It is getting harder and harder to write these.
I don’t know what kind of Sherman game I’m going to get from week to week.
Since I’ve joined the broadcast team, some things have been constant. Sherman is going to score points; and Sherman’s opponent is going to score points as well. I’m going to get carpel tunnel syndrome trying to keep up with all those points while doing statistics.
This week: Sulphur Springs 21 Sherman 14.
My wrists may be thanking the change of pace, but I know the rest of me and all the Bearcat fans would love to see the high-scoring games again. Not so fast though; I wouldn’t exactly call myself a football purist, but I do enjoy a good defensive effort, too.
That was definitely what the Bearcats put on the field last Friday by holding a pretty solid Sulphur Springs squad to 21 points on their home field.
Sulphur Springs posted 389 yards of total offense, but averaged less than a yard more per play than Sherman did. The Bearcat defense held SSHS to 4-of-13 on third down, a statistic that will lead to a win 70-to-80 percent of the time.
What counteracts a stat like that, however, is turnover margin. That’s where Sherman got hit the hardest. The Bearcats gave up three interceptions, with one coming deep in their own territory. SSHS scored on two of the three interceptions and missed a field goal on the other.
The Sherman defense did force two turnovers, with Treylon Taylor taking one of those 64 yards for a touchdown.
Moving on, Braylon Mitchell must change clothes in a phone booth because there aren’t too many people out there that can turn in the defensive effort he did (13 tackles, 1 sack, 3.5 TFL, 1 INT) and then step back into the running back role late in the game to post a team-high 81 yards on two carries for a TD; with a long run of 68 yards. That’s why he earned player of the week honors from the Mad Rock (KMAD-FM) Crew.
I’d like to close with something I very seldom do: address the officiating.
My normal response to the complaint of bad officiating is that, while it might have been bad, generally a team plays badly enough that a bad call can have an effect on the outcome. In the end, it’s not really the bad call that should be blamed as much as the team that put themselves in that position.
I’m throwing that out the window for what I saw on Friday.
When the yellow flags finally stopped flying, Sherman had been hit with 16 penalties for 145 yards including eight that granted SSHS first downs. I’m not saying Sherman was guilt free - and in the officials defense - they were a little flag-happy overall also hitting Sulphur Springs for 12 penalties for 115 yards.
But the difference is timing.
As I mentioned, SSHS picked up eight first downs by penalty. The Bearcats in contrast were awarded exactly one first down via penalty.That means odds are at least one of Sulphur Springs’ scoring drives were kept alive due to a penalty.
However, the time to dwell on what could have, or should have been, is over. The game is in the books whether Sherman feels it came out the right way or not. Come this Friday night, there will be another game to play that is just as important as Sulphur Springs. In fact, following SHS’s first district loss since the final regular season game of 2009, they are all important if the Bearcats want to make another trip to the postseason.