What a difference two weeks make for the George Ranch football team.

In that time, the Longhorns went from a team still looking for its first win to a team now tied for first in District 23-6A and in the playoff mix.

Those playoff hopes could get another big boost with another win on Thursday as George Ranch heads back to Crump Stadium in southwest Houston to face the Alief Taylor Lions at 7 p.m.

“Our kids never wavered after our 0-3 start,” Longhorn head coach Nick Cavallo said. “Every time you win, your confidence and energy rises, and that’s what’s happened here.”

There’s not one big thing that stands out that has made the George Ranch defense better to get back-to-back shutout wins. But last week against Alief Hastings, the Longhorns were able to get into the backfield and get several tackles for loss.

Meanwhile, the offense continued to get big plays, as running back Hymond Drinkard exploded for touchdown runs of 50 and 48 yards, while quarterback Sam Miller found receiver Brett Jetton for a 44-yard scoring play.

But the task of pitching a shutout will be tough against a Taylor squad that is quick and athletic. The Lions have a diversified rushing attack, led by junior quarterback Esteban Torres, who has run for 224 yards in four games for two touchdowns. He’s also passed for 456 yards and three scores to go with three interceptions.

Senior running back Alex Heckard has 138 yards on 36 carries with a touchdown to lead the Lion running backs, while senior receiver Langston Lee has seven receptions for 143 yards and a touchdown.

The Taylor defense is coming off of a shutout win over Brazoswood, holding the Buccaneers to only 60 total yards in a 33-0 win. Sophomore defensive lineman Erick Conley led the Lions with 2.5 tackles for loss, while the secondary had four interceptions in the game.

“(Taylor) is an athletic bunch of kids that do things that give you fits,” Cavallo said. “It’s going to be a physical game on both sides of the ball.”

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