High School Football

Rare and devastating: Boswell special teams excel at blocking kicks

The Saginaw Boswell football team thrives on rejection.

Always surprising and often a game-changer, blocked kicks have become a point of pride for the Pioneers. They have seven this season.

“Every chance I have to block something, I’ll go as hard as I can and as fast as I can, and go get it,” said senior nose guard Kyrese McFarland, who leads the team with four blocks.

“The kids are dialed in and love to create havoc,” adds Boswell head coach John Abendschan.

Boswell special teams have blocked three punts, three field goals, and an extra-point kick.

“You win games at a higher percent of the time when you block a kick,” said Abendschan, whose Pioneers happen to be 7-0 overall and 4-0 in District 6-5A.

“We put a huge emphasis on special teams,” he adds. “We have kids that make it important. They want to succeed and be great at it.”

McFarland uses impressive upper-body strength and a low center of gravity – he stands 5 feet, 11 inches and weighs 225 pounds – to break through the offensive lines.

“From the beginning of the season, I had a goal sheet that said three blocks,” McFarland said.

Mission accomplished.

“Kyrese wants to make plays whether it’s nose guard or special teams,” Abendschan added.

Boswell running backs coach Wes Weaver picked up special teams responsibilities this season because assistant coach Jeremy Mullins got the head coaching job at Tolar.

“Coach Mullins started our plan and I kind of stepped into the spot and kept the train going,” Weaver said. “It was a bit of a challenge but I wanted to do this.”

Weaver’s other line crashers include junior defensive end Terrance Wair – who has two blocks – and senior linebacker Malik Hubbard – who has one.

“Personally, I focus on my technique and getting through gaps,” Wair said. “We work hard and do a good job at executing the plays. Coach Weaver and coach Abendschan work hard at emphasizing that.”

Boswell has turned those blocks into 33 points: four touchdowns, one field goal and two points on a blocked extra-point attempt.

“If you can take advantage of it, it increases your odds of winning greatly,” Abendschan said. “To me every snap can change the game – it creates points or turnovers and our kids understand that it takes three phases to win and they’re getting better every week.”

McFarland made the biggest block of the season in Boswell’s 25-23 victory at White Settlement Brewer on Oct. 13. Senior receiver and cornerback Breshun Berry scooped up the loose ball and returned it 63 yards for a touchdown and 10-point swing.

“It fired up our entire sideline,” Abendschan said.

“We do our best on special teams,” Berry added. “We put the best guys out there and we just make plays.”

Sophomore cornerback John Diaz was the other Pioneer to score. He returned the blocked extra point 91 yards in Week 1 against Burleson Centennial.

“We put these kids in position, and they execute,” Abendschan said. “We try to be good at it and so far we’ve been fortunate.”

The Pioneers visit winless Saginaw in the Battle of the Wagon Wheel, 7 p.m. Friday, then it’s two-win Saginaw Chisholm Trail. The regular season ends at home against top-ranked Aledo on Nov. 10.

Expect Boswell to continue the emphasis special teams.

“You block a kick, you give yourself a chance,” Abendschan said.

GOSSET’S WEEK 9 PREDICTIONS

(winners in bold)

THURSDAY

Keller vs. Timber Creek

Arlington vs. Paschal

Byron Nelson vs. Carroll

Sam Houston vs. Mansfield

Birdville vs. Dunbar

Carter-Riverside vs. Richland

Polytechnic vs. Eastern Hills

FRIDAY

Central vs. Fossil Ridge

Weatherford vs. Haltom

Lamar vs. Bowie

North Crowley vs. Martin

Lewisville vs. LD Bell

Flower Mound vs. Marcus

Trinity vs. Hebron

Aledo vs. Brewer

Azle vs. Eaton

Boswell vs. Saginaw

Arlington Heights vs. Trimble Tech

Western Hills vs. North Side

YMLA vs. South Hills

Grapevine vs. Colleyville Heritage

Burleson vs. Cleburne

Granbury vs. Centennial

Seguin vs. Crowley

Joshua vs. Everman

Legacy vs. Lake Ridge

Red Oak vs. Lancaster

Midlothian vs. Summit

Timberview vs. Waxahachie

Castleberry vs. Springtown

Diamond Hill-Jarvis vs. Lake Worth

Mineral Wells vs. Kennedale

Alvarado vs. Pinkston

Carter vs. Midlothian Heritage

Benbrook vs. Venus

Godley vs. Glen Rose

Hillsboro vs. Waxahachie Life

Brock vs. Bowie

Nolan Catholic vs. Addison TC

Covenant vs. Coram Deo

Pantego Christian vs. Grace Prep

Fellowship Academy vs. Temple Christian

Legacy Christian vs. Southwest Christian

FW Christian vs. Grapevine Faith

TAC vs. Oakridge

Trinity Valley vs. St. Andrew’s

Calvary Christian vs. WP Trinity Christian

SATURDAY

Chisholm Trail vs. Northwest

Southwest vs. Wyatt

Last week: 42-8

Season: 293-110 (72.7 winning percentage)

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