El Campo shuts out Sealy, 28-0

Ricebirds pound Tigers for three rushing touchdowns, allow none

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The El Campo Ricebirds were fresh off a 51-17 win over Brazosport and carried that momentum into their win over Sealy at their place Friday night.

The Tiger offense failed to click in the first half, registering 25 plays over five possessions which included two punts (the latter of which was blocked), a turnover on downs, a fumble and the end of the first half.

On the other side, El Campo hit on a 31-yard passing connection from Cullen Braden to Rueben Owens to open the scoring with 6:13 left in the first.

The hosts then added to an 8-0 lead with a 4-yard direct snap to running back Charles Shorter a minute into the second quarter.

Although the Ricebirds only held a 15-point lead going into the halftime intermission, Sealy was not completely out of the game with 24 minutes left to play in regulation.

"The first thing we told them is, 'We're not out of it,'" Tiger head coach Shane Mobley explained. "And really truly, we could have been (out of it). There were two or three defensive stands that were huge, we just couldn't get the ball going."

Sealy offensive coordinator Chris Carruthers agreed there wasn't much offensive production out of the visitors who finished with an average of four yards per carry and just 80 total yards through the air.

"We didn't start fast which is one thing we harped on because that's been one of our bigger downfalls," he said. "We didn't start fast but in all the other games, once we found our tread we kind of got rolling but we never found our treading ... it was just one of those things where we'd pop a good play and then we were behind the sticks.

"We got a little movement but then we had a couple dropped balls a couple of bad passes," he continued. "Against what they do, just like Brazosport did, they try to take away the run with guys in the box and some movement and so we were able to hit a few things but we knew we were going to have to throw the ball and we weren't able to at all."

El Campo added another pair of rushing touchdowns in the third quarter, first by Johntre Davis from a yard out and then Owens from three on another direct snap, although the power-run formation only broke off two runs of more than 20 yards.

"They came out in one formation that we hadn't seen, everything else we were prepared for," Mobley explained from the defensive perspective. "The big things we had to do was make a tackle at first contact, not allow the extra yards, we had to swarm to the ball and we did not want them to get the big runs and I don't think they broke it tonight.

"They earned it, they got their weight down and they did a good job with some misdirection," he continued. "Our guys up front fought their tails off and it just wears on you when they get two or three yards (every time) and we had some great situations tonight where we're in third-down-and-long and they just executed on some big plays."

That formula added up to the Tigers dropping their second district contest in a row for the first time since losing to the same opponents consecutively in 2017 (Brazosport, 54-48 and El Campo, 49-46).

The most recent shutout of Sealy's offense was further back in the archives, however, coming at the hands of the Navasota Rattlers on Oct. 3, 2008, with 35-0 showing on the scoreboard.

Regardless of the outlook for the rest of the season with only three games left on the district slate, Mobley mentioned the effort will not change with two losses hanging on the record this year.

"Tomorrow morning and Sunday, coaches are going to game plan, we're going to do everything the same," the head coach said. "That's the one thing that we've always said is we don't want a class leaving us to come back saying, 'Coach, you could have done this, coach, you could have done it better.'

"We're going to give it everything we got, we're going to prepare," he continued. "It comes down to the execution and so, Monday, we'll line up, we'll do weights and then we'll go and practice and we'll get ready for Bay City."

Those Blackcats that sit next on the schedule for the Tigers suffered a 35-20 to Brazosport while Columbia handled Fulshear, 56-7, in the other District 12-4A game going on Friday night.

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