“Execution,” Budde said. “It’s all about how well we execute.”
By now, the Wolverines (1-2) should be believers.
In their opening game, they dominated Johns Creek, rolling up 300 yards of offense and forcing six turnovers on defense.
Since then, it’s been a different story.
In a loss to Harrison, Woodstock
was plagued by turnovers, bad snaps, penalties and a blocked punt — or, as Budde put it at the time, “a little bit of everything.”
Playing Kell wasn’t any better. Three interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown, put the Wolverines in a first-half hole they were never able to dig out of.
And so, Budde talks about execution.
“You have to get out there and practice and rep the stuff that you are trying to do,” he said. “Then it just comes down to execution on Friday. It doesn’t matter if you are in a spread or a power-I, it comes down to execution. When we execute, we are good. We have moved the ball. Turnovers have just hurt us.”
Woodstock doesn’t have the easiest opening to its region slate. The Wolverines host Walton and Lassiter in consecutive weeks.
“It’s going to give us a better test of where we are at,” Budde said.
Despite Friday’s game at the Wolverine Den marking the region opener, neither coach said the game is treated much differently than the previous three.
“We are just going to put the players in the best situation to be successful,” Budde said. “I think, maybe, you pull out more stops, meaning you might try to do a bit more, but preparation is still the same.”
His Walton counterpart, Rocky Hidalgo, agrees.
“You don’t want to get behind right off the bat in region play,” Hidalgo said. “Any time you start region, it’s the most important season. It’s our chance to compete for a region championship.”
Hidalgo will get his first look at the Wolverines’ spread offense, but he said his team should be ready for it. Each of the three teams Walton (1-2) has played this season have run spread offenses, but it has produced mixed results. Walton fell to Peachtree Ridge and Hillgrove at neutral sites before upsetting North Cobb at home a week ago.
“We still have a lot of work to do,” Hidalgo said. “I felt like our third game was a big improvement over our first two and, hopefully, we can be consistent and put together another good game versus Woodstock.”
Hidalgo admitted that this Woodstock team is much different than the one the Raiders beat 24-7 a year ago.
“They are spreading it out and trying to get the ball to the perimeter,” Hidalgo said. “They are trying to be a little more dynamic than they have in the past. It’s definitely different for them, but this will be our fourth spread team in a row. It’s very similar to what we have seen.”
Budde said the tricky thing about playing Walton is the Raiders’ talented players known for playing defense often play on offense, too.
“Really, everything they do, we have to be prepared,” Budde said. “They can make plays on their side of the ball.”