STORY BY: BOB WRIGHT
-COLLEGE STATION- Both teams are coming off regular season-ending losses as the A&M Consolidated Tigers face their toughest opponent of the season in Friday night’s Bi-District football game at DeSoto.
A&M Consolidated lost 26-23 at Belton to wrap up the regular season in District 12-5A action, while the DeSoto Eagles lost 23-21 to the Longview Lobos in a game where a late-game safety spelled the difference, knocking the Eagles from their third-place perch in the state, sending DeSoto to a sixth-place tumble in the final poll.
Coach David Raffield of Consol and Coach Claude Mathis of DeSoto flipped a coin to determine site of the game, a home-and-home flip. Raffield lost that coin flip, sending the Tigers to the Metroplex – on DeSoto’s home field – for a 7:30 kickoff to determine who advances to the Area round in the state playoffs.
DeSoto will enter the fray, boasting a 9-1 record, with only the Longview blemish on its record. The Eagles are 5-1 in district warfare.]
The Tigers ended the regular season at 5-5, and 5-2 in district.
Speed, a swarming defense, and a smooth-operating District 11-5A offense awaits the Tigers on DeSoto’s home turf. DeSoto returned six offensive and eight defensive starters from its 2010 Division I Regional finalist club. Raheem Wilson guides the Eagle attack at quarterback, working behind a large and capable blocking offensive line. The attack also features Devin Rushing (good name for a running back) and another RB, Dontre Wilson, along with wide receiver Ridge Jones..
The quick Eagle green-and-gold clad defense spotlights the names of defensive ends Michael Richardson and Denzel Murphy, linebacker Alex Lyons and cornerbacks Bryson Echols and Vondrick Jackson.
Consol, which had some shining stars even in defeat at Belton, hopes they’s shine even brighter this Friday night under DeSoto lights. In the Belton game, the Tigers’ Cameron Cermin and Edison Caldwell showed they know a thing or two about blocking techniques, while running back Quinton White had 51 yards on only eight carries before exiting the game due to a late first-half injury. It’s hoped his return is imminent because Consol will need everyone healthy for this important playoff match. It was Durasis Nutall who led the Tigers in rushing with 54 yards on 10 runs, and he also continued to prove his mettle as slot receiver with four receptions which gobbled up 49 yards of real estate, including a 26-yard touchdown catch. Qaurterback Jacob Bronowski did not suffer an interception while completing 13 of 26 passes for 133 yards. Receiver Justin Benden latched onto three aerials for 44 yards.
Consol, which tied Belton for second place in the final district standings, got some good defensive work from linemen Jimmie Gilbert, Christian LaCouture and J.J. Bynum; linebackers David Levias (eight tackles (two from behind the line of scrimmage) and Marshall Strain, who paced the team with 13 tackles (10 of ‘em solos); and safeties Josue Ordonez (11 tackles) and Brett Mahnke (five tackles and solid pass defense).