The Belmont Bulldogs football team put forth a solid effort, but in the end their opponents from south of the border were too strong in season-opening exhibition action on Saturday afternoon at Westhills Stadium.
The Seattle Prep Panthers put together a string of big plays on their way to a convincing 49-22 win in what was the first taste of live action for both squads.
This being an exhibition game, Bulldogs head coach Alexis Sanschagrin wasn’t necessarily concerned about the final score, instead he was more interested in how the team looked.
“Our goal is to get better. We know that we face very, very good competition in the regular season so we wanted to schedule teams that would push us and give us a good measuring stick of where we need to be,” he said.
The Bulldogs’ offence managed several successful, chain-moving drives throughout the afternoon, with quarterback Darian Jules finding multiple receivers for big gains.
“I think that our skill guys did a very good job and we managed to get the ball to a lot of people,” Sanschagrin said.
Defensively, the Bulldogs gave up several long touchdowns, an area that the club will need to address before the regular season begins in a few weeks.
“The biggest thing on defence is we always talk about leverage, so making sure that we funnel the ball so that we have good angles to tackle the ball carrier…and our angles weren’t always where they need to be,” Sanschagrin said, noting that the coaching staff managed to rotate a lot of players into the lineup to ensure that everyone got some significant game action.
The talented Panthers gave the Bulldogs a good idea of what they are up against in the toughest football conference in the province, and Sanschagrin stressed that his team still had room to improve both physically and mentally, having only begun to practice with the team on Aug. 22.
“There’s no question that a month from now there’s going to be a lot of things that are going to be ironed out…I think we can make sure that we are in a bit better shape. I think that some of our guys got tired or fatigued as the game went on,” he said.
The Bulldogs will have another home exhibition game before the games start to count, on Sept. 16 against Bellenas. Their first home regular season game isn’t until Oct. 14 against Carson Graham. Those contests will both take place at Goudy Field.