# – denotes current San Antonio South Side Sports area ranking
Brooks Academy (1-4) at Cotulla (1-4), 7:30 p.m.
After taking it on the chin the last two weeks, following its first win since 2011, Brooks Academy gets a game that’s a little more in its wheelhouse.
Last Friday, Cole blitzed the Bengals with 401 rushing yards in a 57-2 loss. The Cougars didn’t complete a pass. Brooks Academy scored on an extra-point return by Alejandro Gonzalez on Cole’s first touchdown.
The Bengals mustered just 89 total yards – 44 yards fewer than a week earlier. So, with the start of the District 15-3A Division I season a week away, Brooks desperately needs to get its offense going again.
Marco Reyes was Brooks’ most-effective back against Cole. The Bengals will need to get its running game established early against Cotulla to take some of the pressure off quarterback Dennis Perales.
Cotulla won’t exactly be a pushover.
The Class 3A Cowboys are only a week removed from a 25-0 win over La Pryor.
Three of their four losses have been by a margin of eight points or fewer.
Senior Matthew Luna leads Cotulla’s ground-oriented attack.
Winning this one on the road may be a tall order for the Bengals, but they’d like to have a more competitive game to hang their hats on with district season looming.
Series leader (record): unknown. 2013 score: did not play. 2014 favorite: Cotulla.
#9 Harlandale (3-2, 2-1) vs. #10 Edison (1-3, 1-1) at Alamo Stadium, 7:30 p.m.
Both teams have shown improvement as the season progressed, and things may have clicked into place for Harlandale last Friday in a 20-0 shutout victory over Highlands.
Now it may be time for Edison to take another step forward. The Golden Bears took a week off from the District 28-5A season, coincidentally following a 23-20 win against Highlands on Sept. 19.
The Golden Bears survived five turnovers – three on interceptions – against the Owls. They’ll need to shore things up, because that won’t fly against an Indians defense that limited Highlands to 105 total yards. (The Owls outgained Edison 333-321).
Senior quarterback Jonathan Hernandez threw for 202 yards against Highlands. Edison will want to speed the tempo and try to outscore Harlandale. Their defense hasn’t shown an ability to get enough three-and-outs against a solid Indians offense.
For that to work, the Golden Bears need a strong showing on the ground from Matt Garcia in just his third varsity game. David Sanchez had his best game as a receiver against Highlands.
Harlandale won’t be afraid of a shootout, as junior Jacob Delgado grows into the quarterback job. Delgado completed 13 of 19 passes for 126 yards, including a 26-yard touchdown pass to steady receiver Ian Martinez.
Indians back John Aguirre went over the 100-yard mark a week ago. If he does tonight, that will be a bad sign for Edison.
Series leader (record): unknown. 2013 score: did not play. 2014 favorite: Harlandale.
#1 Holy Cross (3-1, 1-0) at TMI (2-3, 0-1), 7:30 p.m.
The central question here is whether Holy Cross can extend its shutout streak to three in a row.
The Knights are a heavy favorite against TMI, even with a retooled offense that – by the way – has been coming along nicely. Holy Cross produced 394 yards of total offense in its 48-0 rout of Cornerstone Christian last Saturday.
Nazario Coleman passed for 103 yards and ran for 40. Steven Villela had two receptions, including a 78-yard touchdown.
Greg Scott only carried the ball eight times, gaining 77 yards as the Knights went to their bench. Rudy Gonzalez gained 50 yards on seven carries.
Defensively, Holy Cross held Cornerstone to a miniscule 51 total yards and forced three turnovers.
TMI has been outscored 96-13 in losing its last three games. The Panthers return back Markell Henderson, who put them in the lead early last year against the Knights. However, Henderson hasn’t been as explosive and didn’t play last week in a 49-7 district-opening loss to Austin Hyde Park Baptist.
The Panthers only mustered 100 total yards, 76 on the ground. Quarterback G.W. Bodden was the leading rusher with 30 yards.
Series leader (record): unknown. 2013 score: Holy Cross 34, TMI 20. 2014 favorite: Holy Cross.
Laredo Nixon (0-4, 0-1) at #2 Southside (4-0, 1-0), 7:30 p.m.
How long can surprising Southside remain undefeated?
It sure looks like it’s going to be at least another week.
The Cardinals return home to face a 29-5A opponent in Laredo Nixon. The winless Mustangs may not be as bad as their record, based on the two touchdowns they put up in a 44-17 loss to Somerset last Friday. However, it must be noted that they’ve been shut out twice this season.
Southside hasn’t posted a shutout yet, but was close in its 29-5A opener. The Cardinals defeated a comparable Eagle Pass Winn team 34-7. They outgained the Mavericks 411-210 in total yardage.
Southside got 182 rushing yards from Matt Collier and 169 from quarterback Johnny Trevino, who only attempted 11 passes. David Garza has emerged as the Cardinals’ go-to receiver, averaging 16 yards a catch.
Diego Avila leads the defense, which has limited opponents to two touchdowns or fewer in three of its four games.
Nixon scored one of its touchdowns against Somerset (as did the Cardinals versus Winn. Brandon Herrera scored on a 49-yarder). The Mustangs mustered jus t 49 rushing yards on 21 attempts. They’ll need a better performance in that area if they hope to keep pace with Southside.
Mustangs quarterback Danny Ledesma racked up more than half his passing yards on a 26-yard touchdown throw to Oscar Trevino.
Series leader (record): unknown. 2013 score: did not play. 2014 favorite: Southside.
Memorial (0-5, 0-3) at Seguin (1-3, 1-1), 7:30 p.m.
Memorial has shown signs of progress in its last two games and is coming off a bye week, giving it a chance to add more wrinkles to its offense.
Quarterback Alfred Ramos has been a shining light for the Minutemen, throwing for 682 yards with eight touchdowns and just three interceptions. He passed for 73 of Memorial’s 142 total yards in a 38-6 loss to San Marcos, including a 10-yard touchdown pass to Greg Rosemond.
After netting negative rushing yardage against Lockhart, Memorial made a forward step against the Rattlers. Raymon Garcia gained 55 yards on two carries. However, the Minutemen will need to be more effective on first and second downs to challenge Seguin.
San Marcos ran for a whopping 401 yards against the Minutemen, but the Matadors don’t have the same caliber of offense.
After being outscored 96-42 in its first two games, Seguin lost by a point to Lockhart before prevailing 27-24 last week against rival San Marcos. The Matadors pulled it out on an 18-yard pass from Henry Young to Brock Gerlich with 1:12 remaining after matching scores with the Rattlers throughout the game.
The Matadors will be ready to flex some muscle this week.
Young and Koy Kunkel split quarterbacking duties last week, combining to throw for 170 yards. The Matador that Memorial must check, though, is Avion Dora (75 receiving yards, 52 rushing yards). Dora scored on a 25-yard run, 58-yard reception and 100-yard kickoff return.
San Marcos outgained Seguin 465-263 in total yardage behind explosive quarterback David Hamilton. So, there should be opportunities for Memorial to move the chains if the ground game is effective and Ramos is given time to throw.
Series leader (record): unknown. 2013 score: did not play. 2014 favorite: Seguin.
#6 Sam Houston (3-2, 3-0) vs. #7 Brackenridge (3-2, 3-0) at SAISD Stadium, 7:30 p.m.
Cardiac Brack survived its first challenge to its district supremacy, coming from behind to defeat Harlandale 24-21 two weeks ago.
The latest test seems to loom a little larger, and not just because the Hurricanes also are undefeated after three District 28-5A games. It’s a neighborhood rivalry and one which the Eagles dominated 63-0 a year ago.
Sam Houston will see this as the biggest measure of its significant improvement.
Receivers Jawon Anderson and Trenton Jones have helped to open up the Hurricanes’ offense and give it a receiving corps that nearly rivals Brack’s. Quarterback Raymonte Prime showed poise and growth in throwing for 196 yards in a 55-34 decision over Jefferson last Saturday. The junior has only thrown one interception this year.
The margin shrunk a bit in the fourth quarter against Jefferson when Sam Houston went to the bench.
Back Devin Harris has been equally successful running both between the tackles and to the outside. The Eagles’ defense must keep him contained, especially on first down.
Brackenridge only erased a two-touchdown deficit in defeating Lanier 20-13 last Friday, after digging out of 21-point holes the previous two weeks. I feel confident in saying this phenomenon won’t repeat against Sam Houston.
The Hurricanes are just too explosive and to consistent on defense.
The Eagles really will need to get out of the gate faster this time. They’ll need to establish the run behind Trey Mathis and Macco Marble early, so Antonio Lopez can take deep shots at the Hurricanes’ secondary with Lee Terrell and a bevy of receivers.
Big plays are a given from both teams. Winning that war may be important. More likely, though, the biggest factor will be whether Brackenridge’s defense can put together the type of four-quarter effort it seems to be building up to.
Sam Houston has been more consistent in that regard.
Turnovers have been a problem for both teams at times this season. In this game, more than most, those mistakes can easily be converted into quick scores. Ball security will be vital.
Brackenridge has won the last two games by sizable margins. Believe it or not, last year’s 63-0 Brack rout wasn’t the biggest in series history. The then-Cherokees won 82-0 in 1989.
Sam Houston’s last win was 45-13 in 2011. Interestingly, since 2004 the teams have taken turns winning two in a row. So it’s the Hurricanes’ turn, if the pattern holds.
The closest game was a 6-2 Eagles win in 1970. This game figures to be more of that nature than the recent blowouts, but with a lot more points scored.
Series leader (record): Sam Houston (12-8). 2013 score: Brackenridge 63, Sam Houston 0. 2014 favorite: Sam Houston.