Tigers playing for pride in finale

Rockdale- Caldwell victor can avoid cellar

Patrick David and 15 other seniors will be playing in their final football game Friday in Caldwell as the Tigers attempt to win their first District 23-3A contest. 
Reporter/Cliff Dungan Patrick David and 15 other seniors will be playing in their final football game Friday in Caldwell as the Tigers attempt to win their first District 23-3A contest. Reporter/Cliff Dungan Travel back to a year ago to the Rockdale- Caldwell game when winning meant earning a post-season spot in the state playoffs (which Rockdale captured).

Fast forward to this Friday at Hornet Stadium and the two teams will be playing for something alright, just not quite as lofty.

The winner will avoid finishing in the cellar of District 23-3A.

“It’s a big game for both of us,” said Rockdale Coach Jeff Miller. “Neither one of us wants to finish winless in district.

“They haven’t given up. They have made changes throughout the season to try and improve their team.”

While both teams were battling for another shot at the playoffs, their fortunes have turned this season and the two have combined for just four wins in 2011.

Both squads have their reasons for faltering. Rockdale lost key personnel; Caldwell is starting over under a new coach.

The Hornets— coming off a 42-12 loss to LaGrange— are dead last in the district in points (95), offense (189 per game) and defense (382) and have had a terrible time holding on to the football with 31 fumbles and 14 interceptions.

The one positive point is the Hornets have done well defending against the pass, which plays into Rockdale’s strong suite.

“ Their defensive backs are great,” Miller said. “We’re not good at running the football (last in district at 600 yards) so we’ll have trouble moving the ball against them.”

The Hornets have played better as of late since moving senior Bryson Burns to quarterback in place of sophomore Dylan Drac who almost had as many interceptions (12) as completions (16).

In the loss to LaGrange Friday, Burns scrambled for 186 yards and accounted for the Hornets’ two scores.

This is Caldwell’s worst season since the Hornets’ went 1- 9 in 1998.


• While Ethan Brinkley has established new season marks in just about every category, he has 2,769 career yards and needs just 240 yards to equal Mark Drake’s career mark of 3,000 (2007- 08). Brinkley needs two TD passes to equal Drake’s season total of 16.

• Noe Zelaya’s 31-yard field goal that represented the Tigers’ lone score, was just his second of the year on five attempts. He is 2-of- 6 in his career. In Jeff Miller’s six years as coach, Zelaya’s make was just the seventh during that span and three of those came in his very first game here.

• Sophomore defensive back LaDontice Coates, who was moved up from the varsity just last week, led the Tigers in tackles with 13. Sophomore linebacker James David followed with 12 and leads the Tigers in season stops with 111.

• Lost in the shadow of Cody Skubal’s senstational season is the fact that senior Zach Garza has the opportunity to surpass Dominique Mack for second place on the season receptions list. Garza stands pat with 35 catches, one behind Mack (2006) and nine behind Sanders who Skubal just passed.

• Skubal does lead the district in receiving and trails Navasota’s Solomon McGinty in yards 884- 816. McGinty also has grabbed 12 touchdowns to Skubal’s nine.

• Upstart Smithville finally got its come-upance after being smothered by district leader Navasota 47- 18. Smithville, losing its first game after a 7- 0 start, could become this season’s Caldwell. If the Tigers lose to rival LaGrange by three points or more, they are the odd man out and the Leopards enter the post season. Navasota travels to Giddings.


2-Reggie Hamilton WR/LB; 3- Stephen Ehler WR/DB; 5-Zach Garza WR/DB; 9-Horacio Estrada RB/LB; 12-Brandon Wright WR/DB; 15- Cody Skubal WR/DB; 20-Dillon Goodman WR/DB; 21-Nasario Garcia RB/DT; 50-Patrick David OL/DT’ 51-Stephen Schneider Ol/DT; 52-Ty Kirk OL/DL; 59-Koltyn Woolverton OL/DL; 61-Nic Erman OL/DE; 62-James Mack OL/DT; 64-Jose Macias OL/DT; 73-Justin Williams OL/DT.



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


No. Pos. Player, Ht.-Wt. Class
63 RE Juan Nunez, 5-11, 215 Jr
61 NG Francisco Deleon, 5-8, 175 Sr
74 RE John Courtney, 6-2, 190 So
22 RO C.J. Bills, 5-9, 175 Jr
3 LB Tanner Luna, 5-10, 172 So
6 LB Antwan Heath, 6-2, 190 Jr
7 LB David Smith, 5-11, 215 Jr
4 CB Redmond Ward, 5-8, 150 So
2 S Bryston Burns, 5-9, 168 Sr
16 S J.J. jackson, 5-8, 160 So
12 CB Colton Pharis, 5-9, 150 Sr


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 Koltyn Woolverton, 6-2, 220 Sr
33 LB Austin Caffey, 6- 0, 172 So
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
11 S Ladontice Coates, 5-10,170 So


2 QB Bryston Burns, 5-9, 168 Sr
16 X J.J. Jackson, 5-8, 160 So
5 H Deandre Burns, 6- 0, 170 Sr
23 H JuNorm Harrison, 5-10, 172 Sr
4 Z Redmond Ward, 5-8, 150 So
12 Y Colton Pharis 5-9, 150 Sr
66 LT Colt Charnza, 6-1, 280 Jr
51 LG Ivan Arguello 5-11, 215 Jr
75 C Michael Privitt, 5-11, 200 Sr
63 RG Juan Nunez, 5-11, 215 Jr
56 RT Gene Wisniewski, 6- 0, 234 Sr


What: Rockdale Tigers (3-6, 0-4) at Caldwell Hornets (1-8 0-4). Where: Hornet Stadium (2,500 capacity, grass) When: Friday, 7:30 p.m. Favorite: Rockdale by 1. Last week: Giddings 28, Rockdale 3; LaGrange 42, Caldwell 12. Last year: Rockdale 38-15. Series: Rockdale leads 29-26. District outlook: Caldwell was picked fifth in District 23-3A. Mustang to watch: No. 5, Sr. RB DeAndre Burns. Best place to eat: Surrey Inn Buffet.

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