It was a big win last week for the Travis football team to knock off a top-10 5A team in Foster. But the Tigers could be on their own upset alert this week.
Travis looks to keep the momentum going against Spring on Friday at 7 p.m. at Mercer Stadium in Sugar Land. It is a rematch of a game last year that had both teams moving up and down the field, as the Tigers outlasted the Lions in a 56-53 win.
But this time, Travis feels that it has a defense that can stop strong offenses. In Thursday’s win over Foster, the Tigers got a couple of big fourth-down stops, along with two turnovers in the second half.
“We want takeaways and limit possessions to give our offense more chances,” Travis head coach Trey Sissom said. “But it’s also about making fourth-down stops, and that’s a huge thing for us. I think we did a good job against a great offensive team.”
Travis forced four turnovers against the Falcons last week, including two fumble recoveries by junior safety Jace Marsters and senior defensive lineman J’Mani Gibson. The Tigers also got two interceptions from junior defensive backs Mason Muchaw and Cameron Oliver, including an 80-yard return by Oliver for a touchdown to put the game away.
Sissom was also impressed with the way the offense was able to run the ball, with running backs Aundre Smith and Kaelen Shankle combining with quarterback Eric Rodriguez in gaining 186 yards on the ground against Foster.
Spring has been impressive so far this season, getting wins over Alief Elsik and Cypress Woods with 41 and 47 points, respectively. The Lions rely on junior quarterback Aldyn Bradley, who has ran for 232 yards and eight touchdowns while throwing for 217 yards and three touchdowns.
But the Lion defense gave up a lot of yards against Cy Woods last week, including 283 passing yards and three touchdowns. That should give the Travis offense some confidence that it can score on Spring, and its defense can clamp down on the Lions.
“We thought (Spring) graduated a lot of kids, but you look at them this year and they look the same,” Sissom said. “They got another 6-foot-4 quarterback that is in the top 10 in rushing in the Houston area. They got great skill kids on the outside and the defense has athletes all over the field.
“For us, we dusted off the plan from last year and tweaked a few things, and we have to control their quarterback and make some plays on offense.”