It’s no secret the Whitesboro Bearcats will be underdogs this week against Brock. The Eagles have been perennial state contenders for a long time, especially after winning the state title in Class 3A Division I in 2015.
Brock is 5-0 on the season and is putting up over 60 points per game on offense while giving up just 14 points per game on defense.
The Eagles are ranked No. 1 in Class 3A Division II by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football.
The Bearcats finally picked up their first win of the season with a 22-6 victory over Ponder on Sept. 25, but they stumbled last week against Boyd 33-13 to even their district record at 1-1.
Whitesboro head coach Cody Fagan said the Bearcats’ slow start was too much to overcome.
“They were a good football team and their quarterback was really hard to tackle,” Fagan said. “We had a couple mistakes that hurt us on offense early, but in the second half, we opened it up and tried whatever we could to sneak back in the game. I was proud of the way our kids competed in the second half, but in the end, we put ourselves in too big of a hole to crawl out of.”
The Bearcats were 22-0 at halftime and Fagan said it takes nearly a perfect game in the second half to recover for a win.
Fagan said he never questions the fight of his team and he thought he saw some things they could build off.
Whitesboro’s passing attack showed some signs of life in the second half against Boyd and Fagan hopes that can continue this week when the Bearcats host Brock on Friday, Oct. 9, at Bearcat Stadium.
The trick Whitesboro is trying to pull of this week and the rest of the season is to put all phases of the game together through four quarters.
Fagan said his team is aware of the perceived lopsided matchup this week but that the coaching staff wants the Bearcats to stay locked in on their own growth.
“Anytime you play the number one team in the state that no one is going to pick you to win,” Fagan said. “We’ve asked our kids to try to do everything we can to beat those guys, but the same time we’ve got to focus on improving our own offense and our own details to get better. Sometimes when you face a team like that and you try to focus too much on them, it can seem insurmountable, but are kids are staying focused.”
The Eagles will roll out a bevy of different formations, but in the end, Fagan said they run just a few select plays that work for them.
“They’ve got some really good athletes on offense, but on defense, they’re not big by any means,” Fagan said. “They’ve got 11 kids that almost all look the same at about 6-foot, 180-pound athletic kid that just plays really, really hard and that’s what we’re trying to instill in our kids. We want them to understand that scheme does matter, but if we can just play really, really hard every single play that we’re going to have a chance. That’s what the Brocks and the Gunters of the world have figured out.”
Fagan said the plan to take it one play at a time, but the Bearcats will need to gang tackle and try to force a few turnovers.
Offensively, Whitesboro needs to catch the ball down the field and reestablish its run game that struggled against Boyd.
“We need to make sure we do both of those things at a high level,” Fagan said.