These are not last years Shoemaker Grey Wolves and Temple Wildcats.
Those teams combined for just one win in 2010 Temples 11-6 win over Shoemaker. But the teams that meet at 7 tonight at Leo Buckley Stadium are led by two new head coaches who are driving their respective teams in a new direction.
I think there are some real similarities in our two football teams. You cant get caught up in records and all of those kinds of things, first-year Temple head coach Mike Spradlin said. I dont get all into streaks we havent talked about that a bit what we know is were facing a good football team and thats the one were preparing for.
Temple (3-4, 2-2 12-5A) is currently locked in a four-way tie for third place in the District 12-5A standings after back-to-back wins over two of the teams it is tied with, including last weeks 23-8 win over Belton, the Wildcats first over the Tigers since 2008.
Honestly, we put that to bed real quick, Spradlin said. Were in that mode right now where everything for us is to stay focused on what were doing. You can enjoy those kind of wins when the seasons over.
It was a big win for us, but more than anything, it was a big win that kept us in the hunt to possibly be a playoff team.
The Grey Wolves (0-7, 0-4) lost their 29th straight game last week, but even more disappointing than their 37-0 loss at district co-leader A&M Consolidated was that they couldve entered that game on a two-game district win streak. Before the stumble against the Tigers, Shoemaker lost to both Belton and Bryan by a total of four points.
Basically what happened was we were playing some pretty good football two weeks prior to A&M Consolidated and I felt like we just kind of shot ourselves in the foot once again ... and we just couldnt bounce back from it, Shoemaker first-year head coach Channon Hall said.
For anyone saying Its the same ol Shoemaker, probably doesnt know a whole lot about football, I can tell you that because were going in the right direction, Hall added. We dont spend a lot of time on previous games, whether it be the losses to Bryan and Belton or Consol, we just move on and make sure were in grind mode and that we continue to get better is what were focussed on.
With an offense based around junior running back Johnny Jefferson (475 yards, five touchdowns rushing through six games) and the districts No. 4 defense, the Grey Wolves, not their record or their losing streak, have Temples attention.
Hes a very good football player and Ill say it again, Coach Halls done a great job of being creative and figuring out ways to get him the football, Spradlin said of Jefferson. I can tell you this, weve got a ton of respect for what theyre doing and you can rest assured that Temple High School, were not overlooking anyone and were certainly not overlooking these guys.
With junior running back Gaylon Sanders (953 yards, 14 touchdowns rushing) and junior quarterback Zach Allen (1,425 yards, five touchdowns, zero interceptions passing), the Wildcats are plenty loaded in their backfield as well. But offense hasnt been Temples problem this year the Wildcats have the districts No. 1 offense (475.5 yards per game) its been the defense that has struggled. Until last week, that is.
The Wildcats were giving up a district-worst 503 yards and more than 42 points per game before holding Belton to 346 yards and a single touchdown in the rivalry game.
I think its the same team. I think whats happening with those guys is theyre starting to feel the groove, theyre getting the momentum right now, Hall said of the Wildcats. The main thing is were at home and we play good at home and you need to protect home as best you can. You need to come and be ready for a fight at home and thats what we expect to do.Contact Kevin Posival at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7562.