The last time the Bulldogs scored a win over the Wildcats was my junior year at Mater Dei. That was 1993.

Since that time, the two programs have gone in decidedly different directions. The Bulldogs have posted only one winning season in that time frame, a 6-5 record in 2000, along with two sectional titles. On the flipside, the Wildcats have compiled an overall record of 181-61, 11 sectional titles, eight regional, four semistate, and one state win.

But as they say, that was then, this is now.

When the schedules for the 2013 season were released earlier this year, many observers, myself included, assumed see more of the same from the Bulldogs. That is by no means a dig on the program, the players put in just as much hard work and dedication toward winning ballgames as every other team out there, the end result however, just didn't seem to work out the same way.

But as they say, that was then, this is now.

Despite a few slow first half starts, and an uncharacteristic number of penalties through the first six games of the season, Mater Dei finds itself undefeated and the clear front runner for both the city and conference titles after escaping Newburgh last week with 31-24 win over Castle. A game they led 31-10 at the start of the fourth quarter thanks to legs of Nolan Goebel who racked up 221 yards rushing and three touchdowns. The Wildcats will need another strong game out of the senior running back if they hope to keep up with the scoring machine that is the 2013 Bosse Bulldogs.

Led by Carrington Crutcher, the senior running back getting serious looks from a few Division One programs, the Bulldogs have had little to no trouble putting points on the board, averaging just over 45 per game through the first six games of the season. Of the team's 38 total touchdowns this season, Carrington has been responsible for 14 of them, nearing the thousand yard rushing mark on 118 carries with three games left to go in the regular season.

As impressive as that is, the Bulldogs don't rely solely on Crutcher to carry the load. Senior quarterback, Ian Nunley has done his fair share of damage against opposing defenses picking up 1,627 yards through the air with 93 completions on 146 attempts. 20 of those passes have resulted in touchdowns.

They're points Bosse has needed as their defense has had a difficult time keeping opposing teams off the scoreboard. After leading North 21-7 in the second quarter last week, the Bulldogs allowed the Huskies to rip off six consecutive scoring drives that saw them pull within two points. A 51-yard field goal that had the distance, but strayed wide left as time ran out gave the Bulldogs another thrilling win and the nickname, "The Cardiac Kids".

They face possibly their toughest challenge of the season as they head west to the Reitz Bowl in an effort to give Mater Dei they're first loss of the season. To do that, they'll need to figure out a way to deal with a Wildcats offensive and defensive line that is arguably the biggest in school history, and from a quick glance at both rosters, outweighs the Bosse offensive and defensive lines by an average of roughly 40 pounds.

Impossible? Not at all, Bosse's speed alone in the skill positions should keep them in the game, but with one of the smaller rosters in the city and conference, their conditioning could become a factor late in the game.

Like so many years before, it was easy to write off this match up as a near-automatic win for Mater Dei, but as they say, that was then, this is now.

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