MAHOMET – The Mahomet-Seymour foot-ball team has been dealing with adversity all season.
There was the three-game stretch in the middle of the season that saw the Bulldogs facing undefeated Corn Belt rivals. Then the injuries started to pile up, taking a toll on the M-S defense. Then came the unexpected loss to Normal University High last week.
As a result of that setback – instead of finishing the season 8-1 and hosting a first-round playoff game – the Bulldogs will travel to Quincy Notre Dame to face the Raiders, another 7-2 team.
"We've had a lot of things that didn't go right this season, but that's why I love football," coach Tom Shallenberger said. "It's a lot like life. You always just have to buckle up your boots and go after it again, and that's what we intend to do."
To get back to their winning ways, the Bull-dogs are going to have to contend with Notre Dame's size, particularly on both lines. Their play up front will be key, especially when trying to open holes for running back Andrew Brewer, who has run for 1,717 yards and 28 touch-downs.
"They're big," Shallenberger said. "I mean, I thought we were big, but they're a lot bigger than us. They play a physical type of football, but we feel we play a pretty physical game ourselves."
The physical part, Shallenberger said, the Bulldogs will be ready for. But battling through the adversity, particularly last week's loss, is what concerns the coach the most.
"The big thing for us is mental preparation," he said. "I think the last couple weeks we've done a poor job mentally preparing for games. We need to make sure we're focused and ready to go on Saturday."