Improving defense could play big role for Sterling
The reality is the Sterling High School Rangers football team saw enough positives last week to believe improvement is in the forecast.
Yes, RSS lost 28-13 to Clear Creek, but it was a game that wasn’t decided until the last four minutes of the game, one in which Sterling led after three quarters at Stallworth Stadium.
The plan is to build off of that as it travels to Aldine Nimitz 7 p.m. Friday with a chance for a second win in a row against its hosts. Sterling won last year’s contest, 44-34.
“Defensively they are long, lanky, fast and they are physical,” RSS head coach Robert Toomer said. “It’s going to be a challenge. That’s a pretty good team they played last week. They play well together.”
Nimitz opened the season with a 21-17 win over Channelview.
The Cougars have a number of their skill position guys back and Toomer said the Nimitz offensive line is huge. They also try to make their opponents find how to deal with mismatches.
“They are doing a lot of stuff and everything goes through their running game,” Toomer said. “But, it’s not what the other team does, it’s what we do. We have to execute our game plan and I think it will be a pretty good matchup.”
The Sterling offense was held to 227 yards total offense and Toomer said improved execution will be key.
“One point of time we had the momentum in the game against Clear Creek and a turnover cost us that opportunity,” Toomer said. “This week we have to execute and clean up on offense: We had some miscues and dropped balls we shouldn’t have had. Our focus needs to be better and if it is, I think we will be much better.”
The Sterling defense was solid against Clear Creek and ran out of steam toward the end of the contest with many younger players not being ready for the grind of a varsity contest, according to Toomer.
“You can’t have your defense on the field that long when you are playing against an offense that can move the ball that well,” Toomer said. “The defense has to have a different mindset. If you are in shape, you are able to endure more plays. That was the first game: No one is going to be in tip-top shape, but you have to get in game condition.”
Middle linebacker Jayden Khoury felt the defense got off to a solid start as the season gets more challenging.
“It was definitely a good performance and we improved upon our scrimmage against Barbers Hill,” Khoury said. “We definitely came out to play … we just got gassed at the end. We are looking to improve and do better against Nimitz.
“A lot of guys are hungry to get in there and make things happen.”