It’s now or never
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.
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.
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.
• 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.
|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|