a lot of key players but should be favored overall Del Sol is a dark horse as they return running back Taariq Flowers. Flowers ran for 1,282 yards and 10 touchdowns last year.”

Despite the heat, Friday Night Lights is back on the hill. Bulldog brand of football is always entertaining so come out and support your local Dawgs.