The Brazosport Exporters staked claim to their land by forcing the visitors to punt on their first possession and turned that into points within four minutes of the opening kickoff.
That would end up being the only touchdown the Exporter offense put on the board as the “dogs” on defense were able to wear down a primarily ground attack with a 6-1 220-pound tailback who is only a junior.
Daraell Preston accounted for 11 of the 41 total rushing plays while also taking care of punting duties when called upon, all the while being forced to look down in order to make eye contact with most officials.
Head Coach Shane Mobley knew they were going to keep the ball on the ground but had to let his defense know to not get fooled on the big shots.
“The biggest thing was not that we did not want to give up big plays to them,” Coach Mobley mentioned. “If they’re running the ball then we know we’re going to give up some yardage and we’re going to give up some first downs like that but it’s hard for a young man to be able to handle that for a long time.”
He was indeed correct but it did help that the Tigers had speed coming off both sides of the defensive line crashing down and making plays all over the field to an extent that even bigger offensive lines just can’t keep up.
“We’re a bunch of dogs out there fighting doing as much as we possibly can because we don’t go toe-toe with most lines and they had some big guys [up front],” Mobley stated. “We’re going to use our speed and quickness and over time it wears you down.”
Not only that, but with the rushing game excelling for the other sideline, it was all but over with each Ivan Bolden touchdown putting the game further out of reach.
Bolden mentioned that he told his offensive coordinator, Chris Carruthers, that his sights were set on overtaking his 205-yard personal best and on just his second touch of the game, he broke off a 63-yard run to pay dirt.
It was also just the first play from scrimmage in the second quarter and Bolden said that before the snap, he and one of the linebackers had a pre-snap interaction.
Before the snap if they thought he was going to get the ball, they’d point right at #5 and say “Zebra.” On this play, #5 in blue, Nyqon Watkins, alerted his defense that he felt as though it was going to be a run play.
“When he called zebra we kinda locked eyes and I knew he was gonna come,” Bolden said. “When he was kind of right in front of me I hurried up and snatched the ball, did a little spin move and then I was gone.”
Two carries later, he broke off another long run in which he was barely touched after the line of scrimmage to put Sealy in front 14-7 after Bolden himself converted the two-point attempt.
By halftime he was already nearing single digits to catch his previous record and after the break, one run that helped get over that hump was yet another trip over the goal line, this time from a more reasonable 13 yards out.
His last touchdown exemplified what he has been to this offense, carrying the ball twice in a row prior to the score for 12 and 5 yards. A 38-yard scamper on a third consecutive snap all but pushed the Exporters into retreat mode.
A little salt in the wounds would be a Zaskoda connection to AJ McGee from 24 yards out as well as a safety where the Brazosport punter threw the ball out of bounds from the end zone for intentional grounding to round out the score to 40-14.
By the end of the night Bolden had accounted for 284 yards and all four rushing touchdowns for the black and gold.
The Tigers move to 6-0 overall and 2-0 so far in the district and will get a quick brake with a bye week thanks in part to Fair Week.
Coach Mobley mentioned he was going to let “the kids be kids,” and have them enjoy the weekend off before getting back to work on Monday morning.