Braswell

Braswell running back Ifesimi Yessuff (6) carries the ball and avoids being tackled by Reedy linebacker Michael Swope (8) at Bronco Field on Oct. 17 in Denton.

After dominating Frisco Reedy from start to finish last Thursday, one message has resonated through Braswell’s field house this week.

“We have to stay focused,” Braswell coach Cody Moore said. “We’ve been playing well throughout the last month, but anybody can beat us on any given week.”

The Bengals (5-2, 4-1 District 7-5A Division II) will travel east on U.S. Highway 380 on Friday looking to extend their four-game winning streak against the Princeton Panthers (3-4, 2-3).

Braswell has been one of the more surprising teams in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in 2019. The Bengals showcase one of the most explosive offenses in the state and a defense that forced five turnovers against Reedy.

That defense will be put to the test again this week against a balanced Princeton offense that averages 35.3 points and 427.1 yards per game.

Running back Jalaydon Hill leads the Panthers with 1,169 total yards and 20 touchdowns, while quarterback Brendon Strickland has thrown for 1,484 total yards, 10 touchdowns and six interceptions.

“I think they have the ability to make explosive plays throughout the game,” Moore said. “I think the strength of their team is the offense. Their running back runs really hard, and they have athletic guys out wide that are dangerous if you get them the ball on the perimeter.”

Princeton also played a similar non-district schedule as Braswell. The Bengals handed Red Oak its only loss of the season in a 48-27 win, while Princeton fell to the Hawks 77-48.

“Both teams have changed quite a bit since non-district,” Moore said. “Sometimes it takes a little while for teams to figure out their identity and the strength of their team. Princeton is no exception to that. They’ve figured some things out over the season personnel-wise. It will be a good game and a good challenge for us.”

Although the Bengals totaled just 308 yards of offense last week — compared to the 532.3 yards they average — Braswell quarterback Greyson Thompson eclipsed the 2,000-yard mark for the first time in his career.

The Bengals’ play throughout the last month has put them in a position to make a run for a 7-5A Division II title. With three weeks to play, Braswell sits in a three-way tie for second place in 7-5A Division II and trails Frisco (5-1 in 7-5A) by one game.

The Raccoons hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Bengals after beating them on Sept. 13.

“We have to be consistent and build on the progress we’ve made,” Moore said. “I feel like we’re playing our best football at the right time of year. We just have to make sure that all the things we were focused on during the Reedy game transfer over to every game we play. As long as we do that, we’ll be successful.”

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