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Bozeman set for Thursday night game at Rutherford

Published: Oct. 11, 2021 at 10:54 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -The Bozeman Bucks, coming off a tough loss to Walton, are looking ahead to a Thursday night game with Rutherford. And that will be a special game indeed for the Bucks head coach Jason Griffin.

You see Griffin is a Rutherford alum, and was part of a team back in the early 90′s that helped turn that program around, helped turn it into a powerhouse under then head coach Steve Hardin. And this will be the first time coach Griffin will go against Rutherford as a head coach on the other side of

“And I just told the guys that, I wasn’t going to lie to them.” coach Griffin told me via Zoom Monday. “Or hide anything from them. This is a very special game for me. Special for a number of reasons. Having played for coach Hardin, coached a good portion of my career for coach Hardin at Rutherford, for the number of years that I spent there. Just so many memories, so much emotion about my time both as a player and a coach at Rutherford and that community. So a very special night for me personally, on a personal level. And I told our guys that. I asked them to give me the best they’ve got this week. I said it’s a very special game for me personally, and I asked those guys to give me the best they had, and I said I’d give them the best I had this week.”

The Bucks now 4-3 on the season after the home loss to the Braves. Walton jumping out to a quick lead, the Bucks later rallying, but it wound up being too little too late. The Braves a 3A team that now boasts a 6-1 record, so no shame in the 1A Bucks losing that one. And perhaps, given it was a competitive game much of the way, there might even be a confidence boost involved!

”I think our guys know we have a very good football team.” says Griffin. “And of course we had some things not go our way in the first half. Penalties, dropped passes, things like that. And our guys came roaring back to get it to 21-14, and carried that all the way into the fourth. You know they got a couple of scores late when we were running out of steam a little bit. So I think our guys were fairly confident going in. I think our execution was poor. But I think moving forward, I think our guys know that if we can compete with teams of that caliber, then maybe we haven’t reached our ceiling just yet. Maybe there’s some better football ahead of us.”

Getting set to face the Rams is big enough, but Griffin and his guys have to do it with one less day of preparations, since it will be a Thursday game at Tommy Oliver.

“Then you couple it with a Monday holiday where there’s no school so there’s absolutely nothing this week that’s going to be routine or normal.” Griffin told me. “Everything is going to be out of whack starting today. You know these guys not having to be at school today and they’re coming in for football practice in the short week. So there’s nothing that’s routine about this. But again I think we have enough maturity with our football team to be able to handle this changing dynamic. And I hope our guys are going to be able to, and I feel like they’re going to be able to put our best foot forward and play our best football on Thursday night.”

That game set for 7, and we’ll have the highlights in our late news Thursday night.

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