The East Bernard Brahmas will get a chance to avenge one of their only first-round losses this decade when they play the Lexington Eagles at Gobbler Stadium in Cuero this Friday night.
The Eagles outlasted East Bernard last season, beating them 7-0 in double overtime in the first round.
Both teams meet again this year as a two and three match-up in bi-district.
“(I) don’t know if there is any advantage (in playing them again this season),” East Bernard head coach Wade Bosse said. “It still comes down to who executes better on both sides of the ball.”
East Bernard (8-2, 4-1) missed out on the District 14-3A championship falling to Van Vleck by one second last Friday night. Lexington (6-4, 4-2) closed the regular season with three wins in a row.
A season ago, East Bernard’s defense had a big night against Lexington, coming away with three interceptions. The Eagles now have senior quarterback Sheldon Springer who has taken a step forward this season, just like his quarterback counterpart East Bernard’s senior Dallas Novicke.
Springer has nearly 2,700 yards of offense, with more than 2,000 yards coming through the air. Springer will factor into the running game, as the team’s second leading rusher.
“(He’s) extremely important,” Bosse said. “They go offensively as he goes and I’m sure they are probably saying the same thing about (Dallas).”
Springer spreads the ball around, with three different receivers with at least 30 catches. Junior Daylon Washington has caught six of Springer’s 17 touchdowns.
Lexington this season has scored 34.8 points per game. The Eagles have allowed 31.2 points per game.
East Bernard’s offense is built a little differently this season. Last year they ran the ball nearly 60 times against Lexington, with Novicke only attempting seven passes. Chances are this time around he’ll be throwing more than seven, as Novicke averages just over 14 attempts a game.
The Brahmas’ running game has not passed 2,000 yards yet. While they aren’t picking up yards in big chunks, they still need to move the ball on the ground against Lexington.
“The running game always needs to be strong as well as playing good defense. Those two things are critical in giving you a chance to win,” Bosse said.
Novicke leads the Brahmas on the ground, two yards shy of 450 yards. Three Brahmas this year have at least 40 carries in senior Braydon Lemos and juniors, Joshua Montalvo and Joseph Cooper.
East Bernard has played Lexington in the playoffs three times in the last five years, with the Brahmas in search of their first win over them.