Brock topped the accomplishments of 2014 with last week’s Class 3A Division I state quarterfinal win against Shallowater.
“You’re one game away from state,” senior quarterback Seth Boleman said after Saturday’s 38-10 victory. “You’re right there, but you’re not there yet. You’ve still got to take care of business, get that W and go to state.”
Now the Eagles (14-0), who finished No. 2 in the last Associated Press regular-season state poll, get No. 1 Mineola (14-0) on Friday at Grand Prairie’s Gopher-Warrior Bowl.
“One game at a time,” junior linebacker Zane Young said. “We’ll get our scouting report, we’ll work hard all week and try to get another win.”
The Yellowjackets are led by run-first quarterback Jeremiah Crawford (2,132 rushing yards, 29 TDs) and running back Chantz Perkins (1,713 and 24). Crawford also has 1,087 passing yards. Both are starters from last year’s Mineola team that lost the 3A Division I championship to Cameron Yoe 70-40.
“ It’s really like they have two 2,000-yard running backs,” Brock coach Chad Worrell said. “But with the fanfare that goes with all the yardage, the thing that gets lost is their offensive line. There’s a huge size disadvantage there.”
And that starts with twins Riley (6-5, 285) and Austin (6-4, 285) Anderson, who are both committed to Texas A&M. The Andersons anchor a front that averages almost 280 pounds.
That’s a stark difference to Brock’s front five of Jordan Andrae, Tanner Patino, Mikey Golden, Devin Stentz and Caden Fain.
“Our D-line averages about 170, so that’s a David vs. Goliath kind of thing,” Worrell said. “I know they play hard, but our kids do as well. It will be important for us to get off to a good start on defense.”
Getting off to good starts hasn’t been Brock’s MO the last two games. The Eagles struggled early but rallied to close strong. Mineola last week jumped out to a 31-0 lead on the way to a 45-28 defeat of Sunnyvale.
“That’s something that we can’t let happen,” Worrell said. “If you find yourself down 21 points early on, it can be a really hard hole to dig your way out of.”
Digging Mineola into a hole will fall to running backs Leddy French (1,655 yards, 28 TDs) and Tyler Gray (1,798 yards, 30 TDs).
But Worrell said the turnover battle could prove to be the most significant factor. The Eagles have lost only six fumbles and two interceptions all season.
“We’ve won the turnover battle in just about every game this season, so if we can get some early, that could be significant for us,” Worrell said.
With just a couple of steps remaining to reach the state title mountaintop, Worrell said the goal hasn’t been lost on Brock’s players.
“We really don’t talk about what happens when we win this game or that game, but the kids know what’s at stake,” he said. “They haven’t been here before but they’ve been through the playoffs and we’ve talked about just taking one bite at a time. We’ve taken a bunch of bites and we’re still eating.”