By Bill Spinks

The Milford Bulldogs will open the 2020 football season on Friday, Aug. 28 at home against Waco Vanguard College Prep and will have two weeks to prepare for payback against south county rival Avalon at home on Oct. 23, the team announced recently.

The 2018 Class 1A Division I state runner-up Bulldogs, coming off a 7-4 mark and district runner-up finish a year ago, will enjoy six home dates this fall, in large part because of a Sept. 18 game against Gainesville Lone Star North, which plays all of its games on the road.

Head coach Ronny Crumpton’s six-man Bulldogs will open with back-to-back games against Vanguard and Abbott before making their first road trip of the year to Garland Christian on Sept. 11. After hosting Lone Star North for homecoming, the Bulldogs will travel to Jonesboro before hosting Fort Worth THESA for their final district tune-up.

Milford kept Avalon as a district rival in the new-look five-team 11-1A (I), but added defending 1A D-I champion Blum, Bynum and Covington as colleagues while losing Coolidge and Penelope. Last December, Blum defeated McLean, the defending champ that outscored the Bulldogs in the 2018 title game.

After opening district at Bynum and a bye week, the Bulldogs will host Avalon in the 2020 South Ellis Shootout on Oct. 23 looking to avenge last year’s 55-54 loss to the Eagles. A week later, they’ll make their run at the defending state champs at Blum.

All games will kick off at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays except for the Lone Star North game, which will start at 8 p.m.

Crumpton, the 2019 inaugural All-Ellis County coach of the year, begins his 14th season as head coach at his alma mater, his 23rd total season at the school as a coach and educator and his 28th overall, including stops at Mullin and Rising Star.

Ennis’ Sam Harrell is the reigning dean of Ellis County head football coaches with 19 years of combined head coaching service at his school, including 16 from 1994-2009 before returning to the Lions for the 2018 campaign. But Crumpton is the leader among county gridiron skippers in terms of current active seasons of tenure.