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2015 Empire Football Preview

While most teams will be opening up the season next week, the Empire Bulldogs are one of the few squads getting a head start with a zero-week game this Friday against Cordell. The early game will open up a bye week later in the season.

"You know, unfortunately that zero week for us is week nine and if it was in the middle of the year it would be a little bit better. But you know, it gives you time to get some rest, kind of heal up if you have any injuries,” said head coach Tony Roberts. “I'm kind of seeing how it goes. It's an option we can do and if we want to do it again next year we will. If we don't, we can go back to our regular tradition of having two scrimmages and play ten games."

"Oh I love it so much. We get the first game Friday. I’m kind of nervous, but excited at the same time," senior Trey Sweetman said.

Empire has made the playoffs five of the last six years. But a couple of the key cogs on those teams are now gone, including Dillon Twigg, the school's all-time leading rusher. With Twigg no longer wearing the red and white, the Bulldogs will have to lean on a committee of ball carriers to pick up the slack.

"Dakota Curtis will be a sophomore. Mace Robinson will be a senior, Evan Whitt. We also moved Jake Smith, our offensive tackle, to full back to help us in the backfield as far as our blocking,” Roberts said.

“Fortunately we have good depth at the offensive line position. And now that we got some other kids that came out, it really helped our depth as far as our skill kids. Things are looking pretty good for us right now."

The Bulldogs first test of 2015 will be a big one. Cordell was a playoff team a year ago. Kick-off for that matchup is set for 7:30 Friday night in Empire.
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