David Merten - Floresville
Photo: David Merten/Floresville ISD

FLORESVILLE, Texas – Thirty-six miles southeast of San Antonio, you’ll find a town with just under 7,500 people. Friday night, the little town of Floresville, may explode — with support — as its Tigers take on the Southside Cardinals.

The Tigers (6-3, 4-0) have had a tough week off the gridiron. Surrounding communities and the school have had to deal with the loss of friends and family in the tragedy in Sutherland Springs. For at least a few hours on Friday night, both Floresville and Southside will look to band together.

“I don’t know if you can ever get your mind completely off of it but it does give an outlet to bring something to a sad situation,” Southside coach Ricky Lock said. “Just a few hours to maybe help relieve the thoughts of people. I think it helps in the healing process.”

Try For History

Southside (7-2, 4-0) have not won district since 1992, and that was a shared title. So for them, coach Lock says it’s a big deal.

“We’re excited here because our school opened I believe in 1950 and has never won a district championship in all those years,” Lock said. “We’re really excited about getting to play for it.”

Three-Headed Monster

In the way is a dominant rushing attack from Floresville. Its two backs, Salih Williams and Kane Numera, each have 700 yards on the ground. The team has 1,994 total.

The Cardinals will try to limit big plays and feel they have a good chance at doing so. Lock said he’s noticed the Tigers have a few plays in which they truly believe.

Lock also noted they run the offense well because “they can.” Numera and Williams handle the ball extremely well and Darian Mayberry playing well at quarterback, there are threats everywhere.

It all comes down to scheme, in which Lock said they have one he’s proud of in place.

“You try to set up a scheme that you feel will best beneifit your talent level to stop what you do,” Lock said. “We think we have a good plan in place. You get more people involved in the tackle box to stop the run and there’s a lot of ways to do it. Everybody is a little different in how they do it.”

Anything You Can Do…

Southside has its own threat, but instead of multiple backs, it has one big one. Eddie Perez, a back with 2,011 yards and 25 touchdowns. Perez and sophomore quarterback Alejandro Escamilla are in charge of this district-leading offense.

Floresville will need to hit Perez early and often, hoping to take out any confidence he has. If it can, there’s hope to stop the back averaging more than eight yards a carry.

“They [Southside] score a lot of points and we certainly respect that,” Tiger coach Andrew Rohrs said. “We’re definitely not afraid of them. We feel that our defense is one of the best defenses in the district, if not the best. We’re excited, our kids are excited about the matchup.

“They’re not afraid. We certainly respect them but it’s a significant challenge, we’re excited to play a really good coaching staff, a good running back, good team and so are we.”

Battle Of Champions

Both teams are in the playoffs and will know who they face after this game. with the District 29-5A championship on the line. For a few hours Friday night, Floresville, San Antonio and the entire state will have its eye on this field.

“It’s all about competition,” Rohrs said. “We’re coaches, we don’t get to play but we’re still competing. We enjoy as a staff being able to find ways to beat good opponents. They run the ball and we run the ball, at the end of the game we’re going to find out who’s a better football team.”

Gerald Tracy is an assistant editor of Texas football for TexasHSFootball, covering prep football in the San Antonio region. Follow him on Twitter, @GTracySports, and read more of his content here.

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