Wounded Ducks dangerous team

After losing four straight, Taylor looking for fresh start in district

Taylor features the district’s leading rusher in senior tailback Isaac Franco, who is coming off a 145-yard night in the Ducks’ loss to LaVernia. Taylor features the district’s leading rusher in senior tailback Isaac Franco, who is coming off a 145-yard night in the Ducks’ loss to LaVernia. You know what hunters say about a wounded animal being more dangerous that a healthy one.

As we delve headlong into District 18- 3A action this week, Rockdale might want to take caution in the Taylor Ducks, who have lost four straight after defeating 0-5 Brookshire Royal 43- 6 in second week of the season.

“We know what it’s like to want to break a losing streak,” said Jeff Miller, who’s Rockdale squad has won two straight after dropping to 1-3 on the season. “ They’re hungry for a win.”

Under first-year coach Rusty Purser, Taylor snuck into the play- offs and then pulled off a firstround shocker by whipping Waco LaVega.

The Ducks were labeled as a third place team behind Navasota and Rockdale in pre-season prognostications.

So, with players experiencing a second year in Purser’s system, expectations are high in Duckville, despite losing their top passer and two top running backs, while bringing back just nine starters.

One of the newcomers is Isaac Franco, who leads all District 18-3A runners with 715 yards and six touchdowns. The senior tailback ventures out into space in a hurry, averaging almost 11 yards per carry.

“He’s a dangerous player that can make you pay if you’re not ready,” said Miller.

The Ducks run primarily out of the shotgun with a lot of misdirection.

Taylor leads all district teams in rushing, with four runners posting at least 150 yards each.

The Ducks are also last in defense, allowing 420 yards a game, most of that, through the air.

While Taylor leads the overall series 46-31-3, in district competition over the years, Rockdale leads 21-20.

In a series that has definitely been one of streaks, the Tigers had won three straight (to snap Taylor’s six-game streak) until last seasons wild- and-woolly 34-28 Duck victory in triple overtime.

In the loop

“This year will probably be as wide open as it has ever been since I’ve been here,” said Miller, who’s team is expected to place second to Navasota. “It will be a dogfight every week.”

Heading into this week’s district lid-lifters, Navasota has proven its self human with a loss to Fairfield to snap a 20-game win streak, but is still ranked N0. 5 in Class 3A at 5-1.

A surprising Madisonville stands 4-2 and will find out toot suite how good it really easy, traveling to Navasota in the loop opener. The Rattlers have captured 15 straight district contests which dates back to 2008.

Caldwell is idle.

“ We talked to the kids this morning,” Miller said. “There is no telling how good anyone is right now. Taylor is 1-5, but they’ve played some good football teams.

“It’s more difficult now to rank the teams than it was at the beginning of the year.”


• Elijah Brooks has scored nine touchdowns in the past two contests and now has 25 in his career, which moves him into sixth place on the all-time list and past his father Tony who had 22. Brooks needs six to tie his brother Daniel (31) and 10 to tie leader Blade Bassler (35).

• While Brooks has three 200- yard games, only three other players in RHS history has had multiple 200-plus games: his brother Daniel with three and Jamal Williams and Ira White with two each. All of Daniel’s efforts were over 300 yards.

• James David and Derek Whitsell led the Tigers with seven tackles each. David continues to top the season list with 45 stops to Ladontice Coates’ 44.

• The two players who sat out Friday, Dailynn Ramey and Brent Drummond, are expected back for the district opener Friday. Ramey missed with an injured shoulder and Drummond with concussion like symptoms.

• Clayton Gibbs continues to lead the district in passing with 1,455 yards and 13 touchdowns. This total already ranks him sixth all-time. Gibbs needs just three more touchdowns to tie Mark Drake’s school record of 16, set in 2008.

• Adolfo Chavira’s 26-yard field goal in the first quarter was his second of the season in two attempts. It was just the 12th field goal in Miller’s eight years here and three of those came in his very first game as coach. Chavira was also 8-for-8 on extra points and has converted 17 of his last 18.

• Five junior varsity players were moved up for the game, including Tyler Land, Lane Davenport, Chase Pickett, Joey Montelongo and Andrew Perez. Pickett saw the most action, carrying the ball three times for 41 yards. Montelongo toted the ball three times for six yards.

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