Buffs: new coach, same old results
For a lot of schools, changing coaches can be a traumatic experience that can sometimes take years for recovery.
Since Chris Jones replaced long-time coach Derek Fitzhenry last spring when he left for Longview Pine Tree, Giddings’ players have hardly seemed to notice.
The Buffaloes are sitting 6-2 on the season and despite coming off a loss to upstart Smithville last week, have positioned themselves to earn yet another playoff berth as they invade Tigerland Stadium Friday evening.
Jones (65-35 overall) switched up the Giddings offensive scheme (and helmet logo) slightly, moving away from the veer that earned Fitzhenry 73 wins in eight years andintoapowerIrunning attack.
“ They’re much more diverse than they have been,” said Rockdale Coach Jeff Miller. “They throw more formations at you and throw it enough to keep you honest.”
Glenn, who was the District 23-3A newcomer of the year in 2010 (over Rockdale’s James David), has taken up where he left off and has already cleared the 1,000-yard mark again.
The 5-foot-11, 185-pound junior burner has 1,145 yards rushing and an impressive 19 touchdowns and is averaging eight yards per carry.
His closest competitor in district is his teammate Deon Hickey with 477 yards.
“He’s a powerful kid that can run fast, run around you or run through you,” Miller said.
In Giddings’ dominate win over the Tigers last season, Glenn ran wild for 249 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Buffaloes’ 550-yard outburst.
The starting quarterback last season, the youngest Fitzhenry has given way to Jackie Wade under center and is now a starting linebacker.
Wade’s primary job is to hand the ball off and he has completed only 34 passes this season with 187 yards on the ground.
While Fitzhenry threw a single touchdown pass in 2010, Wade has tossed six already.
Lost in all the offensive pizazz is the fact that the Buffaloes have the best defense in District 23-3A, allowing just 215 yards a game, including under 100 yards passing an outing.
Giddings has handled Rockdale four straight times since 2002, including a 50 -13 beatdow n last season. The two teams first played in 1910.
• Senior receiver Cody Skubal needs just three catches to break Joe Sanders’ (2008) season mark of 46. Skubal needs 35 yards to snap P.J. Williams’ (1994) season mark of 780. Skubal leads District 23-3A in receiving.
• Junior quarterback Ethan Brinkley now has 2,604 passing yards which pushes him ahead of Dickie Summers (1962- 63) on the career list and leaves him 396 behind Mark Drake (3,000). His 1,704 yards this season is 97 behind D.J. Marek’s 2005 record of 1,801.
• This season will mark just the third time in his 17 years as head coach that Jeff Miller has not led a team into the playoffs. The other two times were his first year in Rockdale and his one year at Fort Worth Northside.
• Junior linebacker James David continues to impress, racking up a career-high 19 tackles against LaGrange and gives him a teamhigh 99 for the season That is the most tackles by a Rockdale player since Nic Hammett had 18 in 2008.
• Senior receiver Stephen Ehler hauled in his first two passes of the season Friday against LaGrange. Brinkley has now used 10 different receivers this season.
• The Tigers have scored 14 points in three straight games.
• The Tigers have been successful in going for it on fourth down, with a 52 percent success rate.
• Through eight games, the Tigers have been penalized just 21 times for an average of 28 yards per game. Their opponents have been flagged over twice as much.
• The teams that the Tigers have played this season have a combined record of 39-25 and only LaGrange has a losing record.
• Smithville took one step in proving they are for real by whipping Giddings last week. Now, the real test comes when they host No. 14 Navasota in a battle of wills. Navasota leads the league in offense, Smithville in scoring defense. The winner is the prohibitive district champ. Navasota closes at Giddings, Smithville hosts always dangerous rival LaGrange.
GIDDINGS AT ROCKDALE
What: Rockdale Tigers (3-5, 0-3) vs. Giddings Buffaloes (5-2, 2-1). Where: Tigerland Stadium (1,850 capacity, grass). When: Friday, 7:30 p.m. Favorite: Giddings by 20. Last week: LaGrange 24, Rockdale 14; Smithville 24, Giddings 21 . Last year: Giddings won 50-13. Series record: Giddings leads 22- 17-1. District outlook: Giddings was picked second in District 23-3A. Buffalo to watch: No. 28 Jr. RB Joseph Glenn.
THE STARTING LINEUPS
|No.||Pos. Player, Ht.-Wt.||Class|
|8||QB||Ethan Brinkley, 6-2, 180||Jr|
|23||TB||Dailynn Ramey, 5-7, 165||Fr|
|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|
|50||DT||Patrick||David, 6-||1, 230||Sr|
|51||DT||Steph.||Schneider, 6-1,||220 Sr|
|59||DE||Koltyn||Woolverton, 6-2,||220 Sr|
|10||LB||James||David, 6-||2, 225||So|
|7||S||Clayton||Gibbs, 6-||0, 170||So|
|11||S||Ladontice||Coates, 5-||10,170 So|
|No.||Pos. Player, Ht.-||Wt.||Class|
|84||LE||Ben Schimank, 6-||2,||200||Sr|
|65||LT||Lapear Willrich, 6-||0,||290||Sr|
|43||RE||Deon Hutchinson,||6-||0,||210 Sr|
|30||RT||Michael Chappele,||5-||11,250 Sr|
|37||LB||Tyler McCoy, 5-10,||185||Sr|
|33||LB||Brent Hass, 5-11,||195||Sr|
|6||LB||Spencer Fitzhenry,||5-||11,200 Sr|
|9||CB||Greg Haywood, 5-||8,||150||Jr|
|1||CB||Jacob Krchnak, 6-||0,||165||Sr|
|7||S||Jamil Jackson, 6-||0,||195||Sr|
|23||S||James Thomas,||5-||10,||175 Jr|
|2||QB||Jackie Wade, 6- 0, 195||Sr|
|3||FB||Deon Hickey, 5-11, 165||Jr|
|19||X||Alex Ellison, 6-5, 195||Sr|
|28||H||Joseph Glenn, 5-11, 185||Jr|
|43||Z||Deon Hutchinson, 6- 0,||210 Sr|
|4||Y||Gary Cooper, 6-1, 180||Sr|
|65||LT||Lapear Willrich, 6- 0, 290||Sr|
|72||LG||Pierce Shelton, 6-3, 245||Sr|
|58||C||D.J. Rimes, 5-11, 245||Sr|
|51||RG||Thomas Ewing, 5-10,||205 Jr|
|55||RT||Hoss Berry, 6- 0, 225||Sr|