They are a better football team than the 5-6 squad was last season.
The Batesville Bulldogs look faster and stronger. Defensively, they have not given up much through the first two games, which has allowed the offensive unit better opportunities to score.
It is still early in the season, but a 21-7 victory over the Milan Indians Friday night avenged one of the losses from a year ago.
"I was nervous about this game," BHS head coach Eric Heppner admitted. "I knew they lost some players from last season, but still had a lot of good athletes ... pleased to come away with a win against a good opponent.
"I was happy with our play in the first half, but scoreboard did not reflect it," he added.
The Bulldogs and Indians were locked into a 7-7 struggle through the first half and it was not until 3:56 mark in the third quarter before it changed.
An errant snap on a Milan punt attempt in their own territory turned the momentum directly to the Bulldogs.
The ball came to rest on the 12 yard line and Bulldogs seized the opportunity. After a pair of Clayton McKinley runs to get the ball near the goal line, quarterback Connor Schuck called his own number for the touchdown. Peter Heil added the extra point to make it 14-7.
The Batesville defense continued to hold the Indians in check and forced a punt later in the quarter.
The Bulldogs took over at their own 27 yard line with :13 on the clock and it looked as they would take a seven point lead into the final period.
But nobody informed McKinley of that plan.
The senior running back took a short pass from Schuck and weaved his way through the Milan defense 73 yards for a touchdown. Heil's third extra point of the game put the Bulldogs on top 21-7.
The Bulldogs continued to get the job done defensively and easily preserved the 14 point victory.
The first Batesville touchdown of the game came at the 7:46 mark in the second quarter. Schuck capped a 12-play, 68 yard drive with a two yard carry into the end zone. The drive was highlighted by a diving catch by senior wide receiver Connor Dickey, which covered 28 yards.
The Indians answered just before halftime with a two yard run by Jon Spurlock at the 2:10 mark. Caleb Vinup added the extra point to tie the score.
The Indians struggled at times to execute against the aggressive Batesville defense. A number of plays netting negative yards hampered their progress and led to some slim totals.
Defensively, the Bulldogs held the Indians to just eight yards rushing (unofficially) once all was the negative yardage was considered. Milan quarterback Gavin Detraz threw the ball 14 times and completed six for 47 yards.
The Indians finished with seven first downs compared to 11 by the Bulldogs.
Cody Reer led the way defensively for the Bulldogs. The senior defensive tackle finished with 15 tackle points, which included four solo and seven assists. Austin Westerfeld, who had a pair of sacks, finished with 10 points (four solo, two assists) as did Colin Brown (two solo, six assists).
Seth Williamson got good pressure on the quarterback most of the night and finished with one and a half sacks, while Jacob Wilson added two tackles for loss.
Offensively, the Bulldogs were most successful passing the ball.
Schuck finished the night 7-of-14 passing for 182 yards and a touchdown. The big play came in the third quarter to McKinley. The Bulldogs managed only 70 yards on the ground.
The Bulldogs are now 2-0 on the season and will travel to South Dearborn (0-2) on Friday. The Indians (1-1) return home to play Lawrenceburg (1-1).