Brazos Cougars (3-6) vs. Shiner Comanches (9-0)
Friday, Nov. 8 — 7:30 p.m. — Cougar Stadium
It has been a long road to travel for the Brazos High School football team in head coach Ryan Roecker’s first year. But the Cougars’ toughest stop is still to come on Friday at Cougar Stadium.
Brazos battles the No. 2 state-ranked Shiner Comanches to finish the regular season at 7:30 p.m. in Wallis.
The Comanches (9-0, 3-0) have already locked up the district title with a victory over Weimar but need a win against Brazos to complete an undefeated regular season. Brazos (3-6, 1-2) hopes to rebound after a tough road loss to Kenedy and play spoiler against one of the top state title contenders.
The Comanches lead the District 15-2A DI in offensive yards per game (458.8) and yards allowed on defense (179.2). Shiner has outscored its opponents 175-to-21 in district play and is coming off a bye week heading into week 11.
Brazos will have to stop the run first and foremost against Shiner. The Comanches are averaging nearly 400 rushing yards per game. Shiner is led on the ground by returning district MVP, senior running back Donyai Taylor. Taylor is averaging 13.70 yards per carry with 959 yards and 18 touchdowns on 70 carries.
The Comanches have five running backs in the top 15 in district rushing yards including Taylor, Doug Brooks (52 carries, 594 yards, nine touchdowns), junior Zane Rhodes (42 carries, 538 yards, nine touchdowns), junior Tyler Palmer (57 carries, 497 yards, eight touchdowns) and Dalton Brooks (21 carries, 300 yards, two touchdowns).
Palmer is the man under center for Shiner. He has completed 65 percent of his passes (22x34) for 628 yards and 10 touchdowns against one interception. Shiner is averaging 29 yards per pass completion, underscoring the counterbalance of teams committing to stop the run.
Brazos will have to find a way to make stops on defense and force turnovers. The Cougars are allowing just over 200 yards per game rushing and have forced 14 turnovers.
The Cougars have arguably played stiffer competition against 3A and private school programs than most in District 15-2A DI to prepare for a game like Shiner. It could pay off on Friday night.