The bond that is shared among Texas high school football coaches is strong. Not every coach has met everybody else, but it’s a brotherhood that can open doors for new opportunities across the state.
It can also doom college coaches as well. Just ask Charlie Strong.
In Denton, there might not be a stronger friendship among rival coaches than the one between Guyer’s Rodney Webb and Braswell’s Cody Moore.
The history between Webb and Moore is well documented. Webb plucks Moore from Texas A&M-Commerce. Moore goes with Webb to multiple stops before becoming the head coach of Braswell.
Last year was the first meeting between the two longtime friends as head coaches of opposing teams, and Friday night at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex will mark the second such occasion.
Despite being enemies on the field for a couple hours once a year, that friendship remains unchanged and is possibly stronger than ever.
“I’ve talked with him a lot already this week,” Moore said on Tuesday. “[What] I love about it is that this game doesn’t change our relationship at all.”
A sentiment that Webb echoed that also comes with some light-hearted ribbing.
“I certainly root for him every other week of the season outside of this week,” Webb said.
On the field, both teams are coming off impressive wins.
Guyer, the No. 4-ranked team in the state, showcased what Webb called a “championship-caliber” effort in all phases in a 35-7 romp over Prosper.
The defense held Prosper to just 163 yards while the offense was really balanced on the way to 477 yards of total offense.
For Webb, putting another performance like that in back-to-back weeks is key for the Wildcats, who are 6-0 and 2-0 atop the District 5-6A standings.
“We’ve been a little of a roller coaster this year,” he said. “We’ve tended to be really up and sharp against the alleged better opponents, and then we’ve been flat coming off of those games.
“We cannot afford to be flat again, and I would hope our kids have learned that lesson.”
It’s a lesson Webb knows is vitally important for his team to make a deep run in the playoffs.
Meanwhile, Braswell cracked the 60-point plateau for the first time this year and the defense came up with huge stops in the second half, including pitching a shutout in the fourth quarter, on the way to downing a previously undefeated Little Elm team.
While Moore is very keen on having balance in terms of what the defense is giving his offense each game, even he didn’t foresee a 363-yard performance coming from Jaylon Burton.
“We felt good about our run game, but I didn’t not expect him to do that,” Moore said.
That balance that Moore strives for is what he believes will help his team this go-round against Guyer. The offense relies a little bit more on its running game than last year, which starts with the Braswell offensive line.
In last year’s meeting, Guyer’s defense suffocated the Braswell attack, which included an interception return for a touchdown on the way to a 49-7 rout.
Braswell missed some early opportunities and the game snowballed from there.
Still, for the 2021 edition, there is a lot of familiarity between the teams in their offensive schemes and pace of play, and both know full well that a key to victory is staying sharp mentally and executing on every snap.
But unlike last year, there is no special request from Moore to Webb, which included that a few “key players sit.”
“No, nothing like that,” Moore said with a chuckle. “I want his team at full strength.”
“As I’ve already told him, and both of us feel the same way,” Webb said. “I want a competitive game, I want to come out of it injury-free, and we want to think that when the game is over that we’ve each made each other a better team.”