NAVASOTA—While All-State quarterback Kadarius Baker demands all the headlines for his prolific passing prowess, Xavier Creeks let everyone know Friday night that Navasota can produce a ground attack when needed.
Showing off their limitless pool of talent, No. 1 ranked Navasota made quick work of Rockdale, 43-0, at Rattler Stadium as Creeks ran for over 200 yards, scored twice on offense and returned an interception 71 yards for another score.
On a night when temperatures dipped into the 50s for the first genuine football weather of the season, the Tigers slipped to 4-5 on the year and 1-2 in District 18-3A, while the Rattlers— who have now defeated Rockdale seven straight times—climb to 8-0 and 2-0.
Plain and simple, if the Tigers defeat 1-6 Caldwell in Rockdale in two weeks on Nov. 9, they’re in the playoffs—no matter what anybody else does. (Assuming Navasota wins out).
“We played awfully hard,” said Rockdale Coach Jeff Miller. “I am really proud of our effort in the first half. We just ran out of gas. They are No. 1 for a reason.”
“We’ll go have some fun next week, go beat Caldwell and make the playoffs. We can go and make the playoffs or sit around and pout about this. I know these kids won’t do that.
“The great thing about this is we have our destiny in our own hands. That’s all you can ask for.”
The Tigers could have requested a little more oomph on the offense Friday evening as they managed just 117 yards and seven first downs against a Rattler defense that has allowed just 43 points this season and posted three shutouts.
Navasota wasn’t in any hurry to get to the end zone, engineering drives of 10, 11 and 12 plays.
The senior Creeks—who is not listed as a starter on offense— carried the ball 19 times for 209 yards and two scores.
Entering the contest, Creeks had toted the ball just 23 times for 203 yards in seven games.
On defense, Creeks stepped in front of an Ethan Brinkley pass and returned it 71-yards for a touchdown to make it 30-0 with 1 minute, 6 seconds left in the third quarter.
Never fear, Baker got his, completing 18-of-26 passes for 265 yards and a score.
The senior also accounted for the Rattlers’ first score on a sixyard scamper.
He now has 2,474 passing yards and 28 touchdowns on the season.
Solomon McGinty grabbed seven passes for 117 yards and leads the district in receptions with 48 catches and 1,038 yards.
Elijah Brooks paced the Tigers’ offensive effort with 48 yards on 10 carries and accounted for their longest play of the night, a 36-yard burst in the fourth quarter.
Rockdale was resilient in stemming the Navasota tide in the first half, producing a goal line stand on Navasota’s first drive of the game and forcing the Rattlers to punt right before halftime and trailed just 14-0 at the break.
However, while Rockdale toiled in the second half, Navasota scored on its first four possessions and also used Creeks’ pickoff (his first of the season) to create some space with a 29-point outburst.
The Tigers crossed over into Navasota territory just once, after Brooks’ 36-yard gain moved the ball to the 24-yard line.
They gave the ball up on downs after losing three yards and failing to secure a first down.
• James David was helped from the field early in the second quarter with a knee injury and did not return. As of press time, his status was uncertain.
•Versatile sophomore lineman Micheal Boyd is lost for the season and will have surgery on his knee Thursday.
• Injured sophomore lineman Justin Offield (ankle) began practicing again this week and is expected to be available for the Caldwell game.
• Kris Baldavia led the Tigers in tackles with 13 against Navasota. He had 12 coming in. Linebackers James David and Markus Hayes are tied for the season lead with 119 stops apiece.
• As of Friday, 16 different Tigers have caught a pass this season.
• Looking ahead to Caldwell, the Hornets have allowed 365 points in 2012, an average of 52 a game. They face Navasota Friday.
• Even with their performance Friday, the Tigers still possess the second-most potent offense in the district, averaging 353 yards per game.
• On defense, the Tigers lead the district in recovered fumbles with 13.
• The nine teams Rockdale has faced have a combined 39-34 record.
• One for the books. Burnet (2-5) defeated Liberty HIll 44-36 last Friday. Trailing 14-0 in the first quarter, the Bulldogs erupted for 37 points in the second and third quarters.
• The last time the Tigers were shut out three times in a season was 1990 (1-9).
lineman of the week
This week—Rockdale is idle; Navasota at Caldwell; Madisonville at Taylor.
Last week—Navasota 43, Rockdale 0; Madisonville 40, Caldwell 7; Taylor was idle.
TIGER SEASON RESULTS (4-5)
Rockdale 35, Salado 21
Rockdale 24, Burnet 17
Cameron 34, Rockdale 0
Liberty Hill 76, Rockdale 35
Smithville 27, Rockdale 0
Rockdale 27, Hillsboro 15
Taylor 34, Rockdale 38 (3 OTs)
Rockdale 45, Madisonville 13
Navasota 43, Rockdale 0
TIGER SEASON LEADERS
Rushing— Brooks 129-796 12 TD, Ramey 56-220, Hayes 26-148 TD, Coats 6-36, Dansby 8-24, David 1-5, Burgess 2-6, Castilleja 2-3, Gibbs 8-(-8), Brinkley 24-(-50) 2TD, Baldivia 1-20.
Passing— Brinkley 94-172-11, 1,309 yards, 8 TD; Gibbs 26-64-2, 381 yards, 4TD.
Receiving— Caffey 27-308 3TD, Loth 25-380 4TD, Gibbs 17-315 2TD, Burgess 16-148, Baldavia 6-138 TD, Walton 7-187 TD, Ramey 4-51, Ford 2-33, Trejo 3-58 TD, Burton 3-24, Dean 1-16, Brooks 2-18, Gates 1-12, David 2-18, Hayes 1-7.
Tackles—Hayes 119, David 119, Coates 84, Caffey 69, Trejo 44, Ehler 40, Dansby 40, Gibbs 37, Heintze 25.
Rockdale vs. Navasota Navasota leads 7-5
Score by quarters
NAVASOTA—Kadarius Baker 6 run (Michael
Martinez kick) :39
NAVASOTA—Xavier Creeks 23 run (Martinez kick) 6:25
NAVASOTA— Creeks 4 run (kick failed)
NAVASOTA—Creeks 71 yard INT return
(Martinez kick) 1:06
NAVASOTA—Martinez 32 FG 1:44
NAVASOTA—Austin Collins 9 pass from
Baker (kick blocked) 7:52
NAVASOTA—Keyshawn Philio 15 run (Martinez kick) 3:16
RUSHING—ROCKDALE: Brooks 10-48, Ramey 11-32, Hernandez 1-0, Brinkley 1-(-2). NAVASOTA: Creeks 19-207 3TD. PASSING—ROCKDALE: Brinkley 7-18-1, 39 yards. NAVASOTA: Baker 18-26-0, 265 yards TD. RECEIVING—ROCKDALE: Gibbs 1-17, Loth 1-12, Caffey 1-3, Burgess 3-4, Ramey 1-3. NAVASOTA: McGintry 7-117. TACKLES—Baldavia 13, Hayes 11, Coates 9, Gibbs 8, David 6.