Cardinal rule

Second half shutdown sends Big Blue packing in bi-district loss to Columbus
BY BILL MARTIN
Reporter Sports Editor

Rockdale’s Casey Burrough gets a handle on Columbus running back Darius Stevens. Reporter/Cliff Dungan Rockdale’s Casey Burrough gets a handle on Columbus running back Darius Stevens. Reporter/Cliff Dungan BRYAN—In a game that started off as a sprint competition, it was slow and steady that won the race.

Collecting the only points that were posted in the second half, Columbus edged Rockdale 20-19 at Merrill Green Stadium Friday night in a Class 3A, Division II bi-district affair.

Rockdale—which finishes 5-6 on the season—was making a school record fourth straight playoff appearance.

The 8-3 Cardinals press on to face 10-1 Coldspring in the area round. Coldspring knocked the Tigers out of the playoffs last season in area.

On a cold and rainy evening, Rockdale was shutout in the second half for the first time this season, despite numerous opportunities to take the lead.

“It’s really difficult to swallow,” said Rockdale Coach Jeff Miller, “when you are in a game where you felt like you should have won.

Clockwise from bottom left, Rockdale Coach Jeff Miller addresses the team after the disappointing loss. In the middle, Freshman linebacker James David stops Columbus runner Jordan Benford. At top left, the ball is up for grabs between the Tigers’ Daniel Brooks and Columbus defensive back Stephen Glueck. At the top, Zach Garza turned a flip after failing to come up with his pass. At top right, quarterback Ethan Brinkley takes dead aim at a receiver on one of his five completions. Bottom right, Tiger trainer Dustin Cedidla and team doctor Greg Garlett take a look at senior Casey Burrough, who has been battling a sore neck. At the bottom middle, linebacker Derek David pounces on a fumble in the second quarter to halt a Columbus drive in Tiger territory. Photography by Cliff Dungan Clockwise from bottom left, Rockdale Coach Jeff Miller addresses the team after the disappointing loss. In the middle, Freshman linebacker James David stops Columbus runner Jordan Benford. At top left, the ball is up for grabs between the Tigers’ Daniel Brooks and Columbus defensive back Stephen Glueck. At the top, Zach Garza turned a flip after failing to come up with his pass. At top right, quarterback Ethan Brinkley takes dead aim at a receiver on one of his five completions. Bottom right, Tiger trainer Dustin Cedidla and team doctor Greg Garlett take a look at senior Casey Burrough, who has been battling a sore neck. At the bottom middle, linebacker Derek David pounces on a fumble in the second quarter to halt a Columbus drive in Tiger territory. Photography by Cliff Dungan “We just needed someone to make a play. We couldn’t make it happen.”

Trailing 20-19 heading into the fourth quarter, neither team put any points on the scoreboard and the Tiger offense could get no closer than the Columbus 28- yard line, while the defense held the Cardinals at bay.

After Ethan Brinkley’s punt pinned Columbus down at the nine-yard line and the defense forced a four-and-out punt, the Tigers had the ball at the 32-yard line.

“That all worked out perfectly,” Miller said. “We had two time outs and the wind’s at our back.”

In one last-gasp attempt with 2 minutes, 3 seconds remaining to be played, Terral Dixon picked up four yards on first down before Brinkley threw incomplete for J.J. Lewis.

On third down, Cardinal linebacker Phillip Leyendecker burst through the line and sacked Brinkley and he fumbled as he tried to throw.

Tiger lineman Dillan Schnerr pounced on the ball, which was now resting on the 46-yard line.

Facing fourth-and-24, Brinkley looked one last time for Brooks, but the desperation pass was batted down by Columbus defensive back Laird Tolliver and the Tigers’ season was over with 1:05 left.

“We just didn’t establish enough good drives,” Miller said. “It was either big play or bust. We had some big plays, but you’ve got to sustain the football and control the clock. Columbus was very physical and aggressive and they can chew up the clock. We didn’t do that.”

The second ha lf was in direct contrast of the first half when both teams combined for 26 points in the first 8:29 of the contest and three touchdowns were scored on the first six plays of the game.

After Brooks was corralled for a loss on the first play of the game, Dixon sprinted through the line on a counter and went untouched for 64 yards with only 49 seconds ticked off the clock.

Noe Zelaya missed the extra point, but had a second chance after a Columbus penalty, but missed again, leav ing a 6 - 0 lead.

Columbus countered on the first play of its next possession 19 seconds later as Cordrick Carter took a reverse handoff and scampered 61 yards to give the Cardinals a 7-6 lead after the successful extra point.

After Brooks gained six yards on the first two plays on the Tigers’ next possession, he broke free on the left side for a 78-yard touchdown and after Brooks was stopped short on a failed twopoint conversion, Rockdale held a 12-7 lead.

After the Tigers failed to take advantage of a four th dow n hold by the defense, Columbus used a 46-yard pass completion from Stephen Glueck to Dari’yon Shorter that moved the ball to the Tiger 20-yard line.

Five plays later, Glueck snuck in from the one for a 14-12 advantage.

After forcing another punt, Rockdale took the lead and the momentum into the locker room at halftime when the Tigers went 87 yards on seven plays in 1:50 to grab a 19-14 lead.

Di xon scooted for r uns of 39 and 11 yards and a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty against the Cardinals moved the ball to the 22.

Five plays later, Brinkley drilled a seven-yard pass to J.J. Lewis on a slant in the end zone for the lead.

“On that drive, we really did dominate,” said Miller. “The backs made some good cuts and we had some good throws.

“I felt like if we could start the second half like that, we’d be in good shape, but we didn’t get it done.”

Columbus took the lead for good on its second possession of the half on a short field when Plante culminated a 41-yard drive by bulling over from the six to make the score 20-19 with 6:25 left in the third quarter.

Neit her team would score again.

Plante led the Cardinals with 99 yards on 24 carries.

Dixon saved his best for last, running for a career-high 176 yards, including the 63-yard score on the second play of the game.

Brooks, who set a new school record for single season rushing, ran for 105 yards, with 78 of that coming on one touchdown run on the Tigers’ fifth play of the game.

Rockdale outgained Columbus 316 to 259 and the two teams combined for just 82 yards passing.

Of the Tigers’ 278 yards rushing, 220 came in the first half.

“We played harder in the second half, but we just didn’t get any thing going,” Miller said. “They just outplayed us.”

TIGER TRACKS
• Junior Daniel Brooks set two new
school rushing marks in 2010. He
established a new mark by running
for 324 yards in a game and a singles
eason r ecord w ith 1 ,696 y ards.
• Here are the top career rushers
in RHS history:
3,389 Don Wesley (1975-77)
2,399 Jamal Williams (2002-03)
2,365 Daniel Brooks (2009-10)
2,244 Kortlin White (2005-07)
2,236 Ira White (1992-93)
2,145 Tony Brooks (1982-85)
• Here are the top single-season
rushing leaders:
1,696 Daniel Brooks (2010)
1,510 Jamal Williams (2003)
1,394 Don Wesley (1977)
1,299 Emanuel Mack (2004)
1,247 H. Earl Marion (1967)

• Brooks needs four touchdowns to tie Blade Bassler’s record for touchdowns in a career (35).

• Brooks also led the Tigers in receptions with 18 for 126 yards and interceptions with four, which was also tops in Disytrict 23-3A. Twelve different receivers caught passes this season.

• Terral Dixon finished his career with 1,664 yards rushing and 22 touchdowns.

• This Tiger senior class went 26-19 in four years.

• The Tigers are 1-4 in playoff games under Miller, who is 28-27 in five years at Rockdale and 63-48 overall in 12 years.

• And then there was one. Navasota was the lone District 23-3A team to live another day in the playoffs after defeating No. 6 Sealy 33-17. The Rattlers take on Huffman Hargrave in the area round. Giddings’ season was ended again by Brookshire-Royal, 20-13, to finish 5-5.

• Thanks to a big contribution from former Tiger Tyler Wright, Granbury earned a playoff position for the first time since 1977 with a 6-4 record. Wright led the Pirates in receiving with 45 catches for 1,078 yards and nine touchdowns. He averaged 27 yards per catch. He played sparingly on defense with 18 tackles and a pick. Wright followed his step father and former Tiger coach Earl Gandy to Class 4A Granbury. The jubilation was shortlived as the Pirates fell to 11-0 and No. 7 ranked Waco Midway 51-14 on Friday in Corsicana. Wright had a huge night however, snaring nine passes for 141 yards and the Pirates only two touchdowns

• Here is a list of the Tiger seniors—1-Terral Dixon RB/DB; 2- Casey Burrough WR/DB; 7-J.J. Lewis WR/DB; 9-Austin Morrow WR/DB; 10- Jared Carpenter TE/LB; 11-Anthony Montoya FB/LB; 12-Richard Vasquez FB/DB; 25-Anthony Fisher TE/LB; 55-Steven Blythe OL/DL; 57-David Monroe OL/DL; 62-LeRaven Clark OL/DL; 71-Sal Bishop OL/DL; 72-Jeremiah Hal OL/DL; 76-Dillan Schnerr OL; 90-Cassius Moore K.

TIGER SEASON LEADERS

Rushing—Brooks 215-1,696 20 TD; Dixon 117-836 11 TD; Palmo 39-222 2 TD, Nelson 7-3, Burrough 2-1, Carpenter 3-(-7), Moore 2-(-17), Moore 2- (-17), Brinkley 42- (-70).

Passing—Brinkley 71-167-9, 825 yards, 9 TD; Dixon 0-1-0; Carpenter 0-2-0.

Receiving—Brooks 18-126, Dixon 11-151 3 TD, Lewis 16-243 3 TD, Goodman 12-125 TD, Palmo 2-8, Garza 7-129, Hayes 1-16, Carpenter 2-11 TD, Morrow 1-16, Alonzo 1-7 TD, Palmo 1-3, White 1- (-2).

Tackles—David, D. 76, David, J. 64, Burrough 58, Hayes 58, Montoya 46, Clark 51, Morrow 48, Vasquez 39, Bishop 33, Schneider 27, Kirk 23, Garcia 18, Brooks 17, Carpenter 16, David, P. 23, Dixon 19, Estrada 10, Fisher 7, Moore 6, Hall 6, Blythe 5, Lewis 5, Alonzo 3, Macias 2, Nelson 2, Garza 1, McQuinn 1.

23-3A STANDINGS
District Season
WL WL PtsOpp
Navasota 5 0 9 2 339 165
Rockdale 3 2 5 6 261 231
Giddings 3 2 5 5 323 193
Caldwell 3 2 8 2 351 191
LaGrange 1 4 4 6 233 291
Smithville 0 5 0 10 131 462
Last week—Columbus 20, Rockdale
19; Navasota 33, Sealy 17; Brookshire-
Royal 20, Giddings 13.
This week—Navasota vs. Huffman-
Hargrave in Houston.

Columbus Rockdale
12 First downs 12
43-215 Rushes-yards 39-278
4-11-0 Passes 5-15-0
44 Passing yards 38
259 Total offense 316
6-30 Punts 5-31
3-1 Fumbles-lost 2-1
5-35 Penalties-yards 2-25
Score by quarters
Columbus 14 0 6 0—20
Rockdale 12 7 7 0—19
Scoring summary
First quarter
ROCKDALE—Terral Dixon 64 run (kick
failed) 11:47
COLUMBUS—Cordrick Car ter 61 run
(Jacob Christen kick) 10:52
ROCKDALE—Daniel Brooks 78 run (run
failed) 9:28
COLUMBUS—Stephen Glueck 1 run
(Christen kick) 3:31
Second quarter
ROCKDALE—J.J. Lewis 7 pass from Ethan
Brinkley (Noe Zelaya kick) :41
Third quarter
COLUMBUS—Hunter Plante 6 run (pass
fail) 6:25
RUSHING—ROCKDALE: Dixon 19-178
TD, Brooks 15-105 TD, Brinkley 5-(-3).
COLUMBUS: Plante 24-99 TD.
PASSING—ROCKDALE: Brinkley 5-15-0,
38 yards TD. CALDWELL: Glueck 4-10-0,
48 yards.
RECEIVING—ROCKDALE: Lewis 2-16
TD, Hayes 1-16, Goodman 1-11, Brooks
1-(-5). COLUMBUS—Shorter 1-46.
TACKLES—David, D. 16, David, J. 11,
Burrough 11, Morrow 7.


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