Braswell coach Cody Moore knows first-hand how much patience is required to build a program from scratch.
The Bengals have taken tremendous strides since an 0-10 season three years ago and look primed to make a playoff run in 2019.
But first, Braswell must get back on track this week after opening up District 7-5A play with a loss to Frisco. The Bengals travel to Frisco Memorial on Friday for a showdown with the Warriors, who are in a similar situation that Braswell found themselves in just two seasons ago.
Frisco Memorial opened its doors in the fall of 2018, becoming the 10th Frisco ISD high school. The Warriors’ football program also debuted last year and finished winless in their first season of varsity action.
This season, the Warriors seem to be much improved and grabbed their first win against Celina in the opening week of the season.
“I can relate to the process that they’re going through,” Moore said. “They’re much improved over last year. I think they’re doing a good job and on track to become a good program.”
Through three contests, Braswell has relied on its passing game to light up the scoreboard. However, the success through the air has opened up room for running backs Ifesimi Yessuff and Jamerion Sanford to make plays for the Bengal offense.
The two backs are poised for a breakout performance against the Warriors, who have allowed 445 combined rushing yards in the last two games.
Yessuff and Sanford present two different running styles for Braswell, making the Bengal rushing attack all the more unpredictable.
Yessuff, who also runs track, is a speedster who has rushed for 235 yards and 6.91 yards per attempt.
Sanford, who stands at 5-11 and weighs 210 pounds, runs behind his pads and presents a more physical style of running for the Bengals, who love to utilize the big back on short-yardage situations.
“Our running back group has done a good job this year,” Moore said. “Our tempo and ability to control the numbers in the box has really helped our run game. I’ve been really happy with how we’ve rushed the ball so far.”
Just like Braswell, Frisco Memorial has faltered in back-to-back games after starting 1-0. Lucas Lovejoy defeated the Warriors 42-14 last Friday in the opening week of league play.
Although Frisco Memorial has only racked up one win throughout the past two seasons, don’t expect Moore and the Bengals to look past any team this season.
“The approach from week to week doesn’t change, no matter who we’re playing,” Moore said. “They’re hungry for a signature win, and I think it would be a mistake on our part to ever underestimate where they are as a program. Their kids play really hard, and we’re going to have to play well on Friday.”