'Ultimate team player' helps on both sides of ball (w/video, gallery)
Dec. 13, 2013 at 6:13 a.m.
HOUSTON - Refugio coach Jason Herring said that if he had a team full of J.B. Browns every year, the Bobcats would go to Arlington every year.
"J.B. is one of the best football players and best kids I've ever coached in 20 years," Herring said about the senior running back. "Sometimes, he gets a lot of touches; sometimes, he doesn't, and he never complains."
Brown pulled off several major plays on offense and defense for Refugio on Thursday night at Reliant Stadium, where the Bobcats defeated the Waskom Wildcats 69-33 for the Class 2A, Division II semifinal victory.
On offense, Brown had five carries for 143 yards and had two touchdown receptions for a combined 102 yards. On defense, he recovered a Waskom fumble, which led to a Bobcats' touchdown, and had several integral tackles, pushing the Wildcats backward.
After the clock hit zero, Brown was all smiles on the sidelines.
"I'm as happy as can be," Brown said, adding that walking into Reliant to play caused him to pause and stare in awe. "I was so amazed when we got here."
The Bobcats knew that Waskom was going to be fast, but Brown admits that he didn't realize just how fast.
"When we actually got on the field, they were beyond fast," he said. "I've never seen a kid run that fast in my life. No. 1 (Waskom quarterback Kevin Johnson) is an animal. But once we got him stuck in the box and he couldn't go outside, we knew we had it."
This will be Brown's second time to go to Arlington's AT&T Center in three years for the state championship game. Next week's game against the winner of the Cisco-Leonard semifinal will be the final time he walks on the field as a high school football player.
"I'm going to cry like a baby," Brown admitted. "Win or lose, I'm going to cry."
Herring said that no one would ever know that Brown is as talented as he is because of his unyielding humility.
"He's a real humble person; you'd never know he's a stud," Herring said. "You'd never know it because he's so mild-mannered, so meek and so polite. He goes to the nursing home with me to visit the elderly. He's a great kid."
The multitalented running back can also add National Honor Society to his list of accomplishments. But even with all those factors, Brown is ready to work on and fix mistakes from Thursday's game.
"I have to work on my stop routes," Brown said. "I didn't do as well as I wanted to today, but I'll get control of it."
Referred to as the "ultimate team player" by his coach, Brown said that he and his team of brothers rely on each other every play of the game.
"We have to block for our one person because we know they're going to block for us," Brown said. "We're a big ole' family."
That family has a chance to bring another state championship trophy back to Refugio, which Brown said is "all football, all the time."
"(Brown) is an awesome young man, awesome football player and awesome athlete," Herring said. "He just works his tail end off."