Time 4 Sum Aksion
By Robert Gabriel,
4:05PM, Tue. Oct. 3, 2006
Watching Marcus Mann and the McCallum Knights run up a 41-0 halftime lead against the Reagan Raiders at Nelson Field last Thursday night, I thought it was going to be a typical weekend of high school football here in Austin. Then on Friday night at House Park, the impossible happened. The Austin High Maroons, after 16 unsuccessful bids, finally stole a win from the Westlake Chaparrals. It’s been 16 years since Westlake has been beaten by another team from AISD (Reagan did it last in 1990). Granted the Chaparrals are still reeling from the forced retirement of star lineman Matt Nader, but the Maroons’ 31-24 victory will nonetheless go down as unforgettable to any Central Texas football fan long since tired of their team being drubbed annually by the Westlake juggernaut.
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This coming Friday night, the LBJ Jaguars meet the Reagan Raiders at Nelson Field in a heated battle between Northeast Austin schools. While LBJ confidently hopes to trounce the defensively porous Raiders, look for the Reagan Soul Raiders Band to give the larger, more-heavily-funded Jaguars Band all that it can handle both in the stands and on the field at halftime. While neither the LBJ nor Reagan football teams are quite as loaded with stars (Kenneth Alexander, Greg Lane, Chris Sanders, etc.) as they were 16 years ago when both were still classified as 5A programs, this long-standing rivalry continues to excite and intrigue.
Speaking of AISD football, allow me to take this opportunity to thank the Austin area and Westlake High School in particular for breeding Drew Brees into the quarterback who has been performing with such vigor for my New Orleans Saints. We may have lost a tough one on Sunday against the Carolina Panthers, but Brees kept his head under pressure and even hit the now-remarkable rookie Marques Colston for an 86-yard touchdown as time faded out on the Saints’ comeback from a late two-score deficit. It concerns me greatly that both DeShaun Foster and DeAngelo Williams were able to find such massive holes in the Saints’ defense, but it’s hard to complain about a 3-1 record and an impending return to the Superdome this coming weekend against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
But let’s not get it twisted. All eyes will be focused more so on Saturday’s Texas-Oklahoma match-up than any other game this coming weekend. Can the Horns stop or at least slow down Adrian Peterson? Will either Paul Thompson or Colt McCoy reveal himself as the unequivocal real deal at QB? How often will Jamaal Charles find open daylight for his most beautiful sprints? And is it possible for Limas Sweed to look any more like an unstoppable force? Will Greg Davis call a reasonable game? And will Gene Chizik’s defense create turnovers and short field situations for a Texas offense that must still be winded from running poor Sam Houston State out of the stadium last Saturday? But most importantly, can Mack Brown outwit Bob Stoops in their ongoing chess match of motivational technique? All I know for certain right now is that OU sucks, OU sucks, OU sucks…