It all came together, almost right away.
The Barbers Hill football team’s offense has done its fair share of damage since week one even when the team was still trying to put all the pieces together.
With a combined effort in all phases of the game, the Eagles (11-1) have rattled off 11-straight wins, which including seven to clinch an unbeaten District 12-5A II title heading into noon Friday’s Region 3 semifinal contest against Manvel (12-0) at NRG Stadium.
Through 12 games, the Eagles have scored 421 points for an average of 34-plus points per outing including six outings where they scored 40 or more points.
“We have settled in well to do what we need to do to win games,” Barbers Hill head coach Tom Westerberg said. “Whether its run the ball, we are also able to have some big plays too,
Barbers Hill ran for 300-plus yards last week in its area round, 47-24 win over Whitehouse.
A lot of the offense’s success has come thanks to quarterback Christian Kaopua who transferred back to the school district after leaving following his junior high days had ended.
“Obviously once we settled in on Christian running it, he’s really done a great job and played good in the big games throughout the year,” Westerberg said. “From a quarterback standpoint, the offense runs through him. If he’s playing well, then we are playing well.”
It didn’t hurt that Kaopua, who was named the district’s most valuable player, had a strong kinship with many of his current teammates even after leaving Mont Belvieu four years earlier.
“He’s stayed friends with those kids he grew up with and played pee wee football with and in junior high,” Westerberg said. “I think that helped the transition.”
The running game has been led by Garrett Hagler and Cohn Thabn with the former nursing an injury that will put his status for Friday up in the air. Still, the Eagles can count on a lot bodies to tote the rock.
“Cohn will step in and play well and we have rotated quite a few that are pretty good and trying to keep them healthy,” Westerberg said. “We will play who is healthy and who is next.”
The receiving corps has been solid too as junior Cameron Cauley led the way with Canden Grogan and Andrew Galvan. Cauley was one of the top receivers in the district, finishing second in catches.
“They worked together over the summer and fall and developed a good chemistry,” Westerberg said. “It’s the extra work that they’ve put in on their own.”
It doesn’t hurt that they had a relationship with Kaopua to make the transition this year work so seamlessly.
“We just go out there and practice trying to get on the same page and hold each other accountable,” Grogan said. “We want to be perfect so when it comes game time, it’s easy. We know this is what it takes to get better.
“We were all happy when Christian came back, because we all missed him – I was close friends with him. He’s just a cool friend and I hang out with him all the time. When I had trouble catching the ball in the beginning of the season, he hung around with me after practices to throw the ball with me and help me get more comfortable.”
The offensive line has helped keep the team churning offensively.
“They’ve all played well,” Westerberg said. “When you are able to throw and run the ball, those guys do a great job up front.”
Center Brennan Holder, guards Eli Burch and Rees Allison, tackles Casey Collier, Riley Suggs and Isaac Herndon have made the most of their opportunities.
“To single one out, you can’t,” Westerberg said.