STORY BY: JORDAN MESEROLE
It’s the perceived David versus Goliath matchup; the perennial playoff contender facing off against the fifth-year program.
The Rudder Rangers will try to knock off the Brenham Cubs from atop of the District 18-4A standings Friday night however, and move back into contention for a playoff spot.
And Rangers head coach C.M. Pier says he has tried to keep the team from seeing this as a special opponent above the rest, or the “unbeatable” foe.
“That’s what we’ve been saying all week. What makes an athlete is the drive. That’s what separates you from the people who aren’t athletes,” Pier said. “And you’ve got to call upon that as an athlete, as a competitor – you’ve got to call upon whatever trips your trigger. Whatever gets you to that point where you say I’m going to go play this game and do my very best and I’m going to fight these guys. And that’s what we’ve got to do – fight these guys.”
Brenham (5-1, 4-0) features a high-powered offense with at least four starters that are receiving attention from Division I colleges. The offense is a balanced attack, averaging 113.7 yards through the air per game, with 194.8 yards per game on the ground. Sophomore quarterback Walter Thomas leads the Cubs from the quarterback slot, who has thrown for at least one touchdown in six of seven games this season. Brenham also showcases a strong two-back field, with KD Leakes and Darrion Johnson racking up a combined 554 rushing yards and six touchdowns.
“They’ve got some athletes,” Pier said. “The thing you have to do against Brenham is weather the storm early from an offensive standpoint, because they’re going to be flying around defensively. And offensively, they’ve got some really good athletes – so you just have to lock in on your keys, get them down, and play the next play.”
Rudder (2-5, 2-3) is looking to rebound from a tough loss to Waller last weekend, in which the Rangers were held to just 30 rushing yards in the second half and only three first downs. Rudder will continue to feature senior running back Tre Guyton, who eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark in a game for the sixth consecutive time last week, and leads the district with 1198 rushing yards.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Cub Stadium in Brenham.