Coldspring exorcises West Orange- Stark demons

Apparently tired of being first-round cannon fodder for state football

power West Orange- Stark, Coldspring came out of the locker room with a new attitude.

Before West Orange-Stark knew what hit them, the Trojans scored on their first three possessions, were up 25-7 and poised for the upset.

Cold- spring completed the task and had to stave off a furious West Orange- Stark comeback bid and held on for a 41-36 victory Friday night.

West Orange-Stark had outscored the Trojans 87-22 in their previous two meeting in bi-district the past two years.

It marked Coldspring's first playoff victory since 2002.

The Trojans will now face Rockdale at Buddy Moorehead Stadium in Conroe at 7:30 p.m. Friday in a Class 3A Division II Region III area contest.

"It feels good, really good," said Coldspring Coach Bryan Barbay. "We liked our chances coming in, but we knew we were going to have to play and make plays."

West Orange Stark (8-3)— once ranked No. 3 in the state in Class 3A—presented the Tro-

Chad Allen leaps into Coldspring coach Bryan Barbay's arms after the Trojans victory over WOS. Chad Allen leaps into Coldspring coach Bryan Barbay's arms after the Trojans victory over WOS. jans with five turnovers. After surrendering a 99-yard touchdown pass after a punt had pinned West Orange-Stark down at their one-yard line and trailing 29-25, Coldspring fought right back and scored on consecutive possessions to regain the lead and its composure.

The last tick of the clock set off a wild celebration by the Coldspring faithful.

"Getting to the second round means everything to us," Barbay said. "That's what we've been striving for this whole time."

"Right now, we're playing good and we're excited for the opportunity that's ahead of us."

"Who would have thought they would have got after West Orange-Stark the way that they did," said Rockdale Coach Jeff Miller, who attended the game with his entire staff. "It was fun to watch that game. They really felt like they had a chance if they could go out and play perfect ball and West Orange-Stark gave them five turnovers.

"If they can maintain that energy every night, they are going to be tough to beat."

Family affair

Senior quarterback Chad Allen has accumulated almost 2,000 yards of total offense and 26 touchdowns this season for Coldspring. Senior quarterback Chad Allen has accumulated almost 2,000 yards of total offense and 26 touchdowns this season for Coldspring. Coldspring's success starts at the top in Barbay, 40, who is the son of legendary Newton Coach Curtis Barbay, 66, who has roamed the sidelines for 35 years and has collected 312 victories, good enough for eighth all-time.

Barbay's other son Darrell, 37, is the head coach at Anahuac.

All three made the playoffs last season for the first time as a trio. They continued the trend in 2009.

All three are still alive. Coldspring of course won, so did Newton. Anahuac earned a bye.

"Everybody gets excited for everybody else," Bryan Barbay said.

Bryan is a 1986 Newton graduate who played center, while Darrell is a 1989 Newton grad who played receiver.

"The older you get, you can see how much smarter he is than most of the people," Bryan Barbay says of his famous father. "I can't do what he can do. He can just see the field. He knows what he's looking for. He spends a lot of time on it."

Sophomore Sherman Gilbert (1) is a two-way starter for Coldspring, picking up 573 yards and seven tuchdowns on offense, while registering 82 tackles and a team-high three interceptions on defense. Eastex Advocate photo Sophomore Sherman Gilbert (1) is a two-way starter for Coldspring, picking up 573 yards and seven tuchdowns on offense, while registering 82 tackles and a team-high three interceptions on defense. Eastex Advocate photo The Barbays have disappointed Rockdale before. Curtis Barbay's New ton squad sent the Tigers packing 34-13 in the 1998 regionals on their way to the state championship.

He captured another one in 2005 after just missing out in 2004.

Before he retires to watch his grandkids play, perhaps a three championship season for the Barbay family?

"He's spent so many years coaching everybody else's kids, which is what happens when you're coaching somewhere for that long," Bryan Barbay said. "And his grandkids, he likes to watch them. It's going to get to the point where he likes to watch them play."

Balancing act

Coldspring is a perfectly balanced football team and with most good teams, it all begins and ends with the Trojans quarterback, Chad Allen.

The 5-foot-10, 170-pound senior Allen is a three-year starter for Coldspring and can wound a team with his arm or his legs.

"He is for real," said Miller. "He has no weaknesses."

A llen has passed for 1,212 yards and 15 touchdowns this season on just 51 completions, an impressive 24-yard per completion rate.

He has also scampered for 661 yards and another 11 touchdowns on the ground.

In the West Orange-Stark win, he ran for 128 yards and three touchdowns and then passed for 123 yards and another score.

He accounted for over half of the Trojans' total offense (485) and four of their seven scores.

Not unlike Rockdale, the Trojans use a running back by committee and feature four running backs with at least 575 yards rushing.

The entourage is led by Tevin Bryant, with 948 yards and 11 touchdowns.

He is followed closely by Andrew Leigh (6-0, 170) with 884 yards and 12 scores.

"They are really explosive, a really dangerous team because they have so many weapons," Miller said. "And, they are the only team we've seen that play as many players both ways as we do."

Coldspring is averaging 41 points and 423 yards a game, compared to Rockdale's 27 and 346.

They count heavily on the hole creating ability of 6-foot, 339- pound Otis Washington, which is where Miller thinks the game will be won or lost.

The Trojans front line will present a challenge to the Tigers' strongest group—the defensive line—made up of all-state performer Logan David (6-4, 300), LaRaven Clark (6-6, 240) and Clement Diaz.

"We have to control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball," he said. "Whoever wins that battle, will be in good shape to win the game.

"We feel like everything else will take care of itself."

Defensively, Coldspring starts six sophomores and its leading tackler, linebacker Leonard Arbor (105 tackles), is not among those starters.

The Trojans allow 18 points and 245 yards a game to Rockdale's 14 and 244.

While all this playoff drama unfolds around them, the Tigers have made good use of their week off.

Fridays game will be only their second game in the past month.

"It's been just as good as the week before the Taylor game," Miller said. "We've been able to relax and catch our breath. It has helped us regain our focus.

"If we can hold onto the football and cover kickoffs, we should be alright."

TIGER TRACKS

• The Rockdale-Coldspring victor will take on the Center (8-3)-Lorena (8-3) winner. They play in Huntsville Saturday.

• District 24-3A champion Caldwell (8-1) will take on 2008 Tiger victim Cleveland (10-1) in Waller, while runner-up Navasota (8-2) will face Silsbee (7-4) at The Woodlands.

• Had Rockdale and West Orange-Stark faced each other this week, they would have had a connection in former Rockdalian Will deWaal. Will played for the Tigers until his sophomore year in 1986 when his family moved to Orange. His dad was Jan deWaal, the "unofficial" Tiger team doctor. "He needed an excuse to stand on the sidelines," deWaal said. He played two years at West-Orange Stark where they won one 4A state championship in the '87 season and went back to the finals his senior year where they were edged out by Paris. He then played college ball at SMU, where his freshman year was the Mustangs' first off the death penalty. Will lives in Frisco these days. "If Rockdale and West Orange meet in the playoffs I'll have to get down for the game," deWaal said. "Who will I pull for.......Rockdale of course."

• The RISD athletic department is taking orders for the football playoff shirts. They will be blue short sleeve shirts sold for $10 for all sizes. Make checks payable to RISD.

• Looking back at Rockdale's opponents this past season shows that a surprising Lampasas (4-6) was the only non-district team to make the playoffs. Tiger opponents had a 49-49 combined record. Llano did not make the playoffs at 4-5 but did shock Liberty Hill in the final game of the season, knocking the 4-5 Panthers out of the playoff mix. You know what they say about paybacks...

• Speaking of Liberty Hill, Jeff Miller has already begun to line up teams for next year's realignment schedule and one of the teams is Liberty Hill. And, in anticipation of Cameron moving down to Class 2A, Cameron will be on the schedule as well. Taylor is still a question mark as to whether it will move up to Class 4A, but it is probable. Bryan Rudder is also expected to move up to 4A in Februray.

• Rockdale continues to be quick out of the gate. Of their 272 total points, 106 have come in the second quarter.

• Coldspring is the second smallest school in its district with 534 students, next to Huffman Hargrave's 937.

• Caldwell's Kyson Woolverton won the district rushing title with 1,495 yards and 26 touchdowns. Two quarterbacks, Brock Taylor of Madisonville and Kye Hildreth of Navasota were the only others to gain over 1,000.

• Steven Townsend of Cameron led the league in passing with 1,730 yards. Teammate Tommy Anderson was the top pass catcher with 47 for 516 yards.

• Coldspring's official school title is Coldspring-Oakhurst, whom they share the school district with. Oakhurst is 15 miles northwest of Coldspring.

• Despite having a population of just 691, Coldspring is the San Jacinto County seat. The town's original name was Coonskin.

This report contains material from the Beaumont Enterprise and the Eastex Advocate.

24-3A STANDINGS
District Season
WL WL PtsOpp
Caldwell 5 0 8 1 331 125
Rockdale 4 2 8 2 272 146
Navasota 4 2 8 2 295 115
Madisonville 3 3 5 5 192 209
Cameron 3 3 6 4 295 250
Taylor 1 4 4 6 229 327
Rudder 0 5 2 8 151 256
This week—Rockdale vs. Coldspring;
Caldwell vs. Cleveland; Navasota vs.
Silsbee.


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