Frost coach Eric Blenden saw the film on Saturday morning.
It wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t fun to watch.
And his team wasn’t even playing.
“All you saw was explosiveness from those guys in the white jerseys,’’ said Blenden after watching Hubbard rip by Kerens 50-20 last Friday in a game that was supposed to be close.
Blenden didn’t give the film a thumbs up or down. He’s no film critic. He’s the guy whose team has to play Hubbard Friday.
“Kerens is pretty athletic,’’ Blenden said. “But Hubbard is so explosive. They can hit a home run at any time. Their M.O. is that they’re going to score from 60 yards out. They scored three or four times from 60 yards or more against Valley Mills. They’ve gotten better every week.’’
But this is the week that counts.
It’s not only the District 9-1A DII opener for both teams but it’s a game many feel will ultimately decide the district title. It did last year. Hubbard won the game at Frost last year, coming from behind to score 32 second-half points to beat the Polar Bears 44-27.
But Frost didn’t lose again until the Polar Bears lost on the final play in the region finals to Tenaha. Hubbard was upset in the first round of the playoffs. That playoff loss to Bremond stung.
Hubbard coach Craig Horn preached to his kids in the offseason and summer that they needed to be tougher, and that’s the identity the Jaguars have taken.
That Hubbard toughness has helped this team overcome a rash of injuries that might have ruined the season. Hubbard is not only 5-1, but the only loss was a one-point loss to state power Bosqueville in overtime, and the Jags have outscored opponents 206-34 in four games since.
They’ve done it overcoming injuries, including QB Casen Martin, who is still out with a collarbone injury. Martin, who has been out for more than a month, is close to being ready to play and might have been cleared to play this week, but Horn said he wants to give Martin more time, and Hubbard will have a bye week after the district opener on Friday.
“That will give him a chance to make that bone even stronger,’’ Horn said. “If this was a playoff game he would play, but it’s not.’’
Sophomore QB Braydyn Gillham has stepped and led the team. He threw three TDs last week against Kerens and scored on a fumble recovery on defense.
“The only question with Braydyn was his lack of experience, but he has answered that question,’’ Horn said. “Casen is the best receiver on our team so what Braydyn has done is put us in a great situation when Casen comes back.’’
Hubbard’s swarming defense has dominated games, and the Jags are a much better team today than when they lost to Bosqueville.
“We feel we are a lot better football team. We’re infinitely better,’’ Horn said. “We just didn’t make excuses when the injuries hit us, and kept playing. We may not have the biggest or fastest kids, but our kids give us everything they’ve got.’’
Tailback Logan McClinton, who scored three TDs last year against Frost, came back from a hamstring injury last week and played in the first half. With McClinton and fullback Trey Henderson in the backfield, Hubbard has a lethal running game. Sophomore Brandon Simpson, who filled in for McClinton, gained 112 yards last week.
“McClinton and Henderson are running about as hard as any running backs I’ve seen in the last three or four years,’’ Blenden said. “They’ve been banged up but they have gotten better every week.’’
Frost has had its own set of injuries and lost its most explosive player when Kobe Hailey broke his fibula two weeks ago. Alex Cruz has played four different positions and has filled in at the third running back spot for Hailey.
The Polar Bears still have running backs Robert Worley and Woody Woods, who carry the offense.
“Robert Worley is the best football player at Frost for the last four years,’’ Horn said. “They’ve got a real good offensive line and Robert Worley will give us some problems. Frost has a real good team, and Eric Blenden’s a good coach. I don’t think there’s another team in the district that will come within three touchdowns of them.’’
That’s what makes this showdown so intriguing. It could be for the district title.
“We’re 3-3 and obviously it’s not where we want to be,’’ Blenden said. “We’re starting over. The next four weeks will be big for us. Even if we don’t win first, we want to be the first team in Frost history to go back-to-back to the playoffs.’’
Frost coach Eric Blenden saw the film on Saturday morning.
Area schedule for the week
Here's a look at this week's schedule for Golden Ciircle teams and Navarro College. The schedule does not include upcoming bi-district playoff games in softball because times and sites have yet to be determined.
GC Baseball/Softball: Blooming Grove sweeps Rice in baseball and softball
Blooming Grove's Lions needed this one.
Heck, they need all of them.
That's where they're living today on the Blooming Grove diamond, where everyone knew going into Friday's game with Rice that the Lions need to win their final three games to have a chance of nailing down the final playoff spot in District 23-2A.
One down, two to go.
“It's in our hands,'' said Blooming Grove Coach Matt Anderson moments after his kids beat Rice 8-0 Friday night. “As long as we take care of our business we'll be fine.''
GC Softball/Baseball Roundup: Frost girls win district title
Frost's Lady Polar Bears needed to win to nail down the district title and they never trailed, jumping out to a 7-0 lead en route to an 11-7 clinching victory over Itasca Friday on the road. They wrapped up their second district title in a row with a 9-1 record and enter the playoffs next week at 13-1.
CHS Baseball/Softball: Whitehouse sweeps Tigers in baseball and softball
The Tigers lost a tough game to Whitehouse, 11-3 as the Wildcats' ace, Pat Mahomes, who went four innings and gave up all three runs on two hits and five walks
GC Basketball/Baseball: Mildred's Connor Hill sees life clearly
There was never any doubt for Connor Hill, never any question about what he would do or how he would do it.
Sure, there was that meeting with his mother and father and talks with the doctor when he was 10, talks and meetings that came accompanied with worry and concern.
But never from Connor.
He just never dwelled on the fact he played sports with one eye. He didn't worry or talk about it when he was 10 and he never talked about it at Mildred High, where Hill emerged as a star on the basketball court and baseball diamond.
GC Track & Field: Roundup — Frost girls win area meet
The Frost Lady Polar Bears made a shambles of their district track & field meet last week, scoring 206 points, and they were dominate again in the area meet Thursday, scoring 162 points to win the meet at Blooming Grove.
Morgan:The new endangered species
Am I just that old, or have amateur athletics gone absolutely nuts these days? On second thought, don’t answer that unless it’s yes to the nuts part.
High School and college basketball are on the verge of being totally ruined by AAU basketball. Top roundball prospects are identified by the junior high level if not earlier.
GC Track & Field: Area meet Roundup
Corsicana's Gilfillan wins 4A area pole vault title; Frost girls win 1A area team title, Frost boys finish second
GC Baseball: Mildred falls to Riesel, 9-0, on the road
Mildred managed a hit and struck out 12 times in a 9-0 loss on the road that could have given the Eagles some cushion in the 23-2A standings. They are now 5-6 with a game at league-leading Teague Tuesday.
CHS Soccer: Tigers boys and girls top off season with strong showing on All-District teams
That tough and gutsy style of play sent both the boys and girls teams into the playoffs and on Thursday the Tigers were rewarded again for their fine seasons as two boys won special honors,four boys were named to the All-District first team and two girls earned first-team honors.
Michael Roman, who did a little of everything — and did it well — was named the District 28-4A Utility Player of the Year, and sophomore defender Jesus Barreto was named the district's Newcomer of the Year.
- More Sports Headlines
- Area schedule for the week