Blake Rogers wants back to back district championships.
Rogers, an Industrial senior lineman, was part of the team that won district last season and is determined to have that feeling again.
“It was a great feeling last year,” Rogers said. “We were rough at the beginning of the year, but we’ve come together, and that’s the most important thing for me. I want to get another district championship.”
Rogers and Industrial (7-1, 4-0) took a step toward that goal Friday at Shark Stadium, beating Palacios (4-2, 2-1) 45-20 to remain tied for first place in District 15-3A, Division I.
“We knew coming into this that it was two teams undefeated in district, and our kids, they like being district champs, and they want to stay the district champs,” Industrial head coach Jamie Dixon said. “Our mindset every week is just to finish that week 1-0. We did that this week and we have to keep getting better and preparing.”
The Cobras capitalized on short fields given to them by Palacios, jumping out to a 24-0 lead after one quarter.
Rider Uloa opened the scoring on a 25-yard field goal before Clay Martin scored twice and Matthew Davis had a 76-yard run to close out the opening quarter.
“The defense played lights out tonight and it was huge,” Dixon said. “We had all the momentum, and it was defense-led. The reason we were able to jump out to that lead was because they gave us those short fields.”
Palacios scored once in the second quarter on a 67-yard pass from Anthony White to Micah Sanchez, but Industrial answered on another Davis run.
Palacios found the end zone twice more in the second half, but it wasn’t enough for the Sharks to mount a comeback.
“We played our butts off, and we didn’t quit,” said Palacios senior running back Gary Haynes. “It didn’t go how we wanted it to, but we were still able to put points up on the board and find some momentum for next week.”
Next week brings another important game for the Sharks, as they will be up against Edna, which is 4-0 in district and coming off a 40-20 win over Mathis.
“We got to heal up and get everybody healthy. That’s the most important thing for next week,” Haynes said. “And we have to get our stuff together and be better in all three phases. That’s a game we need to win.”
Palacios still has a chance to secure a top two spot in district in the final three games of the season, and that is the only focus for head coach Chad Graves.
“Right now we’re shooting for that second spot and that starts with Edna next week,” Graves said. “We have to control us. We didn’t do that tonight, but we’re still a top tier team in our district, and we have to go out and prove that.”
Industrial will have an off week before it also faces Edna, and the Cobras are confident.
“We’re gonna use that time off to heal up and work on a few things, and then Edna is the big one,” Dixon said. “We beat them last year and we want to make sure we do that again.”
Rogers isn’t just confident about the teams chances in district, but their chances in the playoffs as well.
“This is a really good football team,” he said. “We’re going to go deep and make a run.”