After an exhilarating 59-51 triple-overtime victory over Lucas Lovejoy two weeks ago, Braswell coach Cody Moore sat back and reflected on where his program sat halfway through the season.
Through five games, the Bengals (3-2, 2-1 in District 7-5A Division II) have matched their win total from last year while positioning themselves to make the school’s first-ever playoff run in a wide-open 7-5A Division II.
Following a much-needed off week, Braswell will resume district play on Friday against Frisco Lebanon Trail at Toyota Stadium in Frisco.
“I was thinking while driving to work [one day this week] about how rejuvenated I feel after the bye week,” Moore said. “It came at a good time, especially after a crazy win like the Lovejoy game. Football season is a grind for everybody on our team, and I think we all feel an extra burst this week.”
The Bengals encountered a stout schedule through the first half of the season. Braswell’s opponents have combined for an overall record of 19-9, which includes a young program in Frisco Memorial, which is 1-5.
The Bengals sit in fourth place in 7-5A Division II and are just half a game back from second-place teams Frisco Reedy and Denison, both of which Braswell has yet to play.
Aside from letting everyone heal bumps and bruises during the bye week, Moore said Braswell spent a significant amount of time correcting a number of mistakes made in previous weeks.
Allowing the big play has been one of those problems for the Bengals. Braswell has already this season surrendered eight touchdowns of 35 yards or longer.
“We just have to be better with our eyes,” Moore said. “When your eyes get caught in the backfield and you’re not watching what you’re supposed to be watching, then I think that’s when those issues occur.”
The Trail Blazers are led by dual-threat quarterback Drew Martin, who has thrown for 1,247 yards and 13 touchdowns while adding another 400 yards and six touchdowns on the ground.
Running back Princeton Parker also serves as an offensive threat for Lebanon Trail with 384 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Three different Trail Blazers average more than 4.7 yards per carry.
Although Braswell has given up 37.6 points per game, stopping the run has been its strong suit this season thanks to a resilient defensive line. In Braswell’s 56-27 win over Frisco Memorial, the Bengals didn’t give up a single rushing yard.
“[Lebanon Trail] is creative and do a good job of getting the ball to several different people,” Moore said. “But I always feel confident in our defensive line to stop the run. Our offense goes against them every day in practice, so I know what kind of challenge they represent. We certainly have a chance to give them some problems in their run game.”