It’s now or never

Tigers control their own destiny

Senior Caldwell quarterback D.J. Cumby (11) has led the Hornets to 17 wins in the past two seasons as a starter. Reporter/ Ken Esten Cooke Senior Caldwell quarterback D.J. Cumby (11) has led the Hornets to 17 wins in the past two seasons as a starter. Reporter/ Ken Esten Cooke The one thing that any team can hope for, is the right to be able to determine their own destiny.

Despite it’s disappointing record, Rockdale still has that luxury. All the Tigers have to do is whip old friend Caldwell at the friendly confines of Tiger Field Friday night in the final District 23-3A regular season game of the year.

“We do feel good about the opportunity to get out there and play and have a chance to make our own way into the playoffs,’ said Rockdale Coach Jeff Miller.

Despite being pummeled by Giddings Friday, Miller and the Tigers will become the biggest Buffalo fans this Friday because, if Giddings defeats Navasota, then all Rockdale has to do is win over Caldwell.

If Giddings loses to Navasota, the Tigers must beat the Hornets by eight points or more to get in according to the tie-breaker situation.

LINEMAN OF THE WEEK Senior LeRaven Clark graded out highest among Tiger linemen Friday night. LINEMAN OF THE WEEK Senior LeRaven Clark graded out highest among Tiger linemen Friday night. Despite the home field advantage, it will be no easy task. The Hornets are once beaten (by Navasota), previously ranked in the Top 10 and averaging 40 points a game.

Two years ago, the Tigers were in a similar situation in having to beat Caldwell to get into the playoffs and prevailed 28-14 at Hornet Stadium.

The battle will feature the two best rushers in the district in the forms of Rockdale’s Daniel Brooks and Caldwell’s Kedrin Sheppard.

The two have taken turns leading the league in rushing.

Sheppard took advantage of an off night by Brooks against Giddings, to surge ahead in the category with 1,550 yards to Brooks’ 1,488.

Sheppard has crossed the goal line 26 times in the Hornets’ slot offense, to Brooks’ 17 scores.

Caldwell is coming off a pressure packed 48-41 victory over LaGrange in overtime.

The Hornets led early 14-0, but it took Sheppard’s fifth touchdown of the evening to tie the game 41- 41 and send it into overtime.

Quarterback D.J. Cumby connected with Luis Martinez for the game winning score.

Sheppard gained 265 yards to accompany his five scores.

Caldwell leads District 23- 3A in offense with 352 points scored and averaging 407 yards of offense, of course, most of that by way of the run.

However, they are not a onedimensional team.

“They have a more balanced team than they have ever had,” Miller said. “They are killing people on special teams, they have blocked several punts, it’s insane. And a lot of that has come late in the game.”

Cumby has also passed for 700 yards and nine touchdowns, which is a contrast to past years for a Hornet quarterback.

Should the Hornets’ lose and have to sit home at 8-2, it will be a great case of playoff shock. Just three weeks ago, they were unbeaten and ranked No. 9 in the state.

Should Rockdale prevail, it would be the Tigers fourth straight playoff appearance, a first in school history.

TIGER TRACKS

• For his 324-yard, 5-touchdown performance against LaGrange last week, Daniel Brooks was named the Built Ford Tough, Class 3A player of the week for the state of Texas.

• Rockdale and Giddings played in the Tigers very first football game exactly 100 years ago. In that inaugural game back in 1910, the Tigers prevailed 6-0.

• Senior running back Terral Dixon has a torn pectoral muscle and suffered a knee injury and is doubtful for Friday. Senior safety Casey Burrough suffered a neck injury last week against LaGrange and is still day-to-day after missing the Giddings game. Two-way senior starter Richard Vasquez suffered a knee injury and is questionable for Friday. Senior lineman Dillan Schnerr is still struggling with a dislocated shoulder but will play. D’Vontre White suited up and played Friday, but still has a torn ACL, which he will have operated on after the season. Desmond Davis was finally cleared to play from the concussion he suffered after a freak fall in the Cameron gym after the Yoe game.

• Junior linebacker Derek David led the Tigers in tackles with 12, followed by Austin Morrow’s seven. David is the season leader with 60 stops.

• While he fell short of establishing a new single season rushing mark, Daniel Brooks did gain enough yardage to move past his father Tony (1982-85) by 12 yards on the career list with 2,157 yards. His 27 touchdowns moves him into a tie for third place on the all-time list with Larry Jackson (1987-89).

• The Tigers entered the Giddings game as the top take away team in the district with 23, but after coming up empty against the Buffaloes, slipped behind Navasota’s 24.

• Quarterback Ethan Brinkley has thrown to 10 different receivers this season.

• The Tigers are averaging 38 yards worth of penalties a game and were flagged just once for five years late in the game against Giddings.

• Tiger Discount Cards are available at the RISD athletic office, Pauline’s Tacos and Poor Boy’s.

THE STARTING LINEUPS
ROCKDALE OFFENSE CALDWELL DEFENSE
No. Pos. Player, Ht.-Wt. Class No. Pos. Player, Ht.-Wt. Class
8 QB Ethan Brinkley, 6-2, 180 So 34 LE Zach Greig, 5-8, 150 Sr
3 RB Daniel Brooks, 5-7, 150 Jr 61 LT Francisco Deleon, 5-8, 175 Jr
12 FB Richard Vasquez, 5-10, 175 Sr 60 RT Johathon Massey, 6-3, 230 Jr
7 WR J.J. Lewis, 5-9, 165 Sr 30 RE Matt Mueller, 6-2, 220 Sr
20 WR Dillon Goodman, 5-10, 135 Jr 3 LB Kedrin Sheppard 5-10, 172 Sr
5 TE Zach Garza, 6-0, 165 Jr 33 LB Aaron Mueller, 6-2, 190 Sr
62 LT LeRaven Clark, 6-6, 250 Sr 50 LB Travis Muzny, 5-11, 215 Sr
71 LG Sal Bishop, 6-4, 250 Sr 21 CB Devin Carter, 5-8, 150 Sr
50 C Patrick David, 6-0, 235 Jr 2 S Bryston Burns, 5-9, 168 Jr
57 RG David Monroe, 6-1, 200 Sr 4 S Luis Martinez, 5-8, 160 Sr
76 RT Dillan Schnerr, 6-4, 250 Sr 12 CB Colton Pharis, 5-9, 150 Jr
ROCKDALE DEFENSE CALDWELL OFFENSE
50 NG Patrick David, 6-0, 235 Jr 11 QB D.J. Cumby, 6-1, 182 Sr
62 DL LeRaven Clark, 6-6, 250 Sr 1 TB Rickie Bruno, 5-9, 165 Sr
71 DL Sal Bishop, 6-4, 250 Sr 7 WB Deandre Burns, 6-0, 170 Jr
18 LB James David, 6-2, 205 Fr 3 FB Kedrin Sheppard, 5-10, 172 Sr
11 LB Anthony Montoya,5-10,200 Sr 4 TE Luis Hernandez, 6-2, 180 Sr
34 LB Markus Hayes, 5-7, 200 So 47 TE John Courtney, 6-2, 190 Fr
6 LB Derek David, 6-3, 225 Jr 56 LT Gene Wisniewski, 6-1, 280 Jr
9 CB Austin Morrow, 5-7, 150 Sr 50 LG Travis Muzny, 5-11, 215 Sr
11 CB Terral Dixon, 5-9, 160 Jr 63 C Juan Nunez, 5-11, 200 So
2 S Casey Burrough, 5-8, 160 Sr 65 RG Kolby Kahlden, 5-11, 215 Sr
12 S Richard Vasquez, 5-10, 175 Sr 66 RT Zach Kelley, 6-0, 234 Sr


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