El Campo's offense runs over Somerset
BASTROP - El Campo's offense this season has been a simple one: run, run, run.
When the opposing defense gets tired, it runs some more. When their own linemen get tired, they run some more.
Friday night, at Bastrop's Memorial Stadium, that's all the Ricebirds did as they dominated Somerset 51-17 in the regional round of the Class 3A, Division I playoffs. El Campo will face Ingelside next week.
"I don't know much about them, but they can throw the ball," El Campo coach Bob Gillis said. "I've never played them, but we'll be glad to play them."
The Ricebirds (12-0) gained 436 yards on the ground, including 167 by senior quarterback Bryce Brandl. Seniors Montray Johnson totaled 33 yards and two scores and Jack Davis had 206 and three scores, including the first one of the night, a 64-yard run through the middle of the Bulldogs' defense.
"We had a great week of preparation and our linemen came off the ball hard," Brandl said. "We did everything we needed to do to move the ball down the field."
While the offense for El Campo was nearly unstoppable, the defense didn't give Somerset anything easily. The Ricebirds held Somerset (9-3) to 289 yards of total offense, only 85 of which came in the Bulldogs' scoreless first half.
"We felt like we needed to contain the quarterback. He's really good," Gillis said about his defense's strategy. "They had two big backs we had to stop and our defensive line did a good job of controlling their offensive line. The secondary did a good job covering their receiver."
Somerset quarterback Koy Detmer Jr. was intercepted three times on the night, including two in the first half. He finished the night with nine completions for 153 yards and two touchdowns. He was also sacked three times.
"We have a motor on our defense that never stops," said Hunt, who had a sack of his own. Our defensive line always works to get to the quarterback."
El Campo never let up in the first half, building a 37-0 lead after four rushing touchdowns, including a 54-yard run by Brandl on fourth and one in the first quarter. That score gave El Campo a 14-0 lead.
"Anytime you get a long run for a touchdown it's going to hurt the spirits of the other team," Brandl said.
A high snap over Somerset punter Ozzie Gonzales's head gave El Campo a safety and six plays later Johnson found the end zone.
After El Campo's defense forced the Bulldogs into a punt, Davis broke through the middle of the defense once again on a 71 yard run following back-to-back penalties on the Ricebirds.
"They shut our inside game down and we felt the need to go outside," Gillis said. "If they're doing well then the offensive line is blocking great."
With a 30-0 lead, the Ricebirds' Cole Hunt laid down a big hit on Detmer and B.J. Flagg made a fingertip catch for the interception. Three plays later, Brandl hit Hunt for a 28 yard touchdown reception.
"I was wide open down the middle," Hunt said. "My eyes were huge and I was waving my arm for Bryce to see me and he threw me the ball. Luckily, I carried a couple guys into the end zone with me. It's pretty exciting, especially here in the playoffs."
El Campo built up a 44-0 lead in the second half thanks to Davis' third rushing touchdown of the night before Somerset found the end zone. Detmer hit Justin Guerra on an out-and-go route from 17 yards out.
Detmer struck again on a similar play later in the fourth quarter, this time completing the touchdown pass to Joey Martinez. However, it was too much too late for Detmer and the Bulldogs.