STORY BY: BOB WRIGHT
The competition and traditions of two cross-town rivals are two key ingredients which showcase Texas high school football at its best.
Friday night on the hallowed grounds of Kyle Field, the “showcase” will continue, matching the unbeaten Bryan Vikings (4-0-1; 2-0) against the A&M Consolidated Tigers (2-3; 2-0).
Bryan is designated as the “visitor” for the 7:30 kickoff, but that doesn’t mean a thing. Both clubs have their cross-town battle each year on Kyle, and the importance of the game is not limited to just another football game. Both are members of District 12-5A with both wanting to continue its league unbeaten skein, thus enjoying a temporary “in the driver’s seat” mentality.
Coach Bob Bellard’s Bryan team had a close call this past Friday night, getting past Killeen Shoemaker 21-19 at Killeen’s Leo Buckley Stadium, where the night before, Coach David Raffield’s Tigers belted Killeen Ellison 49-0.
Coach Bellard was highly pleased with his Vikings, particularly with their first-half performance against Shoemaker, while Raffield thought his club performed well, and happy about the way backups came in during the last half and continued what the starters had begun. A couple of the Tigers who had not touched the ball this season, scored in that second half. The “gaining experience” factor for the backups brought smiles to Raffield, whose wide-open offensive style of attack shows signs of taking root, just in time for the district grind against clubs such as Bryan.
The good news for Consol is that running back-receiver Quinton White, who got a prodigious lick on his knee late in the third quarter against Ellison, will return to the lineup for the big cross-town rivalry.
The Tigers proved to be opportunists against the Eagles, getting four interceptions and recovering a fumble. Safety Brett Mahnke provided two of those picks, while linebaker David Levias and senior tackle (that’s right-tackle) got the other interception. He also returned the lone Eaqle fumble, returning it 53 yards to set up a score, and was also credited with 11 tackles. Evidence that the new style of attack is taking shape came when quarterback Jacob Bronowski rushed for a career-high 181 yards on 11 carries, mostly on designed plays although the senior signal caller had to scramble a couple of times when his receivers were covered.
Registering some key defensive plays for the Vikings in their win over Shoemaker were Barry Densey and Granger DeWitt. Alex Pappas also proved his mettle with half a dozen tackles and four assists. Defensive lineman Zac Slaydon and defensive back Bykece Campbell made key tackles to preserve the victory. Helping to move the Vike offense were QB Chris Johnson, who rushed for 96 yards on 18 carries and completed 10 of 15 passes for 88 yards and two TDs. Kevin Jefferson scored all Bryan points, two touchdowns on receptions and another rushing.