Tigers playing for pride in finale
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.
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).
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.
THE STARTING LINEUPS
|8||QB||Ethan||Brinkley, 6-||2, 180||Jr|
|23||TB||Dailynn||Ramey, 5-||7, 165||Fr|
|7||WR||Clayton||Gibbs, 6-||0, 170||So|
|72||LG||Josh||Pelzel, 6- 6,||270||So|
|52||C||Ty Kirk,||5-9, 185||Sr|
|50||RT||Patrick||David, 6-||1, 230||Sr|
|22||RO||C.J. Bills, 5-||9,||175||Jr|
|4||CB||Redmond||Ward, 5-||8, 150||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|
ROCKDALE AT CALDWELL
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.