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.
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.
GC Basketball; Kerens' Ames signs with Cloud (Kan.) Community College
There's nothing quite like signing day, and Taylor Ames was all smiles and beaming about her future Wednesday when she signed a letter-of-intent, accepting a basketball scholarship to Cloud County Community College in Kansas in front of family, friends and coaches at Kerens, where Ames leaves a legacy like no other.
Navarro Softball: Bulldogs get ranked, split with Paris
Minutes after Navarro split a doubleheader with Paris on Wednesday, Navarro softball Coach Jessica Karenke was told her Bulldogs had just been nationally ranked and are now No. 16 in the NJCAA national softball poll.
She had no idea.
And she didn't care.
Karenke is worried about what happens on the diamond, and she had some concerns after Navarro made four errors in the second game that opened the door for Paris to pull off a 7-2 win after the Bulldogs and Ciara Luna controlled the first game with a 4-1 win.
GC: Mildred's O'Sullivan and Bland chosen to play in FCA All-Star games
Mildred’s Devin O’Sullivan and Callie Bland have been selected to play in the FCA’s All-Star games on June 1.
CHS Baseball: Lindale haunts Tigers again with critical 4-0 win
Lindale has been poison to Corsicana all year.
The Eagles won a bizarre game in Lindale to keep the Tigers out of the football playoffs and ruined the boys basketball season with two gut-wrenching wins in the final week of the season.
They did it again Tuesday, beating the Tigers 4-0 at Price Field to take over second place in the District 16-4A race.
Lindale (6-2) had one big inning to hand Corsicana (5-3) its second loss in a row.
GC Volleyball: Kerens' Kelly signs with Paris Junior College
She prayed about it. She lost sleep about it. And she prayed about it some more.
That's just a glimpse of what Marqueshia Kelly went through before deciding to turn down a half dozen basketball scholarships and accept a scholarship to play volleyball at Paris Junior College.
The journey might have been a little sleepless, but in the end it wasn't that tough for Kelly, who is a multi-sport star at Kerens.
“I followed my heart,'' she said on Tuesday just moments after signing a letter-of-intent to play volleyball at Paris in front of family, coaches and friends.
CHS Tennis: Tigers play well in powerhouse region
Corsicana's tennis team finished its season with a strong showing in the Class 4A Regional Tournament at UT-Arlington before falling to some powerhouse players from Dallas.
GC Baseball/Softball: Roundup -- Blooming Grove edges Mildred 1-0 (Adds Dawson-Hubbard baseball)
Blooming Grove kept its baseball playoff hopes alive, winning a pitcher’s duel, 1-0, in Mildred Tuesday night. Dalton Blake struck out 11 and scattered five hits in a well-pitched game that took an hour and a half to complete.
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