STORY BY: CHACE MURPHY
The Bryan Vikings’ 4-1 season record doesn’t indicate how close the Vikings are to actually being 3-2, or even 2-3.
A near second-half collapse in Week 2 against Round Rock McNeil almost cost the Vikings (4-1, 2-0) as they hung on to beat the Mavericks 35-28.
A similar episode last week against the Killeen Shoemaker Grey Wolves saw the Vikings defense make a stop on the final play of the game inside the one-yard line as Bryan eked out a 21-19 win.
The Vikings can ill-afford another second-half meltdown this week as they face the surging A&M Consolidated Tigers.
Consol (2-3, 2-0) has hit their stride in district play after losing its first three games.
“I think they played three very good football teams,” Vikings head coach Bob Bellard said, “and they lost all three games very close.”
The Tigers are coming off a 49-0 win over Killeen Ellison, a team Bryan and Consol have beaten by a combined 105-7.
Bryan will be without the efforts of linebacker Curtis Orozco and running back Bobby Johnson. D’Antre Beasley will get a second consecutive start at linebacker, while running back Derrick Smith will be on the sidelines to cover for Johnson, if needed.
Bellard says they will also experiment with tight end Benny Zavala in at fullback on some plays. The Vikings will need extra blocking help as they face Consol’s solid defensive line anchored by senior J.J. Bynum.
Consol’s offensive spread formation has utilized more running plays recently, something that causes Bellard some uneasiness.
“People that have lined up and come straight downhill at us, we’ve had a hard time with, at times,” Bellard said.
The Vikings and Tigers kick off at 7:30 at Kyle Field on Friday. The pre-game show starts at 7:01 on KZNE, Sports Radio 1150, the Zone.