The emotions on the faces of Granbury Pirate players and coaches after the final whistle against Brewer Friday were clear as day.
Granbury (6-3, 5-2 District 3-5A DI) had beaten Brewer 17-13 and had finally made the postseason, rebounding from a 2-8 season last year to earn its sixth win of the year and clinch a playoff spot on Senior Night.
“I’m just really, really happy for our kids and our coaching staff,” Pirate head coach Chad Zschiesche said after the game. “For a kid to realize that the culmination of hours and hours and hours of hard work finally pays off, that’s what this thing’s about, man.
“I’m just super happy for these kids, especially these seniors.”
The win didn’t come easy. Brewer’s aggressive defense limited the Pirate attack, and Granbury starting quarterback Kyler Gibson went out with a shoulder injury late in the third quarter.
But backup quarterback Cordel Gibson came through in the clutch, finding Tristan Morris on a 22-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to give the Pirates a 17-7 lead.
“We needed a big play there, and he found the matchup that he liked, and he stuck with it and Tristan does what he does,” Zschiesche said. “It was a beautifully thrown ball and a beautiful catch.
“And it turned out it was a big-time score, based on how the game ended. That’s why you have more than one person prepared, why more than one person gets reps. He stayed in, did his job and it didn’t faze him.”
Kyler Gibson has been improving, Zschiesche said. The Pirates will take “precautionary measures” with him, but they’re not certain if he’ll be available this week or not.
Zach Watson went over the 100-yard mark rushing yet again, finishing with 117 yards and a score on 15 carries.
FINISH IT OUT
Just because Granbury has clinched a playoff seed doesn’t mean the Pirates are resting on their laurels. Zschiesche said he expects his team to “take care of business” against Saginaw (6-3, 4-3 District 3-5A DI) on the road Friday without the pressure of a playoff bid hanging over their heads.
“It’s a relief that it happened week nine and we’re not having to go into the last week of the season with that on our plate,” he said. “Not having the playoffs as a hurdle is huge. Now we can just go play our game and have fun and do what we do.”
Saginaw has a strong quarterback, Kameron Williams, that can hurt teams with his arm and his legs. In the Rough Riders’ 42-30 win over Brewer two weeks ago, he was 14-22 passing for 337 yards and three touchdowns, and added two TDs and 64 yards on 17 carries.
Granbury might use a spy on Williams, but Zschiesche said the Pirates will be careful not to just “waste a player” doing so.
Saginaw also has a big, physical offensive line. The Rough Riders run a 4-2-5 defense that is similar at times to what Granbury uses.
This game will determine what seed Granbury will receive. Beating Saginaw means the Pirates are the third seed and will likely face Birdville in bi-district, while losing means the fourth seed and a potential matchup against undefeated Denton Ryan.
Kickoff is at 7 p.m. in Saginaw.
email@example.com | 817-573-7066 ext. 254