Brownwood may have bested Glen Rose football in last year’s postseason (28-14), but that won’t help the Lions stop Big Red this week.
No. 13 Glen Rose (9-1, 3-1) will tangle with the Brownwood Lions (6-4) on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Tarleton State University in Stephenville.
“We’ll talk about last year’s game with Brownwood a little bit because they have four offensive linemen back and a couple of receivers, but their offense and several key players are different so we won’t dwell on it long,” said defensive coordinator Todd Swearengin.
Looking to its season, Brownwood lost to Fort Worth All Saints (31-7), lost to No. 15 Graham (28-7), beat Snyder (49-14), lost to No. 2 Abilene Wylie (38-14), beat Sweetwater (28-13), beat Burnet (25-13), beat Liberty Hill (32-18), beat Lampasas (43-6), lost to No. 12 Gatesville (35-14) and beat Llano (41-13).
“Liberty Hill was ranked No. 8 in in the state three weeks ago, and they just lost some here recently,” Swearengin said. “I think Brownwood’s had a tough schedule with traditional playoff powerhouses like Abilene Wylie and Graham.”
Brownwood is averaging 26 points per game and allowing 20.9 points per contest. On the season, the Lions have 2,908 yards of total offense and have allowed 2,847 yards.
Quarterback Chris Keesee has completed 147 of 204 passes for 1,538 yards with 15 touchdowns and five interceptions. Top rushers include Braxton Kilgo (136-624, 9 TD) and Eddie Duque (32-300, 3 TD). Prime receivers are Cooper Howey (47-530, 10 TD) and Jared Crouch (23-244, 1 TD).
“We think their offense is most similar to China Spring, in regard to their running game and how they throw the ball,” Swearengin said. “Keesee is a coach’s son who knows the game. He throws the ball well. Kilgo is the main one of their three running backs and the leading rusher.
“Duque is a guy they bring in for the wildcat formation and he’s the quarterback in that four or five times a game. He brings another dimension for them. Howey is their best receiver and he’s a little, quick guy.”
The Tigers will try to contend with a defense that has been exploited by other state-ranked offenses Brownwood has faced.
“They have a pretty good defense,” Swearengin said. “Their outside linebackers are a strength and they have a good-sized defensive end who is pretty good. Linebacker is definitely their strongest level on defense.”
As well as the Tigers have been playing recently, the coaches know they can always do better.
“We need to be focused and eliminate any uncharacteristic mistakes so we can come out intense and ready to go,” Swearengin said. “I think we have a lot of confidence, but the players are still humble and hungry. Our kids have been like that all year. We believe we can move the ball through the air or on the ground.
“On defense, we’ve had six games where we haven’t given up a touchdown until the fourth quarter, and we believe we can defend against a running or passing team. We also feel really good about our special teams (units) being able to win a close game for us.”
Versatile sophomore Hayden Holder looks like he should be able to return to action this week, and Swearengin said there are no other significant injury concerns.
The coach is hopeful the disappointment from 12 months ago could propel the Tigers to new heights in the weeks to come.
“I think we gained valuable playoff experience last year and the guys understand we’re trying to go as far as we possibly can,” he said.