Win would tighten grip on top spot
A fast, strong and athletic Barbers Hill defense aims to continue a dominant run of play at 7:30 tonight when it visits Vidor for a District 12-5A II clash.
The Eagles, who have recorded two shutouts and allowed 4.67 points-per-outing during their 3-0 district start, will play Vidor (3-2, 2-1) that does things differently.
“They are a good football team and different than the conventional opponent,” Barbers Hill defensive coordinator Danny Cowgill said. “That poses a different challenge and makes the preparation that much more important. They are a ground-based offense but have hit a lot of big plays in the air.”
Vidor beat Santa Fe 10-0 last week and return home to Pirate Stadium hoping to turn around a 49-34 loss to the Eagles last year.
Cowgill says Vidor runs the Texas Slot T with a four-back offense.
The Eagles’ defensive improvement has come at the right time for this challenge.
“For us, we practice everything and we take pride in preparation and out preparing people,” Cowgill said. “Our mantra is to win the game Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and then Friday do what we do.”
The one thing that has helped the Eagles defense take the next step from head coach Tom Westerberg’s first three teams, is the superior athleticism among the players.
“We are definitely faster and that allows us to do some things and take some chances that we haven’t been able to in the past,” Cowgill said. “If we make a mistake, speed can make up for it. We have some kids who are blessed with some skill sets that can take advantage of some situations.”
One of those is junior defensive end Josh King-Bradley. He is looking forward to this matchup.
“We get to test how tough of a football player we are,” King-Bradley said. “Get on the line and match up with a guy and see who is more of a man. They are testing your manhood. They are very tough.
“We have a lot of speed on the interior. We are the most important part of a defense. When you give the defense that much pressure, it makes the job for the secondary that much easier.”
The area holding back even better performances is the defense’s football mistakes, Cowgill said.
“When we give up a big play this year it’s not a physical issue, but a mental error,” Cowgill said. “A lot of kids are taking pride in preparing for what we do and getting it right.”