Indians look to take the fight to Punchers
Nov. 24, 2011 at 5:24 a.m.
Updated Nov. 25, 2011 at 5:25 a.m.
It's one thing to practice and play Thanksgiving weekend. But, Ganado would much prefer December football.
Standing in the Indians' way is a maddeningly consistent, mighty mouse of a running back and the rest of the Mason football team.
Ganado (11-0) and Mason (11-0) square off in a Class 1A, Division I regional playoff game Friday at 7:30 p.m. at New Braunfels Canyon.
Led by senior running back David Mora the Punchers are looking to advance to the quarterfinals for a second straight year.
But at this point of the season, recent playoff history - such as losing in the 2010 regional round, a 2008 23-14 victory over Mason, and the chance of advancing toward a third state semifinal in four years-does not matter much to Ganado football coach Jimmy Thompson.
"We have to play good defense," Thompson said. "We have to play with a lot of intensity. We have to play good assignment football. Offensively, we have to play mistake-free football. We have to do the things we have done most of the year, which is not make mistakes."
With Josh Labay, Tyler Gorman and Trey Thedford in the backfield, the Indians are confident they will be able to move the football.
The key will be containing Mora and quarterback Austin Trip from producing big plays. A year ago Mora ran for 3,572 yards and 36 touchdowns. Through 11 games he has run for 1,807 yards, but with 39 rushing touchdowns. Overall, more than a dozen players for the Punchers, who average 54.6 points per game.
Thompson said last week's shutout over Goldthwaite shows that his defense, which has played well all season, is improving at the right time.
The Indians have 17 starters who remember losing in this round a year ago. Yet the reason Ganado has been the No. 1 team in Class 1A for most of the year has been its consistency.
"We are going to go out and play well," Thompson said. "I am sure Mason will too. It's two fine football teams and we'll find out which one is the best on Friday night."