Next up: Building a new contender
When a 23-game win streak and title defense comes to an unceremonious end in what is the final game of the season, it can carry a hangover to last months.
It appears that is what Baytown Christian Academy football coach will be dealing with until the 2020 football season kicks off after his unbeaten Bulldogs fell 72-22 to Cedar Hill Summit Christian in the TAPPS Division III six-man playoffs last weekend in Bryan.
The loss came by way of a 50-consecutive point outburst by Summit Christian after the teams battled to a 22-all tie late in the first half before the Bulldogs (9-1) saw their 2018 title defense come crashing down.
“Ideally we wanted to go in and pound the ball and we didn’t do what we wanted,” Anderson said. “We were controlling the game, but our defense couldn’t make a stop. Our whole plan was to tire them out and beat them offensively and defensively make a few stops and grind the clock out. When we fell behind we had to change our game plan. Jordan Lewis messed his ankle up early in the game and he’s an all-district and probably all-state defensive end. They outplayed us and we just lost.
“Hats off to them. They beat us and it’s a feather in their hat. They are a great team. Losing the way we did is definitely leaving a bitter taste in our mouth. It’s not like we barely lost the game: We got crushed and it was really humiliating.”
Despite the disappointment, Anderson, who wrapped his fifth season as head coach and the Bulldogs were able to roll through their district and beat some heavy hitters this season even after losing the majority of their firepower from last year’s champions. Notable wins were against Haslet Community Christian who won its second straight TCAF title last weekend, Conroe Covenant Christian who is currently in the D2 semifinals and Emery Weiner that is battling this weekend in the D1 semifinals.
“We had a good group coming back,” Anderson said. “It was the first year where you could see the fruits of our labor with the guys we’ve had since sixth grade. The competition we faced early in the season molded us and showed us what we had. To see what we did all year, to lose the way we did, was a slap in the face.”
One thing that didn’t help the Bulldogs all year were multiple game cancellations and bye weeks that did not allow them to play consistently after the first month of the season.
Maybe, the new crop of leaders were also overwhelmed on the biggest stage after watching last year’s Bulldog players get the pivotal playing time during the playoff run.
“It’s a possibility for a few kids the moment may have been too big,” Anderson said. “You learn from it and it prepares them for next year. They know what it’s like to lose.”
Three burning questions with Anderson:
1. How will you replace a depleted defense? “Defensively is where we are going to lose the most. We return Charles Flynt. This year he woke up and started hitting hard. We had kids that came in and played and now they need to step up.”
2. How good will your offense be going forward? “We return everyone but my left tackle and he was out quite a bit. We got our right tackle and center coming back. We do lose our bruiser back, Jelan Dowdye, but we have our quarterback Sebastian Wilson coming back and my son, Colton at fullback and he had a heck of a year with over 1,400 yards and 20 touchdowns.”
3. How do your reinforcements look? “We lose six seniors … we have a pretty big eighth-grade class of six coming up and one could possibly play at the varsity level. They’ve been in the system so they know what’s going on.”