The Red Devils (6-1, 4-1 Region 5-AA) will get another test as they travel down to Columbus for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff on Friday night against Spencer at Kinnett Stadium. While they may have started the season stronger than expected, there is still plenty left from the young Bowdon team.
"We're getting better week-to-week, but we're still not where we need to be. We haven't peaked yet and that's a good thing. Our backs have really gotten better as the season went on and our defense has really been a surprise for us. Last week against Temple they only gave up 123 yards and four first downs, I believe," Hochstetler said.
An originally scheduled Thursday night matchup was moved to Friday for Spencer's homecoming. The Greenwave (2-4, 2-2) have been on the wrong end of the scoreboard more often than not this season, but have shown a dangerous offense that is capable of putting up points and wins.
In a Region 5-AA with six teams legitimately in the playoff race every win is at a premium.
"Every ball game's a big ball game. Spencer is loaded with athletes. They scored 26, 27 or 28 points against Bremen. They have a lot of big play potential, plus we have to go down there. I think it's their homecoming so they're going to be sky high and we've got to play real good football," Hochstetler said.
As the Red Devils enter the final three games of the season they are starting to get healthier in some spots, but are still dealing with injury issues all over the field.
"We're still a team in progress. We're trying to get better each week. We had some injuries last week. Tyler Daniels is playing right guard right now and he's the fourth guy we've had play there this year. We're finally getting Jason Smith back from Game 1. We've had to move some kids around this year," Hochstetler said. "We're still trying to get where we need to be."
With the final two games of the season at Bremen and against Heard County a win would be big to get momentum going into the final stretch. What the Red Devils have to avoid is looking past a dangerous Spencer team.
"It would be real nice to beat Spencer and go into the Bremen game with a win the previous week. I just hope our kids aren't looking towards next week. I don't think they are, but it would be real good going into the Bremen game with a win under our belts," Hochstetler said.