Waco Midway head football coach Kent Bachtel doesn’t want to call it revenge, but said some boys on his team would like to redeem themselves against Alvarado this Friday at Floyd Casey Stadium.

Last season, the Indians of District 12-3A shocked the Division I, Class 4A quarterfinalists with a 17-7 home win that Bachtel said hurt the team’s pride.

“Not all of them were on that team, we graduated quite a few guys, but the ones that played last year, they want to win this game bad,” he said.

During that game, the Panthers were plagued with turnovers thanks to a second-stringer who was filling in for running back, John Hubert.

This year, former starting linebacker Marc Martinez, who racked up 121 tackles and 18 runs for 134 yards last season, will start at running back.

Bachtel said Martinez is a “tough old kid” and is confident he can keep the ball firmly in his grip.

With this game, Alvarado has a chance to show to the community, and themselves, just how high up they can compete.

“A year ago, the win did wonders for us and gave our kids confidence. They knew then that they could not only compete with, but beat, 4A teams,” Alvarado head coach Jeff Dixon said. “Midway is very solid. They were last year and even more so this year. We have a challenge this week.”

Dixon said he hopes the Indians can win the turnover battle again and start the regular season with a win.

“Waco will not take us lightly. Maybe they did a year ago, I don’t know,” he said. “I just know our guys got after their tail a year ago. We forced six turnovers and we came up on the winning end of it.”

Midway went 12-2 last season and has eight defensive starters returning, including free safety Ahmad Dixon, who has pledged to Baylor.

Dixon had 109 tackles last season, and linebacker Charles Kelly is back after recording 146 tackles in 2008.

Returning quarterback Corey Holmes is unable to play Friday after an elbow operation.

With more offensive linemen graduated, Bachtel said strong defense will be key.

“We graduated a lot of offensive linemen, in fact, all of them, so our offensive line has got to play well,” Bachtel said. “You know, we’re going to make mistakes because they’re new, but we just hopefully have to minimize those mistakes as the season goes on.

“They’re a physical football team and they’ve got a real good running back. We’re going to have to do a good job up front with linebackers swamping the football. I can’t give you any one individual, we just have to play some great team defense.”

The Indians, which went 7-5 in 2008, have six offensive and seven defensive starters returning.

Quarterback Travis Pruitt will start this season and 2008’s all-district running back Broam Hart, who ran 270 times for 2,128 yards, returns to go head to head with Midway’s Martinez.

“He’s an integral part of what we have, no question,” Dixon said. “Broam will obviously have to play well. We rely on him quite a bit.”

Similar to Midway, Alvarado has both new and old faces that will see one of the area’s largest stadiums at Baylor University’s Floyd Casey Stadium on Friday.

Dixon said the excitement is there, but won’t matter once 7:30 p.m. rolls around.

“They know what it’s fixing to be like because they’re veteran players,” he said. “Their attitude is not so much the win over Midway, it’s the loss over Prosper in the playoff game.

“They like the fact that they were playing in the postseason, and they want to get back there.”

Both coaches expressed excitement for the opportunity to play in such an emotionally charged matchup to start the regular season.

But, for Bachtel who plans to retire art season’s end, it signifies the end of a 28-year career with Midway football.

And even for this game, he said he won’t change a thing.

“We’re going to do the same thing we’ve done all along, we’re not changing anything,” Bachtel said. “Same thing we did last year, we’re just doing it with different people in some spots.We were 12-2 in the quarterfinals, why would we change?”

The Indians return home on Sept. 4 to take on Waco Robinson at 7:30 p.m. at Charles Head Memorial Stadium.

Alvarado will begin District 12-3A play on Oct. 9 at home against Kaufman.

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