Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

Sports

October 2, 2013

GC Game of the Week: Hubbard vs. Kerens

Corsicana — A lot of teams are tuning up for district play this week.

Hubbard and Kerens are tuning up for the playoffs.

“It is more like a playoff game atmosphere,’’ said Hubbard coach Craig Horn, whose team faces Kerens at Corsicana’s Tiger Stadium Friday night. “It’s the kind of game we like to play.  Our kids love to play in games like this. Kerens is one of the best teams we will play (in the regular season) and the most athletic team we have played.’’

This game is different — in just about every way.

Call it the Corsicana Bowl, because folks from Kerens and Hubbard will be coming to Corsicana on Friday night to watch what is turning into an annual event. It started last season when Kerens coach Russell Anderson talked to the Corsicana about having the game at the neutral site in Tiger Stadium, which not only has artificial turf but a seating capacity of 10,001.

The best thing about the game?

“The atmosphere,’’ said Anderson, who is good friends with the athletic director and others at Corsicana. “This is our second year. Corsicana had a bye week and I happen to be good friends with the athletic director at Corsicana. We talked about doing this and played the first game last year.’’

It was a success with both towns and they’re back for the sequel on Friday in what promises to be on of the best games of the year. Both teams are loaded with talent and both have aspirations of making deep runs in the playoffs, and this game has the look and the feel of a playoff game.

“I think it’s a great deal,’’ Horn said. “We’re playing on a neutral field, playing on turf and we’re playing a team that year-in and year-out is in the playoffs. The kids are excited about this game.’’

Hubbard has battled injuries, but the Jags haven’t slowed down and are 4-1 with their only setback coming in a one-point loss on the road in overtime to state-ranked Bosqueville. Kerens is 3-2 and both losses have come to bigger schools, including Class 2A power Malakoff in the Battle of the River game.

“You can throw out those records,’’ Horn said of Kerens. “Their record is not a reflection of what they’re doing. They’re playing old rivals that have grown. Malakoff is two or three times bigger than Kerens, but it’s a rivalry game so they play it. At some point you have to sit down and evaluate those rivalry games.’’

Horn said there’s a nice rivalry between Hubbard and Kerens.

“The older folks in town consider it a rivalry,’’ Horn said. “And our kids are chomping at the bit to play Kerens. They’ve been waiting for a year for this game.’’

Hubbard just likes the feeling of playing a top team.

“Our kids like the competition. Our kids like to compete,’’ Horn said. “They’re really not happy about playing in games where we are winning 40-0 at halftime. It’s not about winning or losing. It’s about getting better. You like to have the meat of your schedule against good teams like Kerens. I like going into a game thinking I can win by two touchdowns or lose by two touchdowns. I’m excited about it. I’m sure Russell is, too. It’s good for both teams.’’

Both coaches and both teams know how playing on a neutral site in a bigger stadium can bring out the best in teams, and they also know this is the final game before their district races start next week. And that’s on everybody’s mind.

Hubbard opens next week against Frost in what will be the biggest game of the season in District 9-1A DII, and Hubbard opens next week against Cayuga at home in the biggest game in District 6-1A DI.

So while both teams want to win Friday, they also realize this game is a tuneup — albeit a tremendous tuneup, complete with a bigger stage and once-a-year atmosphere.

“It’s the last non-district game and it might be bigger if it wasn’t bumping up against the start of the district,’’ Anderson said. ‘They’ve got Frost and we’ve got a big game against Cayuga.’’

It’s a tough test for a final non-district tuneup — for both teams.

“It’s going to be a challenge,’’ Anderson said. “But it seems like we have a big challenge every week. It’s a challenge every week for us.’’

Kerens has had that kind of schedule, but then again, the Bobcats present a challenge to every team they play. They have size and speed and one of the most athletic and talented quarterbacks in this part of the state.

Nate Betts has thrown for 336 yards and five touchdowns and has rushed for 396 (9.2 average) and five more.

“When I look at Kerens I see a very talented team, probably the most talented team we’ve seen. They’ve got size and speed and a real good athletic quarterback,’’ Horn said. “It’s one of those deals where you don’t know what you’re going to get because of their size and athleticism. Italy has a big, physical front, and obviously I’d say Bosqueville is the best team we have played so far, but Kerens is more athletic than Bosqueville. Betts will be the most athletic quarterback we’ve played.’’

Anderson knows Hubbard plays tough and brings it on every play.

“They’re really a good football team. They’re ranked in the top 10,’’ Anderson said. “You want to play people who are good. And this is a great atmosphere for our kids.’’

Anderson said his team has come along this season and pointed to his offensive line and secondary as making the biggest strides.

“Our offensive line has been a pleasant surprise,’’ he said. “We feel real good about our offensive line, and defensively our secondary has been a surprise. Jalon Moss (a junior defensive back) has been a pleasant surprise.’’

That secondary will be going against Braydyn Gillham, a backup quarterback who has played like a star. Gillham, a sophomore, has stepped in to replace Casen Martin, who is still out with a collarbone injury. Hubbard has been hit hard by injuries, but has not slowed down. But the Jags are starting to heal. Horn said tailback Logan McClinton might be back this week.

Martin might return in time for the Frost game, but Hubbard has a bye week after Frost, which would give Martin and the other injured players another week to get better before the stretch run.

This is the game to prpeare both teams fr or that stretch run.

Text Only
Sports
  • KerensBBAnderson.jpg GC Baseball: Kerens beats Cayuga 5-1, wins first district title since 1981

    The wait is over.
    And it came just in time for Brett Anderson, who left it all on the mound Tuesday night at Kerens, where he pitched a masterpiece to lead the Bobcats over Cayuga, 5-1, and help the program win its first baseball district title since 1981.
    “I've got no gas left. I'm out,'' said Anderson, a senior lefty who stopped Cayuga cold, holding the three-time defending district champs to just three singles while striking out 14.

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • GC Basebal Roundup: Corsicana blasts Jacksonville; BG wins huge district game

    The Corsicana Tigers wrapped up district play with a dominating 9-0 win over the Jacksonville Indians behind Trevor Nolen, who shut out the Indians and allowed only one hit over 6 1/3 innings.  Donovan Fields came on to retire the final two hitters. The Tiger pitchers limited the Indians to only 25 plate appearances in the game and no runner to reach third base.

    April 22, 2014

  • 4-23-14 Rodeo clown.jpg Rodeo: Navarro County Derrick Days -- Burton is back

    He's back.
    Professional rodeo entertainer Ronald Burton returns to the Navarro County Exposition Center  April 25-26 to entertain the crowd at the 2014 Navarro County Derrick Days Pro Rodeo.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Huggins rodeo Huggins to call shots at Derrick Days Rodeo

    West Huggins will serve as the announcer for the 2014 Navarro County Derrick Days Pro rodeo. The Gardendale native is the reigning three-time United Professional Rodeo Association Announcer of the Year.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • NC baseball Whoa 300th Dill gets 300th win in Navarro baseball sweep of Bossier Parish

    Navarro baseball’s weekend in Louisiana was significant on a number of fronts. On one hand, coach Whoa Dill notched his 300th win. On the other, and perhaps more importantly, the Bulldogs simply continued to play well. The Bulldogs swept Bossier Parish to move 14-11 in Region XIV East Zone play, and 27-17 overall.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mildred sending five to regional track meet

    Sasha Ballard set a school record in the 800 meters and paced a contingent of five Mildred thinclads heading to Stephenville for the regionals later this week.

    April 21, 2014

  • Kerens boys grab four gold medals at area track meet

    Tavion Hall and Jalon Moss each snared a pair of gold medals as Kerens boys finished second at their area track meet last week with 88 points.

    April 21, 2014

  • 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.

    April 18, 2014

  • BG baseball 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.''

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • 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.

    April 18, 2014

House Ads
AP Video
Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' Obama to Oso: We'll Be Here As Long As It Takes Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs
Twitter Updates