Wing-T offense doesn't scare Tigers anymore
While most teams send out a code red in practice the week before they are challenged by a Wing-T offensive team, Rockdale has butted heads with the archaic offense so many times, it draws yawns from Tiger coaches and players.
"I'm not saying that we like to go up against it," Rockdale Coach Jeff Miller said, "but we're not scared of it anymore."
The Tigers will run up against one of the best in the business in the No. 15 Caldwell Hornets Friday night
While Rockdale is coming off a loss to Navasota, the Hornets took the week off after their 14-0 shutdown of those same Rattlers two weeks ago that knocked the No. 5 Rattlers from the ranks of the unbeaten.
While Caldwell churned out its usual portion of clock-eating ground yardage (261), it was the Caldwell defense that stung Navasota, limiting them to 103 yards of total offense.
Entering the game, Navasota was the top offensive team in the district, averaging almost 450 yards a game.
"Caldwell just played extremely hard," Miller said. "They just went after them. They shortened up the field and slowed down a speedy team."
"We have got to get better and beat Rockdale," said Caldwell Coach Dale Williams. "Right now, we have to focus not on rankings, but on a district championship and going to the playoffs."
Caldwell has the second best defense in the league—next to Rockdale—allowing 83 points and 203 yards a game.
The Hornets are averaging 360 yards a game, just 40 through the air.
Kyson Woolverton needs just 64 yards to go over the 1,000 yard mark for the second consecutive season and is the top runner in the district, with over 150 yards more than his nearest competitior, Kye Hildreth of Navasota.
His 17 touchdowns are among the leaders in the state.
Nelson Scott, who also ran for over 1,000 yards last season, has 520 yards.
Quarterback D.J. Cumby—the Hornets' starting tight end a year ago—attempted just two passes in the win over Navasota and only 38 on the year with just 15 completions.
The Tigers know how to handle Woolverton, holding him to 53 yards on 18 carries in last year's win.
The victory stopped a fourgame w inning streak by the Hornets against Rockdale and consequently sewed up a playoff berth for the Tigers.
Under Miller, the Tigers have won seven straight games against these T-type teams, in nine tries.
The two losses were against former district mate and twotime state champion Liberty Hill.
Both teams are attemping to stop long district championship droughts.
Rockdale has not won a crown since 1999 and Caldwell has had to wait even longer, since 1993 under Coach Norman Cobb.
"Winning all those close games early gave us a false sense of security," Miller said. "All the talks have been pretty positive. We'll find out how mature we are."
• Along with Montoya (knee), the Tigers will have several question marks heading into the Caldwell game. J.B. Debault (shoulder) is possible, Terral Dixon is questionable after suffering a concussion Friday and Shane Barcak (shoulder) is still questionable. Dillan Schnerr (flu) and Daniel Brooks (hip pointer) will play.
• Running back/receiver Austin Morrow and lineman Stephen Schneider have been moved up to the varsity from the junior varsity.
• The Tigers still have a shot at their first district title since 1999 with the worst case-scenario being a three-way tie with Navasota and Caldwell.
• Rockdale dropped from No. 5 to No. 16 in the Texas Football poll, while Navasota moved up to No. 13.
• The Tigers had won nine straight regular season games (since last year's loss to Navasota) and 16 of the past 18.
• In the past three seasons, Rockdale is 11-3 at home and have won five straight at Tiger Stadium.
• With a touchdown Friday, Joe Sanders now has 26 in his career which ties him for second with H. Earl Marion (1966-67) on the all-time list. Blade Bassler (1999- 2000) scored 35 touchdowns.
• Little-used wide receiver Enrique Torres made a spectacular catch Friday against Navasota for a 36-yard pickup to set up a Tiger touchdown.
• Miller used a mish-mash of starters Friday night that included Logan David starting at right guard and the normal starter Clemente Diaz moving out to right tackle. David and Diaz also start on the defensive line.
• The Tigers wore pink shoelaces in their cleats to bring attention to Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
• Madisonville threw a monkey wrench into the district race with its surprising 25-19 defeat of Cameron, leaving three teams with two losses (Cameron, Taylor, Madisonville).
|THE STARTING LINEUPS|
|ROCKDALE OFFENSE||CALDWELL DEFENSE|
|No.||Pos. Player, Ht.-Wt.||Class||No.||Pos. Player, Ht.-Wt.||Class|
|18||QB||Joe Sanders, 6-2, 190||Sr||34||RE||Zach Greig, 5-8, 150||Jr|
|22||RB||Greg Chelf, 5-7, 150||Sr||72||LT||Taylor Haby, 5-8, 175||Sr|
|31||WR||Juan Estrada, 5-6, 160||Sr||71||RT||Logan Pharis, 6-3, 230||Sr|
|9||WR||Justin Elliott, 6-3, 180||Sr||30||LE||Matt Mueller, 6-2, 240||Jr|
|8||WR||Brandon Gibbs, 6-1, 170||Sr||12||LB||Cody Spittler, 5-10, 170||Sr|
|15||WR||Tyler Wright, 6-3, 180||Jr||33||LB||Aaron Mueller, 6-2, 190||Sr|
|62||LT||LeRaven Clark, 6-6, 230||Jr||54||LB||LeDarion Jenkins, 5-9, 160||Jr|
|71||LG||Sal Bishop, 6-4, 250||Jr||21||CB||Devin Carter, 5-8, 150||Jr|
|50||C||Patrick David, 6-0, 235||So||2||S||Bryston Burns, 5-10, 160||So|
|64||RG||Clemente Diaz, 5-11, 235||Sr||4||S||Luis Martinez, 5-8, 160||Sr|
|76||RT||Dillan Schnerr, 6-4, 250||Jr||1||CB||Billie Daniels, 5-9, 150||Jr|
|ROCKDALE DEFENSE||CALDWELL OFFENSE|
|64||NG||Clemente Diaz, 5-11, 235||Sr||11||QB||D.J. Cumby, 6-2, 180||Jr|
|62||LT||LeRaven Clark, 6-6, 230||Jr||8||FB||Kyson Woolverton, 5-9, 165 Sr|
|77||RT||Logan David, 6-4, 300||Sr||7||Z||Nelson Scott, 6-0, 180||Sr|
|32||LB||Justin Gadison, 6-4, 205||Sr||3||H||Kedrin Sheppard, 6-0, 170||Jr|
|4||LB||Juan Estrada, 5-6, 160||Sr||15||TE||Anthony Guiterrez, 6-2,180||Jr|
|9||LB||Justin Elliott, 6-3, 180||Sr||40||TE||Zach Ondrasek, 6-2, 190||Sr|
|6||LB||Derek David, 6-3, 225||So||65||LT||Zach Kelley, 6-1, 280||Jr|
|1||CB||Terral Brooks, 5-9, 160||Jr||63||LG||Trent Meckel, 5-11, 215||Sr|
|22||CB||Greg Chelf, 5-7, 150||Sr||55||C||Jared Mathis, 5-11, 200||Sr|
|15||S||Tyler Wright, 6-3, 180||Jr||60||RG||Sixto Banuelos, 5-11, 215||Sr|
|2||S||Casey Burrough, 5-7, 160||Jr||70||RT||Kyle Schwartz, 6-1, 280||Sr|