Finally.

The explosive Bosqueville team I was ready to see this 2018 season dazzled Friday night in its 68-14 win over Reicher. It was the first win this season for a Bulldog team that received votes in the Class 2A Associated Press preseason poll.

“It was obviously a good feeling to win,” Bosqueville head coach Clint Zander said. “Our kids came out well prepared and executed really well. Our main focus is that we’re getting better each week.”

Indeed they are.

The Bulldogs, who return plenty of talented pieces this year, opened their season with a tough yet familiar opponent. Back in February, realignment moved district foe Mart down to Division II, which meant the familiar Bulldog vs. Panther battle for a district title would no longer take place.

The two coaches and friends, however, decided to open this season against each other. One day after the two coaches and some of their staffs hung out and scouted inside the press box at the Axtell vs. Dawson game at Waco ISD Stadium, the two teams faced off to open the season with one of the biggest games on the slate.

Mart ran away with a 67-12 victory, leaving the Bulldogs with plenty of things to learn from moving forward.

“It really helped us pinpoint more of our weaknesses and enabled us to work on those and get better on the things we weren’t good at,” Zander said. “That’s one of the reason why we play tough opponents early. It’s better to expose those weaknesses than it is to find them out when it really counts. The kids have done a good job at taking our coaching the last couple of weeks.”

The second week of the season saw the Bulldogs face a Class 3A opponent in McGregor with a flashy sophomore quarterback and a stingy defense. Quarterback Tyler Webb and running back Marcell Estell stayed on the sidelines in the Bulldogs vs. Bulldogs matchup. Estell was resting a small injury, while Webb rested his shoulder, something that had been bothering him but Zander said the quarterback didn’t tell the coaches about.

While they rested, McGregor put up a 48-30 win. More lessons learned for Bosqueville in preparation for its district slate and a, hopefully, deep playoff run.

Those lessons, plus a healthy Webb and Estell, came together to pay off emphatically in Bosqueville’s blowout of Reicher on a rainy Friday night.

“The kids were flying around and having fun,” Zander said. “That’s what we’ve been looking for to happen.”

Webb finished with 333 passing yards as he completed 15 of 22 passes for a total of 6 touchdowns of 43, 45, 70, 13, 40 and 26 yards.

“He looked really good,” Zander said. “He finally looked healthy. He was a lot more accurate last night.”

Zastan Madkins hauled in two of those touchdown passes as he finished with six catches for a total of 135 yards. Then Estell continued to do what Estell does — run really fast where no one can catch him.

“He carried the ball 10 times for 140 yards,” Zander said. “Three of those were on two-point conversions. So that’s only nine yards on three carries. He basically had 130 yards on seven carries. Wow. He looked like the old Marcell. We were happy to see that.”

Now, the Bulldogs have a road contest at Rogers in Week 4 before district play opens up at Itasca on Sept. 28. With one win under its belt, Bosqueville can only get better from here.

“What I told the team after our game is that we have to bring the same intensity and focus every week,” Zander said. “Being close geographically with Reicher, a lot of our kids know their kids. It was a little more personal for them. We brought that focus and intensity Friday night. I told them we have to start each week the same way and we’ll come out the same way.”

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