Panama City, FL --- Some of the larger area high school football teams will start the season going against programs that play on a lower level. That won't be the case for 5A Rutherford.
The Rams will kick things off Friday night on the road against the Niceville Eagles now a 7A program.
Certainly, that's a tough way to start the schedule. But second year coach Alvin Dempsey has some reason for optimism, as he preps his guys for that trip west.
Rutherford looked pretty good this past Friday winning two halves of play in their jamboree against Florida and Mosley respectively.
"They looked outstanding against Florida High,” said Dempsey. “They played the best I've seen them. Mosley, we had a couple kinks, some things we broke down, fundamentally, tackling, being in the right place and coming down hill. Like I say, all fixable, fixable mistakes. But for the most part they did a really great job against Mosley. I’m happy with the group of guys, I'm happy with the football team, I'm happy with the coaches. I'm happy with the work that they've done."
As for how the Rams will prepare and plan for the Eagles, Dempsey said they would do their standard prep work.
"We'll prepare like we do each week. You know, going to watch our film, devise our game plan, you know. Niceville is a very well coached, well put together, well oiled machine, when it comes down to a football team. They've got great athletes all across the board. They're a young team. They're a junior team. They've got a lot of speed, they've got a lot of strength. You know, we're gonna prepare just like we'd do any other week, you know. We're gonna go ahead to the drawing board, put the best game plan together, and just expect the guys to go out and execute. "
And he was certainly happy with AJ Thornton who returned a kick 83 yards for a score. The Eagles are coming off a 20-0 classic win over Washington, where the varsity units playing the final three quarters in that one. Kickoff for the game in Niceville set for 7:00 PM.