Host Splendora tonight at 7

It was an ideal start for the Robert E. Lee Ganders last week but their first true football test awaits.

The Ganders play host to Splendora 7 p.m. tonight at Stallworth Stadium with a chance to go 2-0.

First off, it’s about stopping the opponent’s rushing attack.

“Last year, we were last in the district in stopping the run and we have to do a lot better than that and this team will be a good test for us,” REL head coach Tim Finn said. “They are committed to running the football and use play action pass off of it. We have to see if we are good at stopping the run against a team that is committed to doing it.”

Last week against Houston Westbury, the defense dominated and the offense was explosive in a 52-0 win.

“We did some really good things, but we have some things to clean up,” Finn said. “I thought our preparation was good and I thought the kids carried out their assignments for the most part. Our offense was good – we didn’t punt until the second half – and on defense we held them to less than 100 yards. Special teams contributed and we scored in all phases.

“We got to play a lot of guys which is always good and important for the morale of the team. That was a nice reward for everybody.”

The Ganders finished with 317 yards of total offense, with a balance of 173 via the running game and 140 through the air.

Keke Davis and Elijah Partida each scored twice with Davis scoring on a kickoff return and Joseph Jones took one to the house on a pick six.

Davis ran for 76 yards while Partida caught three passes for 112 yards.

Jones was injured last year in this same matchup and missed the entire 2018 season.

“It felt like I got my season off to a good start … I got closure, I felt good,” Jones said. “We came out dominating. We have high hopes this season. We forgot about last week because we got these guys this week and they are a better opponent. We can’t underestimate them.”

Finn was pleased with special teams, especially the kicking of Gilbert Nunez who was perfect on all seven point-after attempts and connected on his only field goal.

“Offensively, I like the idea of not punting very often,” Finn said.

That would be a bonus against a solid team like Splendora, which beat REL 34-27 last year and who comes in on the heels of a 34-27 win over Houston Sterling.

“Good all the way around is what we will need Thursday,” Finn said. “We wanted to improve on everything from last year and this is one of those games we didn’t get last year. This would be a big step toward some of that improvement.”

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