The Wharton Tigers open up the season this Friday, Aug. 30 on the road with the Sealy Tigers, a match up that pits two district champions against themselves. Wharton last year won the Class 4A Division II District 11 championship and Sealy won the Class 4A Division 1 District 13 championship.
Sealy will offer Wharton a tough first test to open up the non-district portion of its schedule.
"They're always tough," Wharton Head Coach Chad Butler said. "It's typically a competitive and good game. We'll see what happens."
Last season, Sealy poured on the offense as it blew past Wharton by 40 points. The offense which burned Wharton will look different since the quarterback and lead running back have both graduated.
Heading into the game, Wharton is coming off a Friday, Aug. 23 road scrimmage against Brazosport which gave the Tigers a lot of film to learn from. Wharton struggled on both sides off the ball. Wharton's first-team defense gave up big plays early during the defensive period. The defense did pick up a few big stops, force a fumble and had a couple of tackles for losses as well, but the pass hurt Wharton as Brazosport scored two touchdowns.
In the live-action running clock periods, Brazosport broke off a couple of big runs but they only gave up one score.
"(Brazosport) had some big physical backs that ran hard," Butler said. "So, this was a great match up for us."
In the scrimmage, the Wharton offense had a hard time getting going.
Through the air and on the ground, Wharton was not able to sustain any drives. During live-action WHS senior quarterback Donovan Krushall connected with junior Eric Johnson for a 30-yard gain. Just outside of the red-zone Krushall and the Tigers opted to work on the home run and went to the end zone on four consecutive tries, all broken up by Brazosport defenders.
"I'm not concerned about our ability or execution," Butler said. "We just got to get to where when we get tired we got to find another gear. It's about getting in shape. You can't replicate game shape. You got to play. We tried to play them a whole bunch (against Brazosport) and last week."
Wharton with another week of practice under its belt should be ready to take on Sealy.
Game time is 7 p.m.