SAN ANTONIO — For the third time in as many years, the Region IV, District 28 championship will be one of two teams: Brennan or O’Connor.
O’Connor (9-0, 5-0) has trekked through its side of the district with impressive wins that will make your eyes open. In nine games, it has won by an average 25.5 points, only one of those games were by less than a touchdown. The rest, well, it almost has not been fair. O’Connor finished off last week with a 41-7 win over rival Clark.
Coach David Malesky said this week the win definitely helps with his teams confidence heading into championship week.
“Anytime you win, it always gives you confidence going into your next football game,” Panthers coach Malesky said. “Our kids understand what’s at stake with this football game so we’re going to be excited to play and ready to go.”
This week, the Panthers will be facing a dangerous offense. Brennan (6-3, 5-0), has experienced a surge of six wins in a row since starting the season 0-3. The Bears have a wealth of offensive weapons, headed by Jahmyl Jeter, who has 1,033 yards on the season.
“You make sure he doesn’t get off the bus…”
The Panthers defense has been strong, allowing a stout 18.7 points a game. But with Jeter, it will face a whole new challenge. Stopping him won’t be easy, and coach Malesky had one suggestion to keep him from going off Thursday night.
“You make sure he doesn’t get off the bus,” Malesky lightly joked. “You don’t stop that guy, you do what you can to slow him down and limit the amount of yards he has after contact. Which is easier said than done.”
That’s Not It
Jeter isn’t alone, though. As the Bears average yards a game is split pretty close to half. That poses a difficult task for the Panthers defense, making it hard to predict what’s coming at you.
“There’s not one particular thing you can say, if you stop this, we’re going to be successful,” Malesky said. “They force you to pay 48 minutes of football and they also force you to play from sideline to sideline. It’s always a challenge playing against these guys.”
A win would give O’Connor its second district championship win in a row but it’s first undefeated season. Coach said it’s not something you set out to do, nor is it the first goal set at the beginning of the season. Undefeated doesn’t sound too bad, though.
“That’s awesome,” coach Maleskey said. “There’s not a whole bunch of teams left in the state that have the chance to finish undefeated. That’s another aspect of it. But we know our kids are mature enough to realize at the end of the day what’s really important.
“That’s getting in the playoffs, which we are, but also to play well when we get in the playoffs. One of the best ways to play well in the playoffs is win your last football game.”
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