RE ALIGNED REFRESHED REFOCUSED
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 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.
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.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 446-7645 or Denise Betchan (email@example.com) 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.
|ROCKDALE OFFENSE||NAVASOTA DEFENSE|
|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|
|ROCKDALE DEFENSE||NAVASOTA OFFENSE|
|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 leads 5-4|
TIGER SEASON LEADERS
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|
|When: Friday,||7:30 p.m.|
|Last week: Rockdale was idle;|
|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|
|W||L W||L Pts||Opp|
|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|
|This week—Navasota at Rockdale;|