Vikings Ready To Navigate Another Tough Course In 2017

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It’s been nearly 100 years since Bryan won its only state football championship. In that 1921 season, Bryan gave up THREE points in its first nine games, and that was a 3-0 loss to Texas A&M’s freshman team. Of the team’s 26 points allowed in 11 games, half of that was in the 35-13 win over South Oak Cliff for the state title.

Heck, they beat Navasota 103-0 that year.

The Vikings have made the playoffs 26 times since starting football in 1912, and that includes last year’s Area round visit where Bryan fell to stalwart Cedar Park, 42-20. Bryan defeated Ennis in the bi-district round.

Bryan faced a daunting, yet tricky, non-district schedule before going through the peril waters of the tough District 18-5A. They lost to Hutto and a good Magnolia West team, and they won home games against Waller and Navasota. The Vikings fell to College Station (65-7), A&M Consolidated (28-14) and state runner-up Temple (37-34). They went on the road and won a 22-21 thriller over Waco in a game that ultimately decided the fourth playoff spot from the district.

Key Losses

WR Joseph Hedge, ILB Roderick Crenshaw, OL Garrison Tullos

Hedge led the team in receiving and added six rushing touchdowns in 2016. He was named first-team all-district in 18-5A along with fellow seniors Crenshaw and Tullos.

Key Returners

S Gus Hancock, DT Jaelin Bell, ILB Luke Wallis

The defense should be better for the Vikings with a returning leader in each layer. Hancock is solid in shutting down the passing lanes or closing in on opposing rushing attacks. Bell and Wallis bring experience on the defense. The offense returns offensive lineman Colton Campbell, H-back Jermire Townsend and kicker Angel Quiroga.

The Verdict

Ross Rogers came out of retirement to take over the program that was once an old nemesis. Rogers coached a long time at A&M Consolidated, and he often duked it out with Bryan in the famed Crosstown Showdown in the Brazos Valley. The teams often played that game at Texas A&M’s Kyle Field (Back before Rudder and College Station High came along).

Rogers took over a Bryan program that only had four winning seasons in the previous 10 years. After a rough start in 2012 and 2013, Rogers has led the Vikings in the playoffs each of the last three seasons.

The Vikings will lean heavily on its defense this season after the departure of a big senior class. Defense will be crucial as teams like Temple, College Station, Consol, and Waco can light up a scoreboard.

The deciding game could once again come down to a bout with Waco, but this year in the friendly confines of Merrill Green Stadium on Bryan’s campus.

The real must-see will be Oct. 20 when A&M Consolidated comes to Bryan. Consol’s new coach is legendary Lee Fedora, who guided Navasota to state titles in 2012 and 2014.

Fedora played at Consol in the late 80’s for Rogers when the Tigers went 1-9 in 1987 and 2-7- 1 in 1988. In 1989, Fedora’s senior year, Consol went 14-0 before losing to Tyler Chapel Hill in the 4A state championship.

Fedora first got hired by Rogers at Consol, and Rogers has become Fedora’s No. 1 mentor in the business. Teacher meets pupil Oct. 20 for another Crosstown Showdown, but this time with a little more meaning.

 

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