Preparing for the first football game of the season can sometimes be a non-exact science for players and coaches. As a season progresses, coaches can scout opponents and gather up plenty of game film, but before a season starts, there isn't much film to hint about a team's current tendencies. School of the Osage coach Dan Henderson hopes his knowledge of the Fulton Hornets is enough to give his Indians a chance to win.


Preparing for the first football game of the season can sometimes be a non-exact science for players and coaches. As a season progresses, coaches can scout opponents and gather up plenty of game film, but before a season starts, there isn't much film to hint about a team's current tendencies.

School of the Osage coach Dan Henderson hopes his knowledge of the Fulton Hornets is enough to give his Indians a chance to win.

"We saw (Fulton) early in camp and we saw them (Aug. 20) at their jamboree, and they have improved over the summer," Henderson said.

Osage and Fulton have played close games against each other for the past four seasons. The Hornets relied on their ground attack to grind out a 19-7 win in 2009. Henderson was impressed with what he saw of the Hornets in the summer.

"(Fulton) have improved over the summer. The last two years in that series, we've had good games with them--really close games. We expect the same this Friday night," Henderson said.

The Indians showed their own abilities on the ground in their jamboree scrimmages with MMA and Strafford. Quarterback Dylan McNerney and running backs Zack Purnell, Donald Hudlemeyer, Jacob Wermuth, and Tyler Winn all scored touchdowns running behind an offensive line that opened truck-sized holes at times. Hudlemeyer scored twice.

Henderson walked away from the jamboree happy with the running game and expecting more from the passing game.

"We're pretty comfortable with our backs, with our skill kids. We didn't catch the ball early in that first session, but we did and saw the things we wanted to see and we're pretty pleased," Henderson said.

McNerney watched the dropped passes in frustration as he twice hit receivers in the hands only to watch the football fall to Osage's brand new field turf for an incompletion. McNerney will try to fill the shoes of graduated QB Cody Brown, who proved to be a capable, tough runner as the 2009 season progressed.

Osage's season begins with three difficult road games: Fulton, Moberly, and Blair Oaks.

"We need to get out of the gate. Our schedule--we play a pretty good schedule. We're going to play two non-conference and get right into our conference schedule. We're going to have to be ready to go," Henderson said.