Five days later, the Hermiston Bulldogs’ 48-7 throttling of Rex Putnam to open their football season is looking as good to coach Mark Hodges as it did then.

“I?think as far as what we expected to see physically, as far as our kids, we saw what we expected to see,”?he said after coaches and players got a chance to sit down and review the game film. “There were some other things that we saw on tape where it was like, ‘Wow these guys are making really good plays.’ ”

When a team dismantles another like the Bulldogs (1-0) did to the Kingsmen in front of a sellout Kennison Field crowd, there naturally won’t be much for coaches to pick at.

The Hermiston coaches didn’t even need to remind their players to let go of a big win and focus on this week’s opponent.

“Our kids, they were very sober today, and that’s usually the mark of a team that’s trying to keep their head on pretty straight,” Hodges said of the players’ attitude as they went over the win. “I?asked the team if they thought it was a well-played game by us and they said, ‘No.’

“We have the kind of culture here at Hermiston now where these kids know when they’re playing well.”

There were only two areas Hodges felt the team was lacking against Putnam.

The first was on some lapses in mental execution that, while expected to be a part of the game with so many new starters, are not welcome in Hermiston.

“That’s the name of the game for us, is to really be able to execute our game plan, and to do that you really have to focus on the fundamentals,” said Hodges, adding that he kept a tally of any mental mistakes from the game, such as lining up incorrectly or illegal procedure penalties. “We held them accountable together (Monday) as a team, just making sure we re-enforce that we want to control the things we can control, and fundamentals are things that we can control.

“Our goal is to be the most improved team in the state from Week 1 to Week 2, so that means we’re cranking down real hard on the fundamentals.”

The other area Hodges said the Dawgs can expect some extra work this week is in kick and punt coverage — a facet of the game the team has come to pride itself on.

“That was something that was real inconsistent and our special teams coordinator was not happy,”?he said.

The surprise bright spot on the evening was the debut of left guard Luis Santoyo.

Hodges said Santoyo was a little more active on the line than coaches expected, and worked well with the rest of the linemen.

“We were pleased by some of the combination blocks down by the offensive line,”?Hodges said.

After their all-around strong opener in front of 2,000 friendly fans, the Bulldogs will get a chance to see how they perform on the road when they head to Hillsboro on Friday.

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