Goose Creek Memorial and Taaron Roberts, 13, took advantage of the bye week and are refreshed and ready to roll when they host Houston Austin 7 p.m. tonight at Stallworth Stadium.

Following two-game skid, Patriots regroup

After a blistering start in week one, the Goose Creek Memorial football team limped into the bye week on the heels of a narrow loss to South Houston followed by a 62-21 home loss to Clear Falls.

Yet, all that means little other than a 1-2 record and a lot of video to review as the Patriots open up District 9-5A I play at 7 tonight as visiting Houston Austin comes to Stallworth Stadium.

GCM will play its fourth consecutive home game to open the season.

Austin rolls into town following a 41-6 loss to Sterling two weeks ago.

“They are athletic with a good quarterback and good looking skill kids,” GCM head coach Shannon Carter said. “We have to keep them in check and keep them in front of us.

“Sterling had a lot of passing yards, some explosive plays and turned them over a couple of times. They’ve had a bye week like we’ve had, so we expect the best of Austin on Friday.”

Carter thinks the teams match up athletically and the Patriots have the edge in the trenches.

Junior linebacker and defensive leader Bryce Johnston returns after a few weeks off due to a back injury. His presence should help the GCM defensive efforts.

“I could tell that no one was happy and the last loss didn’t sit well with us,” Johnston said. “It was a wake up call,” Johnston said. “We had a lot of hype going into the season and no one was expecting that. The defense wasn’t ready and without me out there making the calls, the guys we had weren’t. 

“Some people, the emotions were getting the best of them which should not happen. Everyone knows what these games mean now and we are locked in an refocused. That Clear Falls game, we saw what can happen if we are not ready.”

Carter notes that the ugly positive for his team so far is the losses are attributed to their own mistakes, many of which were unforced.

The bye has helped them refocus.

“We looked at what we are good at and bad at and cut the fat off the bacon,” Carter said. “We shuffled some pieces around. We want to illuminate our kids abilities.

“They know that they’ve all been GCM enforced mistakes.”

The team’s youth is still relevant, but no longer an excuse.

“That happened three games ago for me,” Carter said. “We’ve had five varsity level experiences, so we need to see the return on our investment.”

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