Last season, the Bulldogs earned a 7-3 overall record but finished fifth behind Blessed Trinity, Woodward Academy, St. Pius and Cedar Grove in Region 6-AAA, and were ultimately denied a postseason berth.
“We’re looking forward to a good season,” Decatur coach Scott Jackson said. “Hopefully, we can build on what we were able to accomplish the last two seasons. We got the program going in the right direction. Last year, we beat some teams people didn’t give us a shot at beating so hopefully we can continue that.”
Due to results against Grady and Blessed Trinity in 2012, the Bulldogs were not expected to earn narrow wins over those two programs last season.
Even though the Titans are on Decatur’s schedule this year, Woodward, Cedar Grove and St. Pius are not in the Bulldogs’ region so the playoffs could be in reach if they can duplicate last season’s success. Decatur will have to make its way past Washington (6-4), Westminster (5-6), Douglass (1-9) and Therrell (1-9) in Region 4-AAA competition.
“The new teams are going to present a lot of tremendous challenges for us,” said Jackson, who is entering his second season as coach.
Decatur’s last trip to the playoffs was in 2003.
Expected to help lead the way for the Bulldogs is quarterback Devontae Carter, cornerback Andre Young, running back Elijah Rachell and linebacker Demetrius Harris, who are all seniors.
“Elijah is our leading returning rusher,” Jackson said. “Demetrius is our most versatile player but we will try to simplify things for him this year. Devontae is returning as starter for the third year and has thrown for over 1,200 yards the last two years, and Andre is our leading tackler in the secondary.”
Decatur opens its season on the road against Woodward on Aug. 29. Last season, the War Eagles won 37-7. The Bulldogs will have their home opener the following week against Maynard Jackson. They lost the latest meeting by three points in 2011.