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September 21, 2012

THOR LIVING UP TO HIS NAME

If your first name is Thor...you have no choice but to be a great football player.

And a quick look at ACU middle linebacker Thor Woerner's season stats would lead you to believe that he's doing his job well...but just looking at the numbers will give you no indication of what kind of performance Thor made last Saturday at the biggest NFL stadium on the planet.

Down 20-10 with time winding down in the 2nd quarter, Tarleton State was driving, and it didn't look like they were going to be stopped. A touchdown on that drive would have made it 27-10 at the half and the game would have practically been over.

But Thor came through and intercepted a pass. It turned the momentum of the game, and as many big plays just before the half do, it completely changed the dynamic of the entire second half.

That was big play #1...easy to see in the box score.

Big play #2 didn't show up in the stats.

It happened two series before the interception.

Tarleton kicks off after kicking a field goal which made it 20-7. The ball was a pooch kick and hung up in the air for a while. There was some confusion as to who was going to catch it. The ball bounced on the turf. The Texans were closing in. That's a live ball. Here comes Thor. He reached up with one hand while being hit on all sides and somehow, someway, brought the ball in and secured it. The drive resulted in a FG for ACU.

If Thor doesn't grab the ball there...TSU gets a short field. Let's say they score a TD...it would have been 27-7.

HUGE PLAY.

Big play #3 also didn't show up in the stats.

It was a recovered on-side kick with 1:02 left in the game with ACU holding a slim 3-point lead. Thor recovered it.

Three plays that a MLB doesn't usually make, but if he doesn't make those plays...ACU loses, period.

And he also had 10 tackles in the game and was a big reason ACU held Tarleton to 50 yards of total offense in the third quarter and allowed them to possess the ball for 4.5 minutes the entire 4th quarter.

Thor. That's all you need to know. Thor.........
  • mark rogers
  • September 21, 2012 10:36 AM

September 14, 2012

Brownwood and Sweetwater snapshots

Sweetwater ready for versatile Bucks

Lots to keep straight if you're going to the Sweetwater/Breckenridge game tonight in Breckenridge. The Mustangs first road game...

  • John Ward is the defensive coordinator in Sweetwater. He coached for nine years in Brownwood with current Bucks coach Steve Freeman.
  • Jake Freeman (Steve's nephew) is the Mustangs secondary coach.
  • Steve Freeman's defensive coordinator is Zane Guy who did his student teaching under Mustang coach Shane Mobley.
Got all that?

So it's not just a game between Sweetwater and Breckenridge...there are lots of connections to be considered which can make things much more interesting.

Aside from off the field connections, Sweetwater lost another key starter against Andrews in JD Davis, the right tackle. Alex Garcia (MLB) tore his ACL in Week 0.

If there is such a thing as a moral victory, Sweetwater got one last week nearly pulling off the win against a huge Andrews team. They had 4th and Goal from the 5 with a few ticks left and came up about a half yard short of winning that game.

Coach Mobley said there were lots of positive things they took away from the game last week.

Breckenridge is 0-2 but they're a versatile group and play hard.

They will try and play smash mouth football, then can bring in 5 wide receivers and try to spread it out. Sweetwater will have to be ready for anything the Bucks will throw at them.

Brownwood not panicking

If Brownwood beats Snyder tonight, they'll be 1-2 on the year...not good, right? Well, the last time the Lions started 1-2, they played four playoff games (2006) so no one is panicking just yet.

The Lions are currently 0-2 and haven't started that slow since 2005. These Lions are young and the defense is playing well which is a good sign for a young team. It all starts with defense.

Braxton Kilgo looked better last week than he did in Week 0 (coming off a shoulder and virus), and in my opinion, will only keep getting better as the season wears on.

Snyder gave up 70 points in Week 0 so you would think Brownwood would like to score lots of points and get the offense some momentum. But Snyder can score, too.

I think this one will be more of a "who has the ball last" type of game. But those games usually end up something like 3-0 so I'm not holding my breath for a barn burner.

Colton Guidery (backup RB for Brownwood) broke his femur last week and will obviously miss the rest of the year.

  • mark rogers
  • September 14, 2012 3:29 PM

September 7, 2012

Brownwood and Sweetwater snapshots

Sweetwater ready for Andrews

Sweetwater will look to go 2-0 tonight against a tough and very big Andrews Mustangs team. Andrews beat LakeView last week and has a couple of 300 pounders on the OL, which is humungous in 3A.

On a sour note, the Mustangs lost their starting middle linebacker in the 3rd quarter last week. He tore his ACL and will miss the rest of his senior year...feel terrible for the kid. Alex Garcia is his name I believe.

The key tonight for the Mustangs will be speed on defense. That's how you beat big ole behemoths up front - run circles around them. This will be a good test for Sweetwater.


Brownwood not worried


The Brownwood Lions aren't panicking after a tough loss to a very good All Saints team last week.

Braxton Kilgo didn't have the impact that he probably would have liked last week, but the kid was injured during 2-a-days and missed most of last week's practice with a sickness. He had a full week of work this week and should be full speed ahead tonight.

Graham beat Mineral Wells last week who basically handed the Steers the game after several miscues that Graham was able to capitalize on.
  • mark rogers
  • September 7, 2012 3:15 PM

The Culture is Changing

The most important play of the game.

It wasn't the 3rd and long conversion that kept the Giants from getting the ball back (what I will forever refer to as "The Conversion"). It wasn't Kevin Ogletree's first touchdown. It wasn't his second touchdown. It wasn't Miles Austin to the house on 1st and 30. It wasn't any one of Romo's 22 completions. It wasn't DeMarco Murray on 2nd and 3, hit in the backfield and somehow exploding for 48 yards down the sideline.

The play that changed the game for the Cowboys, that gave them the confidence they needed to win against the defending champs in New York, that could be a glimpse into a culture that finally seems to be changing for the better, wasn't talked about much in the post-game.

Why? Because it was right after a Tony Romo interception, made by a second year offensive lineman...and it was a personal foul.

Romo threw a pick before any of his three scores. And the Giants seemingly had a free route to the endzone. A huge momentum boost, in their stadium, in front of their fans. If Tyron Smith doesn't give it everything he has and lay out for an incredible tackle at the 2 yard line, I think the game ends differently. And sometimes you take a horse collar because the alternative is much, much worse.

In my opinion, a deflating play like that would have told the Cowboys that nothing had really changed. That they were still choke artists. That they couldn't beat their nemesis on the road (or anywhere for that matter). That Romo was still a big phony.

But they didn't score. They were stopped at the 2. And a relentless Cowboys rush defense pushed NY back 3 yards the next two plays and forced a field goal.

Yes - points for the Giants, but anytime you hold an opponent to a FG after 1st and Goal from inside the 3, you might as well give yourself 4 points. It's a negative play for the FG kicking team. They come off the field with their heads down. The defense that keeps their opponent out of the endzone comes off the field with a fire under them, pumped up, with all the momentum.

The next Giants possession was a 3 and out. The possession after that, Dallas took a lead it would never relinquish.

What's been wrong with the Cowboys the last two (ahem....17) years, hasn't been personnel or talent. It hasn't been scouting or injuries. It's been a culture of entitlement and complacency.

Here's an example - giving up not one, not two, not three, but four double-digit 4th quarter leads in one season. That's a culture problem.

But hopefully, what we saw last night was Coach Garrett's changes finally starting to have an impact.

Yeah, we saw Romo go for 300+ and 3 TDs. We saw Murray run for 100+. We had guys making plays on defense. But we've always had that.

What we HAVEN'T had in recent years are plays like the kind Smith made. The play that says, we don't deserve to win this game because we're the Dallas Cowboys, we will fight with everything we have to beat the stinkin' Giants in New York.

And coming in a close second to that play as the most important play was "The Conversion". There it was. 3rd and long (after a penalty offset a 1st down run). Plenty of time for the fourth quarter master Eli Manning. New York gets that ball back, and I believe they win that game.

It would have been another double digit fourth quarter loss. Another season opening heart breaker to the Giants.

It would have been the same story....on a different day.

But Garrett called an incredibly risky play in that situation putting the game in Romo's hands (where it belongs), and he came through.

I wrote an article last year about Romo not making a throw to Miles Austin that would have clinched a win against the Giants in Dallas and essentially would have gotten us into the playoffs (read it here).

But Wednesday night...Romo made the throw. We didn't choke in the 4th when everyone thought we would. We weren't just good (like we've always been), we were clutch (which is something that's been missing since 1995).

I'm not saying we're going to win the Super Bowl or that we're going 19-0. I'm saying that in order for us to have a chance to be the best, the culture HAD to change.

And after 24-17 last night in New York...it seems to have done just that.
  • mark rogers
  • September 7, 2012 3:10 PM