Blankenship, Bulldogs Aim For First Title Together

FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM)--When Bill Blankenship took over as head coach at Fayetteville, it wasn't a typical transition.

"It's been a whirlwind for sure, coming in in June and jumping right in the middle. Didn't get to be a part of any of the spring and the real summer. I was more of a spectator. But from fall camp on our guys have really embraced the leadership that I've tried to give," Blankenship said. One of the first changes he made was moving senior Terrance Rock to running back.

"He had been a receiver last year, and putting him back in the backfield and one of the things we were striving for was to have a balanced offense. And I think the better you can throw, you can run it and all the sudden things open up," said Blankenship.

After leading the Purple Dogs to their first conference championship since 2003, Blankenship is set for his first playoff game. The coaches took the bye week to scout quarterfinal opponent Conway's first round win over Rogers.

"Defensively they're just physical. They're a team that lines up and creates a lot of different looks. They're not gonna line up and just let you come block them cause they're gonna be all over the place. [On offense], they run the ball extremely well, they have tremendous speed. We saw them early in the year on film against Bentonville and they moved the ball up and down the field on those guys," Blankenship said.

Blankenship is just three wins away from becoming the only Fayetteville coach to win a state title in his first season.