Countdown to kickoff: Arlington Sam Houston Texans

Posted Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

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Arlington Sam Houston

District 4-6A

Last season: 4-6 (3-4 in District 3-5A)

Key players: QB Ervin Hill (6-2, 195), WR Darrion Flowers (5-10, 170), LB Marquis Irving (6-0, 210), DT Bernard Lewis (6-0, 320)

The big picture: Last season, Sam Houston’s running game made up 77 percent of the total offense, limiting its passing game. This year, head coach Anthony Criss is turning the playbook on its head, making the passing game a primary focus and the running game secondary. Two returning starters are the key to this switch, quarterback Ervin Hill and wide receiver Darrion Flowers, a TCU commit. Last season, Hill threw for 857 yards and five touchdowns while running for a team-leading 1,235 yards and 15 touchdowns. Flowers led all receivers with 17 catches for 269 yards and five touchdowns. They are both a part of what Criss believes is his team’s biggest strength — speed. Criss said this squad is the fastest in his four years at Sam Houston. On defense, an experienced line returns with a talent for getting to the quarterback. Because of this, Criss said he will rely less on blitzing from the defensive backfield and let the defensive line provide all the rush. It leaves seven players back in coverage for Sam Houston’s 4-2-5 defense.

Quotable: “It’s always great to have somebody who can change the game. [Flowers is] one of the fastest guys on the planet. It’s good to have one of those guys. It’s very big because now, because of his speed, he’s going to help us create some opportunities to score from long range.” —coach Anthony Criss

“I’ve been playing with [Hill] since our sophomore year, so we have a lot of communication and he knows where to put it.” — wide receiver Darrion Flowers

Notable: Sam Houston hasn’t made the playoffs in 11 seasons.

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