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Macon Chronicle-Herald - Macon, MO
  • Macon looks for more traction in Louisiana

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  • The last time the Macon Tigers squared off with the Bulldogs of Louisiana was three years ago when the 'Dogs trekked to Macon for Homecoming 2009.
    Macon would come away with a big victory, and the Tigers' dominance over Louisiana continued.
    Now, three years later, the Tigers and Bulldogs may be playing on even ground.
    Macon has battled through the first five weeks of the 2012 campaign, and has matched the number of wins predicted by some guys in Columbia.
    And they are preparing to surpass that.
    The Tigers cruised to a convincing 49-3 victory over Highland last week, giving themselves a new high score of the season, passing the 24 scored at Palmyra in week one.
    One major difference between then and now is the loss of running back Gabe Gravitt, who suffered a leg injury in week three against Monroe City.
    Other Tiger runners have stepped up nicely to fill that spot. Junior Chris Little has been making some noise, scoring a handful of touchdowns, and fellow junior Kaleb Welch has been a force that defenses have been struggling to slow down.
    Louisiana, on the other hand, has been struggling to gain any traction in 2012.
    The Bulldogs have three sophomores starting on the front lines, through which opponents have been able to break.
    Steve Gschwender, the head coach of Louisiana, said the sophomores who played as freshmen in 2011, are basically playing as freshman at the varsity level.
    The Bulldogs appear to have a relatively strong backfield in the making.
    Gschwender will have senior Greg Pitzer as his signal-caller this season, and he is one big fella.
    Pitzer stands at 5' 11" and 200 pounds, making him a dual threat as a QB as well as a runner.
    So far this season, Pitzer is one of the Bulldogs' leading rushers, having racked up over 700 yards so far in 2012.
    Lined up behind Pitzer is the a talented fullback in junior Austin Rule, who is a threat to be treated with caution.
    The Bulldogs will also be sporting a pair of strong wingbacks, in Traye Labby and Dylan Smith, who are both juniors.
    Two of Pitzer's longball targets will be senior wideout Brendan Ross, standing at 5' 10" 160 lb., and junior Zach Martin, weighing in at 5' 9" 160 lb.
    The line up front will be led by senior guard and tackle Derek Keeley, who stands at 6' 1", 241 lb.
    Keeley will have to be a leader for the three players in their sophomore years: Collin Stark, Hank Calvin and Dallas Castiglia, all weighing in between 195 and 250 pounds.
    On the defensive side of the ball, the same linemen on offense will see time on defense.
    Page 2 of 2 - Rule, Labby and Smith will set up as linebackers. Ross and Martin will be at corner, and Pitzer will set up as a safety, along with junior Dalton Channell, standing at 6' 1", 177 lb.
    The first two weeks of the 2012 season were pretty tough on Louisiana, as they were beaten by South Shelby and Clark County.
    The Bulldogs played a little better in week three falling to Bowling Green by 10 points, 30-20.
    Louisiana played a non-conference game due to Brookfield keeping the Bell Game.
    Brookfield must take a CCC loss for playing Marceline, and Louisiana benefits from it, picking up a win, which is why their record stands at 0-5 overall (1-4 CCC).
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