Add in the fact that the opposing team has not been beaten at home in four years and that task becomes even more challenging.
This was the case for the Breckenridge Buckaroos Friday evening when they traveled to Cisco to take on the Class 2A Division II state-champion Loboes, at Chesley Field.
The Bucks gave the Loboes a tough challenge in the 2014 season opener, but came up short in their efforts with a 27-7 defeat.
“I thought we played really hard throughout the game,” said head coach Casey Hubble. “Technically and fundamentally we are not good enough to beat a team that is that good.
Physically I think we have all the tools to beat a really good team. It is just going to take some time to get to where we can beat a really good team.”
“There was a lot of little things that were real close to happening for us. They just didn't happen,” said Hubble. “That is a testament to playing good football in a system where everybody knows exactly how they are supposed to execute and we are not there yet. But we are going to get there.”
Hubble says he saw several good things come out of Friday's contest and that he is optimistic about.
“The good thing about playing a good team early is you know what you need to do to get to where you can beat a good team,” said Hubble.
“A lot of times when you play a mediocre talent, you think you are doing good and it takes a good team to expose you. I would rather that happen early and us know what we need to fix rather than us go through pre-district with us feeling good about ourselves and then falter late.”
Hubble, who was the co-defensive coordinator of the Class 4A Div. I Denton Guyer Wildcats in 2013, said that coaching against the defending Class 2A Division II state-champion coach Brent West at Cisco was an enjoyable experience.
“It was fun to play a team that is fundamentally sound and play a physical style of football,” said Hubble. “It just didn't work out the way we wanted it to. I don't enjoy losing, but I enjoy great competition. I think the kids had fun. I think the community enjoyed seeing a good football game. It is only going to get a lot better."
Even though the score and statistics show differently, the Buckaroos stayed right with the Loboes throughout the entire game.
The defense allowed 269 yards rushing with 143 yards of that total coming on three plays that resulted in touchdowns.
Defensive Coordinator Rick Smith said big running plays that resulted in touchdowns were key.
“I thought we played well for the first game. We just made some mistakes that you can't make when playing a team like Cisco,” said Smith. “All it takes for them is those three big plays. But those are things that can be corrected with time.”
“The issues we had were just some things that we have to get fixed that an established program has going for them,” said Smith. “You could tell that they were an established program. We just have to get better each week as we go along.”
The difference in the game for the Bucks was not being able to capitalize with points when deep in Lobo territory.
After forcing a punt, the Buckaroo offense took over with 1:21 remaining in the second quarter and steadily moved the ball on the Loboes' defense, the Bucks were faced with a third-and five-situation from the Loboes' nine-yard line. Senior Omar Aguilar had runs of 22 and 14 yards to help move the ball deep inside the red zone.
A touchdown and extra point would have helped the Bucks significantly as they were set to receive the kickoff to start the second half and have a chance to possibly tie the score at 14.
But, on the ensuing play, junior quarterback Cade Cornett's pass was intercepted by Cisco's Carson Teaff and returned to the 14-yard line ending the Bucks' drive and shot at points.
(See complete story in the September 3 edition of the Breckenridge American)