PURPLEHAZE

Ready to run, Tigers scamper past Panthers
BY BILL MARTIN
Reporter Sports Editor

Don’t adjust your set. A purple-clad Terral Dixon scores the first of his four touchdowns in the Tigers resounding season opening win over Eastside Memorial. They wore purple uniforms to honor the Aycock High School state championship team of 1955. Reporter/Cliff Dungan Don’t adjust your set. A purple-clad Terral Dixon scores the first of his four touchdowns in the Tigers resounding season opening win over Eastside Memorial. They wore purple uniforms to honor the Aycock High School state championship team of 1955. Reporter/Cliff Dungan On an evening when the legendary Aycock Purple Tigers state championship team was honored, the current crop of Tigers posted a score that the high flying pioneers could relate too.

Wearing throwback purple Aycock uniforms that included the letter A on their helmets, Big Blue blasted Austin Eastside Memorial 58-0 Friday night to kick off the 2010 season at Tiger Field.

It was Big Blue’s third straight opening day victory in five seasons under Coach Jeff Miller and happened for the first time since the 1987-88-89 seasons.

It is also the second largest season opening win in school history, second only to the 1975 team’s 61-0 destruction of Copperas Cove.

Senior tackle Dillan Schnerr graded the highest among Tiger linemen Friday.  Senior tackle Dillan Schnerr graded the highest among Tiger linemen Friday. A pretty typical season opener, the Tigers looked sharp at times, not so much at other intervals.

“Offensively we did a lot of really good things, a lot of experimentation,” Miller said after the game. “But, I was disappointed in the overall execution. We weren’t doing a very good job of paying attention.”

The Tigers put the ball on the ground six times and were penalized 8 times for 80 yards.

Miller promised that the Tigers were going to focus on the ground attack more this season and become a little more efficient in controlling the clock and he kept his promise.

Junior Daniel Brooks took up where he left off last season before suffering an injury and galloped for 192 yards and three touchdowns on just 12 carries.

Senior Terral Dixon churned out 74 yards on eight carries and crossed the goal line four times that included a nifty 15-yard run for a score after taking a pass from quarterback Ethan Brinkley.

In his first start, the sophomore signal caller was steady, completing 7-of-12 passes for 74 yards and two touchdowns— one to his competitor at quarterback—transfer Jared Carpenter.

“Ethan was solid and the offensive line did a really good job,” said Miller. “But on the outside, we really showed our inexperience.”

The Tigers’ lone experienced receiver, senior J.J. Lewis, led with two catches for 36 yards— one more catch than he had all last season.

Brinkley connected with six different receivers.

Big Blue sparkled on defense, allowing the Panthers just 44 total yards—all on the ground— on 34 attempts. They attempted just one pass and averaged just 1.3 yards per play.

“It was a heck of a defensive effort, but that doesn’t surprise me,” Miller said.

Derek David also took up where he left off last season and the all-state linebacker led the Tigers (along with backup defensive back Markus Hayes) with eight tackles, followed by defensive tackle Sal Bishop with seven stops.

Eastside Memorial was in Tiger territory just twice and once was due to a Rockdale fumble.

The Tigers struggled in special teams play, especially on extra point conversions, failing on five of nine tries, including four errant kicks.

“We’ve got to work on special teams,” said Miller. “Those are crucial points—in a close game. We’ve got to get those points.”

Brooks and Dixon had no trouble setting up those points, as the backfield mates accounted for seven touchdowns between them.

Just as he did last season in Big Blue’s opening victory over Llano, Brooks provided the Tigers with their first points of the season when he busted over the middle from three yards out to make it 6- 0, with just 1 minute, 51 seconds gone off the clock.

It took the Tigers four plays to cover the 30 yards after the Panthers misplayed the ball on a punt attempt.

Eastside Memorial fumbled the ball eight times, losing two.

The dynamic duo took turns scoring the Tigers’ next five touchdowns, with Dixon taking a pitch for a 16-yard scamper, while Brooks crossed the goal line from the 20 and then from 59 yards out on a beautifully executed counter to make the score 26-0 with 10:20 left in the first half.

Dixon then scored two more of his own after an 11-yard blast over the middle and then hauled in a 15-yard pass from Brinkley to close out the first half scoring, 39-0.

Dixon set up his own second score, when he blocked an Eastside Memorial field goal attempt from the 31-yard line that Casey Burrough picked up and returned 77 yards to the 1-yard line.

An illegal block penalty on Rockdale on the return moved the ball back to the 30 before Dixon skirted in from 16 yards away to make it 12-0.

Rockdale scored on nine of its 12 possessions on the evening.

With all the first half penalties and miscues, the first half took 90 minutes to complete, including a 50-minute first quarter.

Rockdale scored on nine of its 12 possessions on the evening.

After Carpenter’s touchdown reception to open the third quarter on Rockdale’s longest drive of the evening (nine plays, 47 yards), Dixon cut loose on a cross country trek in which he headed right, then changed directions to the left for a 15-yard score.

Miller allowed officials to run the clock non stop after Dixon’s score.

Jimmy Palmo closed out the scoring with another change of direction 28-yard score to make the final 58-0.

“This is just the kind of game that we needed,” said Miller. “The first time out to get to do a lot of different things.

23-3A STANDINGS
District Season
WL WL PtsOpp
Rockdale 0 0 1 0 58 0
Navasota 0 0 1 0 35 14
Giddings 0 0 1 0 28 14
LaGrange 0 0 1 0 16 6
Caldwell 0 0 1 0 26 0
Smithville 0 0 0 1 0 60
Last week—Rockdale 58, Austin Easts
ide M emorial; L exington 6 0, S mithville
0; Caldwell 26, Bellville 0; Navasota
35, Madisonville 14; LaGrange 16,
Lockhart 6.
This week—Salado at Rockdale; Aust
in C rockett a t C aldwell; B rookshire R oyal
at Giddings; Yoakum at LaGrange; Willis at
Navasota; Wharton at Smithville.

Memorial Rockdale
2 First downs 18
34-44 Rushes-yards 30-283
0-1-0 Passes 7-13-0
0 Passing yards 74
44 Total offense 357
6-32 Punts 2--27
8-2 Fumbles-lost 6-1
6-45 Penalties-yards 8-80
Score by quarters
Memorial 0 0 0 0—0
Rockdale 19 20 13 6—58
Scoring summary
First quarter
ROCKDALE—Daniel Brooks 7 run (Kick
failed) 9:05
ROCKDALE—Terral Dixon 16 run (run
failed) 3:15
ROCKDALE—Brooks 20 run (Noe Zelaya
kick) 2:57
Second quarter
ROCKDALE—Brooks 59 run (Zelaya
kick) 9:37
ROCKDALE—Dixon 11 run (kick failed)
6:29
ROCKDALE—Dixon 15 pass from Ethan
Brinkley (Zelaya kick) :07
Third quarter
ROCKDALE—Jared Carpenter 3 pass from
Brinkley (Zelaya kick) 7:52
ROCKDALE—Dixon 15 run (kick failed)
5:12
Fourth quarter
ROCKDALE—Jimmy Palmo 28 run
(kick failed) 8:40
The Leaders
RUSHING—ROCKDALE: Brooks 12-192
3TD, Dixon 8-74 4TD, Palmo 2-31, Nelson
2-(-1), Brinkley 4-(-3), Carpenter 4-(-11).
EASTSIDE: Shaw 11-38, Rangel 16-37.
PASSING—ROCKDALE: Brinkley 7-12-0,
74 yards, Carpenter 0-1-0. EASTSIDE:
Hinojosa 0-1-0.
RECEIVING—ROCKDALE: Lewis 2-36,
Brooks, 1-17, Dixon 1-15, Garza 1-5,
Carpenter 1-3, White 1-(-2)
TACKLES—David, D. 8, Hayes 8, Bishop
7, Montoya 6, David, J. 4, David, P. 3.


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