The Grandview Zebras, riding high on their impressive 35-7 victory over the Glen Rose Tigers in their season opener, are gearing up for another fierce showdown, This win served as sweet revenge, as it marked the Zebras' triumphant response to a 43-22 loss to Glen Rose in last year's season opener.
In a thrilling clash last Friday, the Zebra defense exhibited exceptional prowess by forcing the Glen Rose offense into a staggering six turnovers – five interceptions and one fumble, Leading the charge was senior linebacker Carter Collins, who single-handedly secured three of those interceptions, Despite the blistering conditions, Grandview's strategy was tailored to tackle Glen Rose's tempo-driven offense, To conserve energy and maintain control of the game, the Zebras opted for huddling when they had possession, This approach allowed them to execute long, methodical drives, offering their formidable defense a chance to catch their breath before returning to the field, armed with a diverse array of defensive pressure packages to thwart Glen Rose.
Head Coach Ryan Ebner shared insights into their game plan adjustments, stating, "They (Glen Rose) had five linemen who had started since they were freshmen or sophomores and their really good quarterback they've had the last few years, We changed some of our pressure packages to get some confusion on the line and get a couple shots on their quarterback to make some tough throws, That being said, I think the throws were a little rushed and Carter Collins had three of those interceptions, We just had guys in the right spots where their quarterback didn't see them coming."
The resounding success of the defense against a formidable opponent that had made it to the state tournament in Class 4A has infused the Grandview Zebras with confidence, This newfound momentum is vital as they brace for a highly anticipated clash against their familiar rivals, the Malakoff Tigers, this Friday.
Coach Ebner emphasized the importance of this upcoming battle, acknowledging the challenge posed by Malakoff's formidable lineup, He stated, "There's no doubt some confidence in the locker room, With this being a young group, it was big for them to build confidence throughout the Glen Rose game coming into this one, The seniors realized that they definitely have some guys to play with them, We're going to have to battle at the line of scrimmage, and Malakoff is always going to have really good players, schemes, and coaches, So we are going to have to make the right reads, finish our tackles — we're going to have to execute on all the little things."
As the Zebras prepare to face the Malakoff Tigers, who come off a dominant 56-14 victory over West Rusk in their season opener, Coach Ebner understands the significance of this matchup, He acknowledges the striking similarities between the two teams and emphasizes that success will hinge on executing a comprehensive game plan.
"Defensively, they've always done a great job, They'll line up about a yard off the ball and will swarm to the action," Ebner said, "They may not give up the big play, but you just have to take four, five, or six yards against them, We just have to be patient in taking what we can get, They have a good dual-threat quarterback and some good, quick receivers, so we will have to switch up our zone and man-to-man coverage, You can't give them the same look, We have to be able to recognize what they're doing and line up properly to try to slow them down, Special teams will be key, too; you can't allow any punt returns for touchdowns, If you kick a field goal, you have to capitalize on those three points, Attrition is key since we both will have guys playing both ways on both sides."
The anticipation is palpable as the Grandview Zebras prepare to host the Malakoff Tigers at Zebra Stadium this Friday at 7:30 p.m, Prior to the football showdown, fans can enjoy an exciting clash between the Grandview and Malakoff volleyball teams at 4:30 p.m, in the high school gymnasium.
Zeyire Franklin's pair of long TDs boosts Big Spring football past Lubbock High
In another riveting football clash, Big Spring secured a 32-21 victory over Lubbock High, Zeyire Franklin's spectacular long touchdown catches were instrumental in Big Spring's success, showcasing his prowess with a 72-yard and a 64-yard grab, Despite facing challenges, Big Spring quarterback Gavin Padron shone, completing 23 of 36 passes for 395 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception.
Lubbock High put up a valiant fight, led by quarterback Dallas Trevino, who exited the game with an upper-body injury before halftime, Trini Tijerina's 56-yard jet sweep for a touchdown displayed the team's resilience, Still, Big Spring's determination prevailed as they capitalized on opportunities, including a crucial 35-yard touchdown pass from Padron to Jacob Cantu.
Coach Cannon McWilliams commended Lubbock High's progress, stating, "Hats off to Lubbock High, Coach (Juan) Rodriguez and his staff, To me, from just one year to the next, they've gotten so much better. And they played their tails off and it was a good, competitive game."
Big Spring's star player, Zeyire Franklin, emerged as a game-changer with six catches for 196 yards, while Lubbock High's Taj'E Whitfield made a significant impact with two sacks.
Despite challenges and the loss of their starting quarterback, Dallas Trevino, Coach Rodriguez expressed pride in his team's resilience, noting, "We're not the same program anymore, and people need to understand that, We're still young, and we're still making a lot of youthful mistakes, but I'm extremely proud of these kids."
The game statistics reveal a hard-fought battle, with Big Spring securing 18 first downs compared to Lubbock High's 17, The teams showcased their running and passing skills, with Big Spring amassing 395 passing yards and Lubbock High tallying 189 rushing yards.
In summary, Big Spring emerged victorious with a 32-21 score, demonstrating their determination and ability to capitalize on opportunities, This thrilling matchup exemplified the resilience and progress of both teams as they continue their football journey in the non-district phase.