BRENHAM — A shutout in the playoffs is not an easy accomplishment.
But the Hallettsville defense was at its best Friday night at Cub Stadium.
“You feel it in the game,” said defensive lineman Lance Bludau. “You’ve got your energy going. When you’re playing good as a team like we did tonight, you just feel it.”
The Brahamas continuously stonewalled the Diboll offense and came away with a 27-0 Class 3A, Division I area playoff win.
Hallettsville improved to 10-2 and moved into the regional round against Lorena, which advanced by forfeit over Crockett.
The Brahmas and Lorena will play Friday in Wimberley at a time to be announced.
Diboll (6-5) rushed for 155 of its 201 total yards, but reached Hallettsville territory only twice and never penetrated into the red zone.
“I thought the defense stepped up against a really good, strong running ball club,” said Hallettsville coach Tommy Psencik. “We did struggle a little bit the first half until we got adjusted. The kids did a good job of getting down low and doing what they’re supposed to be doing.”
Bludau recovered a fumble after the Lumberjacks reached the Hallettsville 23-yard line in the first half and added a sack of quarterback Rey Arrellano.
“We just worked well as a team,” Bludau said. “Our D-line played great, our backers played great and our secondary did a great job of locking down their receivers.”
Hallettsville had to make some adjustments as the Lumberjacks often ran out of a wishbone formation they hadn’t shown.
“They ran hard,” Bludau said. “It was good game for us. It’s going to help in the long run.”
Hallettsville’s offense was led by Jonathon Brooks, who rushed 25 times for 191 yards and three touchdowns.
“They had a big front and their linebackers were pretty good,” Brooks said. “They ran a 3-5, and it’s hard to get something moving when their D-line is really big.”
Brooks had touchdown runs of 38, 9 and 2 yards, and the Brahmas also scored on a 42-yard pass from Trace Patek to Deven Wood.
“Field position was huge and ball control,” Psencik said. “We were able to not fumble and things like that, and those things always help. I thought specialty overall did a good job.”
Brooks punted three times for a 47-yard average and pinned Diboll at its 1-, 14- and 2-yard lines.
“We work on it every week,” Brooks said. “I get as may reps in between periods in practice. I punt as much as I can.”
The Brahmas will get more reps as they return to practice to prepare for Lorena.
“This was most definitely good for us,” Brooks said. “It’s a learning point for us. We needed that game. It was a tough game for us to overcome adversity.”