Almost a year ago, the Gonzales and Sam Houston football teams were involved in a highly-billed showdown.
Both teams were undefeated going into that contest, which was won by the Apaches, 27-0. That was then, this is now.
Gonzales (3-1) faces a winless Hurricanes team who lost their first five games of the season at 7 p.m. Thursday at the San Antonio ISD Spring Sports Complex on the campus of Burbank High School. Sam Houston may be 0-5, but Apaches’ coach Ricky Lock isn’t letting his guard down on Thursday.
“(Sam Houston) is athletic and they can run,” he said. They’re better than their record indicates. They played well against Navarro, but they played in a monsoon.”
The Hurricanes lost the bulk of their starting lineup from a year ago, which included Baylor signee Javonte McGee. Sam Houston welcomed bak 10 lettermen from last year’s 8-3 team.
The Hurricanes base out of the pistol on offense, but will go under center on occasion. While Sam Houston spreads the ball out more than they did a year ago, it still likes to run the football.
“They’re still a perimeter-running team,” Lock said. “We have to try to force them to run inside and not let them break a big play on the outside.”
Tamaria Stringfellow is the Hurricanes’ leading rusher with 286 yards and four touchdowns on 45 carries. He also has passed for 116 yards and a touchdown.
The starting quarterback for Sam Houston is Jvoni Babie-Jones, who has thrown for 320 yards on the season. The top receiver for the Hurricanes is Terrance Winkfield, who has 15 receptions for 355 yards and a score.
Defensively, Sam Houston operates out of a 4-3 or a 50. The Hurricanes like to give a cover-3 look as well.
The defensive stalwarts for Sam Houston are Winkfield at safety and Joseph Butler at defensive end. Butler also is a tight end/fullback oin offense.
With the game taking place on Thursday, the Apaches have had to make adjustments for their practice schedule this week as they lost a day of practice.
“We had to move everything back a day,” Lock said. “Monday will be like a Tuesday, (today) will be like a Wednesday and Wednesday will be like a Thursday.”
Gonzales and Sam Houston were rivals in District 28-3A the last two seasons before realignment split them apart. The Apaches, Cuero and Yoakum were thrown into 26-3A with Giddings, La Grange and Smithville, while the Hurricanes, La Vernia, Pleasanton and Poteet stayed in 28-3A and welcomed the addition of Somerset.