On Wednesday morning at the Pasture of Pain, Bellville’s Richard Reese was presented with the Built Ford Tough Texas High School Football Player of the Week award by Ryan Ford for his record-breaking performance in the Brahmas’ week-two win over Cameron-Yoe.
In the 54-41 road victory over the Yeomen, Reese became the single-game rushing and scoring leader in Bellville football history, breaking a record that had stood for over eight decades. His 345 rushing yards on 27 carries bested Willie Zapalac’s 35-carry, 323-yard performance from 1938, according to BellvilleSports.com.
Reese’s 42 points scored (six touchdown rushes and a 40-yard touchdown reception) also topped a record set by Mac Briscoe in 2016. With a 39-yard kickoff return, he finished the night with 424 all-purpose yards in the win.
Going into the second game of the season, Reese said he wasn’t planning on shattering records but just going out and playing well.
“I just went out there and played my hardest and did what I had to do,” Reese said Wednesday morning. “It means a lot but I couldn’t do it without my team and God. Without my linemen blocking and the backs in the backfield with me that block too, (I couldn’t have done it).”
Brahma head football coach Grady Rowe said in a statement that he’s been able to watch the junior running back develop from early on and sees a bright future ahead.
“The best way I can describe Richard is that he runs angry, but he can outrun you if he needs to. One of his best runs was a 3-yard carry for a first down when they had him in the backfield and he got away,” Rowe said when Reese was named Class 4A’s week-two player of the week. “Richard was born in Bellville and was in my Little Brahma program when he was younger, so he knows about the football in tradition in Bellville. It’s been neat to see him grow up and play for us.”
The Brahmas find themselves in the middle of a second consecutive open week after last week’s contest with Columbia was canceled due to weather but Reese said the team is still putting in the work ahead of the district-opening contest at home against Wharton on Oct. 9.
“I feel good but I know we’ve still got more work to do, we’ve got to improve on some things,” he said of the team’s performance through non-district play. “We’re off but we’re still practicing hard and conditioning hard and I feel like we’ll be ready for district.”
Reese also spoke about this year’s team playing without a key member of the senior class in Zach Hood who lost his life in a car accident just before the season began.
“He really put an impact on our lives, anytime we would see him he would make everyone on the team smile and that’s why we work so hard for him and play for him every night,” Reese said.
That effort has led Bellville to a No. 5 ranking in “Dave Campbell’s” state poll and the No. 1 spot in the Houston Chronicle Media Poll with a 4-0 record.
The Built Ford Tough Texas High School Football Player of the Week program honors one player in each classification every week based on nominations that consider individual performances on the field, contributions to the team’s success through leadership and off-field performances including academic success and community citizenship. At the end of the season, all of the weekly winners are eligible to win the Player of the Year award and be honored at the state championship games.
“Since 2006, the program has recognized these outstanding athletes,” it says in the weekly release. “Now in its fifteenth year, the program has celebrated many future college and professional standouts during their Texas high school careers.”