The Savages will face former head coach Greg George when they travel to Noble to open the 2014 season on Friday.

TECUMSEH – The Tecumseh Savages will see a familiar face on the opposing sideline when they travel to Noble to take on the Class 5A Bears in their season opener.

Former Tecumseh head coach Greg George left to take over in Noble in the spring, and former assistant Jason Murray was promoted to lead the Savages.

“It doesn’t matter who it is,” Murray said. “You want to go out there and play the best you can.”

The Savages, coming off a 2-8 campaign, will go into Friday’s game without the benefit of a second scrimmage. Last week’s scheduled preseason action at Newcastle was cancelled due to rain and lightning.

“We didn’t get that scrimmage,” Murray said. “I wish we would have, but there’s nothing we can do about it. We just have to go play.”

The Savages will have their hands full with a potent Noble offense that averaged 31.5 points per game last season.

“They’re a good football team,” Murray said. “They’re good in the skill positions. They’re a little bit young up front, but they’re getting better each day.”

Noble has just one returning starter up front in 6-2, 220-pound senior Brady Bradshaw.

Sophomore Baehlor Buol won the quarterback job in the preseason.

Tecumseh has had its own quarterback battle through the month of August, with Garrett Trammell and Gus Hull splitting time during the preseason. Murray has decided who will start Friday night, he’s just not ready to reveal who that is.

Tecumseh’s offense will be going up against a Bear defense that gave up 29.5 points per game last year, and an average of 36 points over the final eight games.

The Savages are expected to be strong on the offensive line, with Chas Sehon and Bradin Bowie leading the way. That group found success in their four-way scrimmage at Choctaw, where they took on 6A Sand Springs and Choctaw, as well as 5A Shawnee.

But Murray knows that translating success in scrimmages to real games will be a different thing altogether.

“It’s different. Everything comes into play; all the special teams, the penalties, all that stuff gets magnified. But our kids are going to come out ready to play and they’ll play with a lot of enthusiasm.”