There’s no getting around the fact that the Venus Bulldogs aren’t a very good football team, if their 50-point loss to Glen Rose last week was any indication, and yet Venus still beat Hillsboro by three touchdowns when the two 7-3A squads met up.

Outside of a week two win over Hamilton (28-14), Hillsboro has lost to Buffalo (49-26), Clifton (41-21), Lake Worth (17-14), Hico (20-7), Rockdale (27-15), Alvarado (63-7), Venus (28-7) and Stephenville (63-13). Friday’s contest in Glen Rose still has to be played, however, so Hillsboro will arrive hoping for any sort of improvement.

“They’ve gone through some changes with the coaching staff, and as far as continuity in the program I think that they’ve struggled to adjust,” said coach Tommy Dunn.

Even if they could get by with less, it won’t do the Tigers any good not to play their best as they prep for the playoffs next week.

“First of all, this game (outcome) doesn’t affect us one way or the other,” Dunn said. “We want to win and come out healthy, so we’ll do what it takes to get those things done.”

Hillsboro clearly seems to bring more to the table physically than it does in regard to execution.

“Hillsboro has a really good young receiver who can be a game breaker,” Dunn said. “They’re an athletic team overall with lots of speed and they have decent size. They run an odd front (defensively) with quarters (coverage) behind it. If they give us that, we’ll attack it accordingly and we’re looking to be balanced.”

If the Tigers play defense like they did against Venus, Hillsboro’s offense will need a telescope to get a good look at the end zone.

“I thought our defense dominated (in Venus); it was the first time I haven’t seen Venus move the ball with that misdirection offense,” Dunn said. “Credit our guys for controlling the line of scrimmage.”

Once again this week, the Tigers will take the field without any major injury concerns.

“Everyone is good to go,” Dunn said. “We’ve been fortunate when it comes to injuries so far. Not to say we haven’t been banged up, but we haven’t had many serious things happen. We don’t have a lot of depth for a team wanting to go deep in the playoffs, so we can’t afford to lose anybody to grades or injury.”

In the final dress rehearsal before the most important portion of the season, Dunn wants his players to stay focused on what’s important.

“On Monday, we talked about our desire to continue to improve,” he said. “After this week, it’s do or die. We have to understand it’s a long haul and to win in the postseason you have to be at your best each week. Our intensity has to be present in practice for that to happen.”