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The Royse City Bulldogs hit the practice field for the first time Monday in preparation for the 2014 season. The Bulldogs open the new season Aug. 29 at Marshall.

Monday morning marked the start of the 2014 high school football season as a number of high schools in the area – including Royse City – kicked off summer practices, with preseason scrimmages just a few weeks away.

The Bulldogs will meet an opposing team for the first time Aug. 22 during a scrimmage at Sulphur Springs, followed by a long trip to Marshall the following week for the official opening to the 2014 season.

But, before we begin to look at the season in front of this Royse City team, let’s first take a look back at the season that was in 2013.

Last season – the first under head coach David Petroff – got off to a great start with a 12-0 lead over visiting Forney midway through the second period. However, that good fortune ended there as the Jackrabbits ended the game with three unanswered scores and left town with a 21-12 win over the Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs hit the road the following week for a short trip to nearby North Forney and, much like the previous contest, held a lead in the second quarter. In fact, the Bulldogs erased an early 10-0 deficit to take a 14-10 lead at halftime. Unfortunately, the Falcons ripped off three touchdowns in the third period, including one on an interception return – one of four Royse City turnovers in the contest – as North Forney ran off with a 30-16 victory.

In their final non-district contest, the Bulldogs stayed close to Prestonwood Christian for almost the entire first half. But, like the previous week, an interception return for a touchdown gave Royse City’s opponents a huge spark. The Bulldogs once again threw three interceptions and fell behind by a 45-13 score before losing 45-27, wrapping up the non-district schedule with an 0-3 mark.

Things started looking up in Royse City’s district opener as the Bulldogs forced five Greenville turnovers and scored 23 straight points in the second and third quarters to put away the Lions by a 30-14 score.

For the first time in the 2013 season, Royse City did not commit a turnover.

The Bulldogs’ district mark leveled at 1-1 the next week as McKinney North rolled up more than 500 total yards in a 42-13 pasting of Royse City.

The Bulldogs managed 348 total yards but gave up more than 300 on the ground, including 123 and three touchdowns to Ronald Jones.

That rushing mark wasn’t even close to the number Denison put up the following week, as the Yellowjackets ran for a total of 503 yards in a 34-10 win over Royse City, dropping the Bulldogs to 1-5 overall and 1-2 in district play.

Two different Denison running backs rushed for more than 150 yards and a total of three eclipsed the 100-yard mark.

The Bulldogs turned in one of their best offensive performances of the season at home against Sherman in the following week, but the Bearcats were even better in a 41-17 romp over Royse City. Alex Ramsey led RCHS with 131 rushing yards and two scores, leading the Bulldogs to 376 total yards.

However, Sherman’s Tre Mask ran for 171 yards and three scores in the Bearcat win.

Wylie East steamrolled the Bulldog defense the next week, with 570 yards in a 53-14 win over Royse City. The Raiders ended the night with 338 yards on the ground and another 232 in the air. Royse City fell to 1-7 overall and 1-4 in district play.

The Bulldogs led 9-7 in the first quarter of their final home game against Lovejoy, before the Leopards poured on 37 unanswered points to leave with a 44-9 win. Royse City lost the ball four times and managed just 238 total yards.

And finally, in the 2013 finale, Wylie built leads of 17-0 after one quarter, 38-3 at halftime and 51-3 after three periods before going on to win by the same score.

Royse City managed just 144 total yards while ending the season with a 1-9 record, including a 1-6 mark in District 13-4A.

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