Insult to injuries

Tigers can’t overcome loss of a dozen players
BY BILL MARTIN
Reporter Sports Editor


Rockdale’s Derek Whitsel stops Smithville’s Derek Bennett who was one of seven running backs used by the Tigers Friday. 
Reporter/Cliff Dungan Rockdale’s Derek Whitsel stops Smithville’s Derek Bennett who was one of seven running backs used by the Tigers Friday. Reporter/Cliff Dungan For the first time in his competitive life, Jeff Miller probably wished he could have rescheduled or canceled a game.

Perhaps trade up for an open date.

With a sideline that resembled a combat zone aid station with the walking wounded lined up like dominoes, a physical Smithville team took full advantage of the Tigers’ misfortunes to the tune of a 27-0 shutout on homecoming evening at Tigerland Field Friday.

The Tigers dip to 2-3 on the year after their third straight loss, while Smithville improves to 3-2 after snapping a twogame skid before opening district play next week against Yoakum.

It’s just the third time the Tigers have defeated Rockdale in their 24-game series, but the second in a row after last season’s come-from-behind 21-14 win.

Rockdale was certainly out manned, with no less than a dozen injured players on the sidelines.

Three more players were hurt during the game.

“I felt like we played pretty hard for what we had on the field,” Miller said. “Smithville was so physical, they bullied us around and pushed us all over the field.”

With their starting quarterback included in the injury lineup, the Tigers waited for the big play that never came.

“Offensively we didn’t do anything real well,” said Miller. “We didn’t block very well so we didn’t have much of a running game.


Clockwise from bottom left, Tiger middle linebacker Markus Hayes fights through the line in pursuit of a ball carrier. At the top, tackle Michael Boyd protects his quarterback. In the middle, wide receiver Pearce Loth climbs the ladder to pull in a catch. At top right, quarterback Clayton Gibbs aims downfield. Below right, receiver Devante Burgess prepares to haul in a Gibbs’ ariel. In the middle, James Castilleja stretches out to try and snare a pass. 
Photography by Cliff Dungan Clockwise from bottom left, Tiger middle linebacker Markus Hayes fights through the line in pursuit of a ball carrier. At the top, tackle Michael Boyd protects his quarterback. In the middle, wide receiver Pearce Loth climbs the ladder to pull in a catch. At top right, quarterback Clayton Gibbs aims downfield. Below right, receiver Devante Burgess prepares to haul in a Gibbs’ ariel. In the middle, James Castilleja stretches out to try and snare a pass. Photography by Cliff Dungan

“The passing game was missing, we dropped some passes, missed some passes.

“The funny thing is we needed to watch our turnovers and we only had one.”

For the first time since August 28, 2010, someone other than Brinkley lined up under center for the Tigers.

Junior Clayton Gibbs subbed for the injured starter (knee), completing 9-of-28 passes for 100 yards.

Rockdale had no semblance of a running game either, managing just 41 yards on 17 carries behind a makeshift offensive line that featured three new starters.

Using no less than seven running backs, Smithville ran for 331 yards and all seven had at least 27 yards, led by senior DaAron Jackson’s 81.

“This is exactly what we needed,” said first-year Smithville coach Wayne Childs. “To get back on the right track headed into district and do it in dominate fashion.”

Smithville spread its scoring out over the entirety of the game, crossing the goal line once in each of the four quarters.

“The kids played extremely well throughout Friday night,” said Childs. “We made big plays both offensively and defensively when we needed them. This was a big win as we start district play next Friday.”

Rockdale crossed midfield just three times, to the 49-yard line on the opening drive of the game, the 43 right before halftime.

The closest the Tigers came to putting some points on the scoreboard came at the outset of the second quarter when a 37-yard connection between Gibbs and Drevonne Walton moved the ball to the Smithville 33.

The drive stalled at the 28 and the Tigers gave the ball up on downs.

Smithville did take advantage of the one Tiger miscue when on a quick snap, Gibbs couldn’t come up with the ball and Colin Quitta pounced on it at the 22-yard line.

Three plays later, Kegan Bledsoe pushed over from the one with 11:o7 remaining in the game to make the final 27-0.

Rockdale vs. Smithville
Rockdale leads 20-3-1
2012 Smithville 27-0
2011 Smithville 21-14
2010 Rockdale 48-7
2005 Rockdale 27-0
2004 Rockdale 41-0
2003 Rockdale 18-6
2002 Rockdale 62-0
2001 Rockdale 20-7
2000 Rockdale 37-6
1999 Rockdale 9-0
1998 Rockdale* 14-0
1998 Rockdale 31-7
1997 Rockdale 40-0
1996 Rockdale 28-6
1995 Rockdale 52-6
1994 Rockdale 45-12
1991 Rockdale 25-13
1990 Smithville 28-6
1989 Rockdale 10-7
1988 Rockdale 32-14
1985 Rockdale 50-0
1984 Rockdale 35-6
1955 Tie 6-6
1954 Rockdale 44-7
* Playoffs

18-3A Standings

District Season
WLWLPtsOpp
Navasota500021334
Madisonville320012487
Rockdale230094175
Taylor 230092118
Caldwell 0400102260

This week— Rockdale at Hillsboro Giddings at Caldwell; Austin McCallum at Navasota; Madisonville at Huntington; Taylor at LaVernia.

Last week—Smithville 27, Rockdale 0; Taylor 9, Burnet 7; Navasota 41, Fairfield 7; Madisonville 33, Diboll 0; Caldwell was idle.

TIGER SEASON LEADERS

Rushing—Brooks 56-321 3 TD, Ramey 31-103, David 1-5, Hayes 20-126 TD, Dansby 6-20, Burgess 1-4, Castilleja 2-3, Gibbs 8-(-8), Brinkley 13-(-40).

Passing—Brinkley 53-97-7, 804 yards, 6 TD; Gibbs 25-61-2, 337 yards, 3TD.

Receiving— Loth 19-277 2TD, Caffey 17-206 3TD, Gibbs 11-198 2TD, Burgess 7-90, Ramey 4-51, Baldavia 4-114 TD, Walton 4-74 TD, Ford 1-28, Dean 1-16, Brooks 1-16, Gates 1-12, David 1-10, Hayes 1-7, Burton 3-24.

Tackles— Hayes 76, David 66.

Smithville Rockdale
19 First downs 6
51-333 Rushes-yards 17-41
3-8-1 Passes 9-28-0
14 Passing yards 100
347 Total offense 141
3-32 Punts 6-19
0-0 Fumbles-lost 1-1
6-55 Penalties-yards 2-10
Score by quarters
Smithville 8667—27
Rockdale 0000—0

Scoring summary

First quarter
SMITH—Gray Morris 32 run (Jacob Rodriguez from Kegan Bledsoe) 8:24
Second quarter
SMITH—Jeremy Kadlecek 30 run (run
failed) 1:09
Third quarter
SMITH—Kadlecek 7 run (kick blocked)
6:15
Fourth quarter
SMITH—Bledsoe 1 run (Colin Quitta kick)
11:07.

The Leaders

RUSHING— ROCKDALE: Brooks 6-18,
Hayes 5-14, Burgess 1-4, Castilleja 2-3,
Gibbs 3-(-1). SMITH—Jackson 13-81..
PASSING—ROCKDALE: Gibbs 9-28-0, 100
yards. SMITH: Bledsoe 3-7-1, 14 yards.
RECEIVING—ROCKDALE: Loth 1-8, Burgess 2-17, Walton 1-38, Ford 1-28, Hayes
1-7, Caffey 1-4, Burton 2-17. SMITH:
Kadlecek 2-7.
TACKLES—David 15, Hayes 13, Caffey
7, Coates 8, Ehler 7, Whitsel 5, Brooks 4.

TIGER SEASON RESULTS (2-3)

Rockdale 35, Salado 21
Rockdale 24, Burnet 17
Cameron 34, Rockdale 0
Liberty Hill 76, Rockdale 35
Smithville 27, Rockdale 0

where they play

TIGER FOOTBALL
Friday–at Hillsboro, 7:30
LADY TIGER VOLLEYBALL
Friday—College Station, (F-JV-V),
4:30-7:30-5:30
Tuesday—Navasota, (F-JV-V), 5-6-7
TIGER CROSS COUNTRY
Saturday—at Adidas McNeil Invitational, Old Settler’s Park, Round
Rock, 8 a.m.
JUNIOR HIGH FOOTBALL
Thursday—at Hillsboro (7B, 7A, 8B,
8A) 4:30-5:30-7-8
MILANO FOOTBALL
Friday—Idle
MILANO VOLLEYBALL
Saturday—Buckholts
Tuesday—Granger
THORNDALE FOOTBALL
Friday—at San Saba, 7:30
THORNDALE VOLLEYBALL
Saturday—at Thrall
Tuesday—Georgetown Gateway


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2012-10-04 digital edition



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