Salado: No place to look but up

Eagles ready to shake off the effects of a 1-9 season


Austin Silva (4) hauled in 866 yards in receiving while scoring 10 touchdowns in 2010. A majority of his yardage came after the catch. 
Reporter/Cliff Dungan Austin Silva (4) hauled in 866 yards in receiving while scoring 10 touchdowns in 2010. A majority of his yardage came after the catch. Reporter/Cliff Dungan A f ter suf fer ing t hrough a one-w in season in 2010, the Salado football team has nowhere to look but up.

Proof positive is the Eagles’ surprising 41- 6 victory over Marlin on the road in the season opener last week.

Marlin is coming off a sevenwin season and its first playoff win since 2006 and had destroyed the Eagles in last season’s opener.

Part of the reason for Salado’s early season success could be attributed to the fact that the Eagles are in their second season under coach Glenn Talbott and have adjusted to his style of play and coaching.

“ You can tell they’ve had a year together,” Rockdale Coach Jeff Miller said. “They are more determined and have a lot of confidence right now.”


Senior center Ty Kirk graded out the highest among Tiger linemen against Abilene Wylie. Senior center Ty Kirk graded out the highest among Tiger linemen against Abilene Wylie. “After 1-9, there’s not a lot of ways to go but up,” Talbott said. “We grew up a lot in those losses. Those kids competed hard and were in every game. A lot of guys got a lot of experiernce.”

The Eagles lone win came in the middle of the season, a 42-21 victory over West in a non-district affair.

Two of their five district losses (Taylor, Llano) were by a total of three points.

Rockdale outlasted Salado 38- 20 last year at Tiger Field thanks to 360 yards rushing. The Tigers attempted just seven passes.

While spread offense Salado will start an inexperienced junior at quarterback in Mike Richardson, he will have a veteran cast of receivers he can count on, including Austin Silva, who grabbed 866 yards worth of receiving and 10 touchdowns last season.

Silva (5-9, 180) also starts on defense at linebacker and joins eight returning starters on that side of the ball, where the Eagles have switched to a 3-4 defense from a 50 set to take advantage of their speed.


What: Rockdale Tigers (0-1) at Salado Eagles (1- 0). Where: Eagle Stadium (3,000 capacity, grass). When: Friday, 7:30 p.m. Favorite: Salado by 3. Last year: Rockdale won 38-20. Series record: Rockdale leads 3- 0-1. Last week: Abilene Wylie 35, Rockdale 14; Salado 41, Marlin 6. District outlook: Salado is picked fourth in District 25-3A (Burnet, Liberty Hill, Lampasas, Llano, Taylor). Eagle to watch: No. 4, Sr. WR Austin Silva. If you go: Take 487 to Bartlett; Take 95 to Holland; Take 2268 to Salado: Go right on IH 35; Stadium is on the left on Thomas Arnold Road. 60 miles. Best place to eat: Johnny’s Steaks and BBQ, 301 Thomas Arnold Road What: Rockdale Tigers (0-1) at Salado Eagles (1- 0). Where: Eagle Stadium (3,000 capacity, grass). When: Friday, 7:30 p.m. Favorite: Salado by 3. Last year: Rockdale won 38-20. Series record: Rockdale leads 3- 0-1. Last week: Abilene Wylie 35, Rockdale 14; Salado 41, Marlin 6. District outlook: Salado is picked fourth in District 25-3A (Burnet, Liberty Hill, Lampasas, Llano, Taylor). Eagle to watch: No. 4, Sr. WR Austin Silva. If you go: Take 487 to Bartlett; Take 95 to Holland; Take 2268 to Salado: Go right on IH 35; Stadium is on the left on Thomas Arnold Road. 60 miles. Best place to eat: Johnny’s Steaks and BBQ, 301 Thomas Arnold Road Sa lado a llowed a lmost 40 points a game last season as four teams scored more than 50 points against them.

In the win over Marlin last Friday, the Eagles rolled up 505 yards of offense as Richardson settled into his new role with 226 yards passing and two touchdowns.

And all that was before he left the game with an injury midway through the third quarter and a 33-6 lead. His status is questionable for this Friday.

Silva hauled in three passes for 127 yards, including a 59-yard touchdown catch.

The new defense allowed just 194 yards, 115 on the ground.

“They are very much improved,” said Miller. “They are really physical on defense and are going to make you look bad on some plays.

“They throw and catch the ball really well and also do a good job of running the ball.”

Tiger Tracks

• The three suspended players, seniors Miguel Alonzo, Dillon Goodman and Desmond Davis will return this week. Goodman and Alonzo will start in the defensive backfield.

• Senior receiver Brandon Wright has been lost for the year with a torn ACL. Stephen Ehler is nursing a bruised arm.

• Only seven players who had previous varsity experience suited up for Friday’s game.

• While Rockdale dressed just 32 players, Abilene Wylie had 55 players on the sidelines.

• Kicker Noe Zelaya missed his only two extra point attempts Friday, both in the exact same spot, the left upright, after the Tigers’ first score.

• Sophomore linebacker James David led the Tigers in stops with 14, followed closely by fellow linebacker Markus Hayes with 13. David also picked off a pass.

• Wylie held a considerable advantage as far as time of possesion goes, holding onto the ball for 36 minutes to the Tigers’ 12. However, they ran just one more play 55 to 54.

• The Tigers played almost penalty-free football, with 10 of the 15 yards they were penalized for coming off consecutive illegal procedure calls on a kickoff.

• The two players that scored for the Tigers— Cody Skubal and James David— represented the first scores of their careers.

• In addition to starting on both sides of the ball, freshman Dailynn Ramey also averaged 24 yards on three kickoff returns.

• The Tigers have not started 0-2 in a season since 2007 when they began 0-3.

Letter to the editor

On behalf of Wylie High School and the Wylie Bulldogs I would like to thank the entire Rockdale community for the hospitality you provided for our school.

Special thanks to Coach Miller and his staff, Rockdale ISD, and all the Tiger Boosters who went out of their way to make us feel welcome.

The Rockdale Tigers showed great sportsmanship and played the game the way it is meant to be played.

Good Luck to Coach Miller and the Tigers the rest of the season. Thank you, Hugh Sandifer Athletic Director/Head Coach Abilene Wylie P. S. Next time let’s play in a cooler December!

THE STARTING LINEUPS

ROCKDALE OFFENSE
No. Pos. Player, Ht.-Wt. Class
8 QB Ethan Brinkley, 6-2, 180 Jr
10 TB James David, 6-2, 225 So
22 FB Marco Hernandez, 5-8, 190 So
15 WR Cody Skubal, 6-3, 175 Sr
7 WR Clayton Gibbs, 6- 0, 170 So
48 TE Patric Trejo, 6-1, 205 Jr
57 LT Pedro Ibares, 6-4, 220 Jr
72 LG Josh Pelzel, 6- 6, 270 So
52 C Ty Kirk, 5-9, 185 Sr
51 RG Steph. Schneider, 6-1, 220 Sr
50 RT Patrick David, 6-1, 230 Sr

SALADO DEFENSE
No. Pos. Player, Ht.-Wt. Class
55 DE David Daniel, 5-9, 175 Sr
79 NG Robert Emrick, 5-11, 255 Sr
64 DE Billy Golding, 5-8, 220 Jr
4 LB Austin Silva, 5-9, 180 Sr
6 LB Jim Wentrcek 5-10, 175 Sr
50 LB Stephen Sibbett, 5-11, 210 Jr
34 LB Reece Nicholson, 5-10, 165 Jr
1 CB Cameron Wong, 5-11, 155 Jr
2 CB Joe Owens, 6- 0, 175 Sr
9 S Jake Simmons, 5-10, 150 Sr
10 S Ryan Simmons, 5-11 155 So

ROCKDALE DEFENSE
55 DE Gabriel McQuinn, 6-1, 240 Jr
50 DT Patrick David, 6-1, 230 Sr
51 DT Steph. Schneider, 6-1, 220 Sr
59 DE Kolt. Woolvertoon, 6-2, 220 Sr
23 LB Dailynn Ramey, 5-7, 168 Fr
10 LB James David, 6-2, 225 So
34 LB Markus Hayes, 5-9, 208 Jr
20 CB Dillon Goodman, 5-10, 140 Sr
5 CB Zach Garza, 6-1, 175 Sr
7 S Clayton Gibbs, 6- 0, 170 So
4 S Miguel Alonzo, 5-10, 165 Sr

SALADO OFFENSE
12 QB Mike Richardson, 5-10, 160 Jr
5 RB Peyton Best, 5-10, 185 Sr
4 WB Austin Silva, 5-9, 180 Sr
9 WB Jake Simmons, 5-10, 150 Sr
2 WR Joe Owens, 6- 0, 175 Sr
6 WR Jim Wentrcek, 5-10, 175 Sr
54 LT Sam Barrett, 6-1, 205 Jr
50 LG Stephen Sibbitt, 5-11, 210 Jr
53 C Mikey Joe Sellers, 5-9, 220 Sr
64 RG Billy Golding, 5-8, 220 Jr
57 RT Daniel Goldman, 5-11, 235 Sr


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