Nolan Catholic football coach Joe Prud'homme wanted to play a tough early-season schedule, and he succeeded.
The Vikings first met the state's No. 2-ranked Class 4A team, Lancaster, and followed that up with 3A's No. 10 team Argyle. The result was an 0-2 start.
The following week they battled perennial 4A power Everman, and won 25-15. That led to wins over Dallas Spruce and Plano John Paul II.
"The schedule was partly by design, but no one wanted to play us," Prud'homme said. "We wanted to play tough people that were fast early, and now it's starting to pay off."
After falling 35-21 to Lancaster, the Vikings dressed just one of four regular running backs against Argyle - a 28-7 loss.
"We've just been beat up and were finally starting to get healthy," Prud'homme said. "You add that with our inexperience and it was tough early. You learn one thing though, either get better and improve or die."
Leading the way on offense in the turnaround has been quarterback Joseph Prud'homme and running back Luke Alves.
"Joseph has been through the wars and been a steady force," Prud'homme said. "Luke is a hard strong running back that's hard to stop and fights for that extra yard and gives the team that extra needed energy."
Nolan (3-2, 1-0 in TAPPS Div. I, District 1) hope their strong schedule will pay off. The Vikings' district opponents have posted a combined 17-5 nondistrict record.
"There are some really good teams in the district this year," Prud'homme said. "Plano Prestonwood has for or five Division I starters on defense and Trinity Christian Addison has 20 of 22 starters back including a prolific offense that has scored over 50 points a game. It's going to be a dog fight, because you can't count Lynch out either.
"If we keep things together and play our type of ball control I think we're going to be OK."
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