After a week off, rejuvenated Tigers adjust attitude

Daniel Brooks Daniel Brooks Beginning Friday night, the Rockdale Tigers want to view the first half of their season in the rear view mirror.

Because what they’re seeing in out of their front windshield is the wide open spaces of a fresh start, where a 2-3 record has no bearing.

Entering their District 23- 3A opener Friday against Navasota, the Tigers have lost three straight and have had difficulty putting point on the scoreboard.

During the time off, the coaching staff and players have worked diligently to rectify the situation.

“We had a great week of practice,” said Rockdale Coach Jeff Miller. “We established what we wanted to work on. The intensity at practice was tremendous.

“Maybe it took us too long, but as coaches we realized we needed to change some things.

“I know it’s a cliche, but everyone is 0-0. Now they all count.”

The Rockdale defense, here represented by Nosario Garcia, (21), Derek David (6) and James David (18), is the best in District 23-3A, allowing only 156 yards a game, including just 70 on the ground. Reporter/Cliff Dungan The Rockdale defense, here represented by Nosario Garcia, (21), Derek David (6) and James David (18), is the best in District 23-3A, allowing only 156 yards a game, including just 70 on the ground. Reporter/Cliff Dungan The Tigers have scored just 14 points in their last two losses and a once potent running attack has become less dangerous because teams are loading up the line of scrimmage because of a lack of a serious passing game.

One tweaking will see Casey Burrough and Austin Morrow in

the game more at the receiver


Miller feels like that gives the Tigers a better chance at catching more balls, which has been a hindrance to the


Burrough has not played on offense yet this season

because he is not fully recovered from foot surgery he had after last season and is too valuable on defense as the Tigers third leading tackler from his strong safety slot.

Morrow is in the rotation and has caught just one pass for 16 yards.

When Rockdale and Navasota faced each other last season, both teams were flying high.

Rockdale was 7-0 and ranked 10th in the state. Navasota had just lost, but were still ranked 14th.

Both teams are still trying to establish their identities in 2010.

The Rattlers hadn’t lost three games in a row since the midway point of the 2006 season, however, they kept it from happening on Friday with a convincing 49-12 road win over 2-4 Wharton after a week off.

After defeating Madisonville and Willis to open the season, Navasota was trimmed by Cameron and shut out by Bryan Rudder.

While Kye Hildreth (342 total yards in the 41-13 w in over Rockdale in 2009) stepped in for graduated district MVP Jacolby Stokes last season, Ian Day is the next signal caller in line.

Senior Antoin Burrell is the leading ground gainer for Navasota with 311 yards and averages eight yards per carry. Reporter/ Ken Esten Cooke Senior Antoin Burrell is the leading ground gainer for Navasota with 311 yards and averages eight yards per carry. Reporter/ Ken Esten Cooke The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Day— who started at tight end last season—is second in the district in passing to LaGrange’s Logan Vinlarek with 890 yards passing and a league-high 10 touchdown passes. He has completed an impressive 67 percent of his passes.

Day has also run for 276 yards and five touchdowns, second on the team.

In the win over Wharton, Day was eight-of-10 for 171 yards with four scoring strikes.

“They just plugged in another great athlete at quarterback like they always do,” Miller said. “He can run, but he also does a good job of throwing the ball out to those receivers.”

The Rattlers feature four different receivers with at least 10 catches.

“They beat you with their athleticism. Senior linebacker Kesnick Jones is Navasota’s top tackler and was a first-team All-State pick last season. When you’re as talented as they are, they have six players at the skill positions, it can put you in a bind. You have to cover everyone.”

The game will feature two of the best linebackers in the state in Rockdale’s Derek David and Navasota’s Kesnick Jones, who was a first-team All-State selection a year ago, despite his size (5-foot-9, 190 pounds).

Jones—who will also do some time in the backfield—had a 40- yard fumble recovery touchdown last week.

“To accomplish the goals that we set, we have to win this game,’ Miller said. “We have to look at it that way. The kids have done a real good job of thinking that way.

“We’re getting to a point where they are all must-wins.”


• The Rockdale Tiger Booster Club is selling “District 23-3A Endangered Species” blue shirts for $15. The front has the attached crest on the left chest and the back has the endangered species list (also attached). These are for all sports and will be good for the next two years. Available in sizes youth small to adult 3XL. The shirts are here so just send your payment and they will send you the shirts. Make checks payable to RTBC (Rockdale Tiger Booster Club). Contact Angel Miller ( at 446-7645 or Denise Betchan ( and get your shirts.

• The Tigers received some great news on the injury front as two-way senior starter Sal Bishop just has a bruised knee and will be available for Friday. Also, Stephen Schneider suffered a severe high ankle sprain against Madisonville, not a break as first thought, but he will not play Friday. Lineman Desmond Davis has also not been released to play after suffering a concussion on a freak accident where he slipped and hit his head after the Cameron game.

• The Tigers still lead District 23-3A in defense, allowing just 156 yards and 16 points a game. They give up just 70 yards rushing per game. The Tigers are secondto last in offense.

• Despite the week off, Tiger junior Daniel Brooks still leads the league in rushing by 50 yards over Caldwell’s Kendrin Sheppard. Brooks does trail Sheppard in the touchdown department 12 to 9.

• The Tigers sent three different sets of coaches to three different games on Friday to scout at Columbus, LaGrange and Wharton.

• The real deal: Caldwell proved itself worthy of any lofty accolades after its 21-15 victory over then-No. 10 Brookshire-Royal after trailing 7-0. The stingy Hornets have allowed just 40 points this season and moved up to No. 9 in this week’s rankings.

• Giddings had its second straight off week after its game with West Orange-Stark was cancelled two weeks ago.

• Teams Rockdale has played so far this season are a combined 11-17.

• District 23-3A was 15-14 against outside competition.

No. Pos. Player, Ht.-Wt. Class No. Pos. Player, Ht.-Wt. Class
8 QB Ethan Brinkley, 6-2, 180 So 36 RE Justin Whitfield, 6-1, 203 Sr
3 RB Daniel Brooks, 5-7, 150 Jr 33 RT Jaylyn Minor, 5-9, 200 So
12 FB Richard Vasquez, 5-10, 175 Sr 29 LT Dillon Arrington, 5-8, 217 Sr
7 WR J.J. Lewis, 5-9, 165 Sr 45 LE Josh Thomas, 6-1, 190 Sr
20 WR Dillon Goodman, 5-10, 135 Jr 8 LB Antoin Burrell, 5-8, 165 Sr
6 TE Derek David, 6-3, 225 Jr 44 LB Will Imhoff, 6-1, 190 So
62 LT LeRaven Clark, 6-6, 250 Sr 9 LB Kesnick Jones, 5-10, 190 Sr
71 LG Sal Bishop, 6-4, 250 Sr 7 CB Aaron Collins. 5-10, 165 Sr
50 C Patrick David, 6-0, 235 Jr 22 CB Xavier Creeks, 6-0, 170 So
57 RG David Monroe, 6-1, 200 Sr 4 S Jacob Malek, 6-0, 170 Jr
76 RT Dillan Schnerr, 6-4, 250 Sr 3 S Cody Small, 6-0, 175 Sr
50 NG Patrick David, 6-0, 235 Jr 5 QB Ian Day, 6-1, 190 Sr
62 DL LeRaven Clark, 6-6, 250 Sr 8 TB Antoin Burrell, 5-8, 165 Sr
71 DL Sal Bishop, 6-4, 250 Sr 9 FB Kesnick Jones, 5-9, 190 Sr
18 LB James David, 6-2, 205 Fr 17 WR Tevin Creeks, 5-11, 159 Sr
11 LB Anthony Montoya,5-10,200 Sr 1 WR Alfon Taylor, 5-10, 165 Sr
34 LB Markus Hayes, 5-7, 200 So 44 WB Will Imhoff 6-1, 190 So
6 LB Derek David, 6-3, 225 Jr 68 LT Rodney Brown, 6-1, 220 Sr
9 CB Austin Morrow, 5-7, 150 Sr 57 LG Kyle Orlando, 6-1, 220 Jr
11 CB Terral Dixon, 5-9, 160 Jr 70 C Ricardo Aguilar, 5-11, 300 Sr
2 S Casey Burrough, 5-8, 160 Sr 64 RG Auyra Maxey, 5-10, 270 Jr
12 S Richard Vasquez, 5-10, 175 Sr 52 RT Nathan Mallard, 6-1, 235 Sr

TIGER SEASON RESULTS (2-3) Rockdale 58, Austin Eastside 0 Rockdale 38, Salado 20 Cameron 35, Rockdale 13 Liberty Hill 16, Rockdale 7 Madisonville 10, Rockdale 7 Open Navasota at Smithville LaGrange at Giddings

Rockdale vs. Navasota
Rockdale leads 5-4
2009 Navasota 41-13
2008 Navasota 21-14
1987 Navasota 28-0
1986 Navasota 30-24
1965 Rockdale 14-0
1964 Rockdale 32-8
1963 Rockdale 35-0
1962 Rockdale 33-8
1935 Rockdale 14-0


Rushing—Brooks 95-770 9 TD; Dixon 51-304 5 TD; Palmo 12- 113 2 TD, Nelson 6-3, Carpenter 2- (-10), Moore 1- (-17), Brinkley 19-(-47).

Passing—Brinkley 23 - 60 -5, 243 yards, 3 TD; Dixon 0-1-0; Carpenter 0-1-0.

Receiving—Lewis 5 -93 TD, Brooks 8-89, Morrow 1-16, Dixon 3-22 TD, Palmo 2-8, Garza 1-6, Carpenter 2-11 TD, White 1-(-2).

Tackles—David, D. 42, Hayes 33, Burrough 30, David, J. 27, Bishop 17, Montoya 24, Clark 23, Vasquez 17 Brooks 10, Morrow 22, Carpenter 10 David, P. 5, Dixon 5, Garcia 9.

What: Rockdale Tigers (2-3) vs.
Navasota Rattlers (3-2). DISTRICT
Where: Tiger Stadium (2,850
capacity, grass).
When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Favorite: Navasota by 11.
Last week: Rockdale was idle;
Navasota def Wharton 49-12.
Last year: Navasota 41, Rockdale
Series record: Rockdale leads 5-4.
District outlook: Navasota is
picked fourth in District 23-3A.
Mustang to watch: No.5 QB Ian
District Season
WL WL PtsOpp
Caldwell 0 0 5 0 188 40
Navasota 0 0 3 2 151 101
LaGrange 0 0 3 2 142 136
Giddings 0 0 2 2 130 102
Rockdale 0 0 2 3 123 81
Smithville 0 0 0 5 55 231
Last week—Rockdale was idle; Navas
ota 4 9, W harton 1 2; C aldwell 2 1, B rooks
hire Royal 15 ; La Grange 30 , Be llville
15; Columbus 48, Smithville 0; Giddings
was idle.
This week—Navasota at Rockdale;
Caldwell at Smithville; LaGrange at

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