Running With The Ball

Junior running back Charles Shorter gets some good blocking up front and pounds ahead for a first down early in the game. The Ricebirds rushing attack finished with 328 yards. Check out the Wharton County Newspaper Sports Facebook page today for more action from Friday’s game.


The El Campo Ricebirds (5-1) hung on Friday night at home to beat the Fulshear Chargers (0-6) 33-29, with the win they grab their first district win of the year.

Nearly to the day a year ago, the Ricebirds had to hang on to escape Fulshear with a road win. In that game, it took a broken up pass in the endzone by senior Donny Hollaway to pull out the last-second win. Friday night as the two teams traded scores back and forth, it once again came down to a big defensive play by the Ricebirds to seal the win.

“I was thinking about that (game last year) the whole night,” Ricebirds Head Coach Wayne Condra joked after the game.

With the Ricebird up 33-29, the Chargers started driving from the 28-yard line as the clock ticked under 2:30 left in the fourth quarter. El Campo’s defensive pressure up front picked up but the mobile Chargers quarterback Jackson Edge moved around in the pocket and later in the drive scrambled for a big gain.

The Chargers moved the ball to mid-field, with a 1:30 to go in the game. Zachary Coady, Edge’s security blanket all game long caught a pass for a first down moving them ever closer to the red zone. However, a holding on the following play backed them up, pretty much wiping our Coady’s yardage gained.

The defense held and forced the Chargers into a fourth and 13. Edge, pushed out of the pocket, running from Ricebird defensive linemen, heaved a throw towards Coady again, this time junior Nathan Willis stepped in front and made a diving grab for the ball, after tumbling to the ground, the retained possession and handed the ball to the offense who kneeled to end the game.

“He just made a bad throw and I took it away from him,” Willis said. “(In the second half)  we settled down, came together as a team and played together as a team.”

Coady was a one-man wrecking ball for the Chargers offense Friday night. Scoring three of the Chargers four touchdowns. The Chargers took it to the Ricebirds Friday night and led three times during the game.

“Offensively they give you so many formations,” Ricebirds Head Coach Wayne Condra said. “We’re young in the secondary and they took advantage of that at times, but I think our kids grew up tonight.”

Tied 27-27, the Ricebirds offense went old school El Campo football and used an eight-play all ground attack drive to drain the clock from just over six minutes to 2:30 after Ricebird sophomore running back Johntre Davis ran the ball in from one yard out to take the final lead of the game.

“We figured we had to do something different (on that final drive),” Davis said. “Running backs and linemen started getting to their blocks.”

Next week the Ricebirds will go on the road to play the Brazosport Exporters (5-1). Brazosport Friday night picked up a 21-20 win over the Sealy Tigers.

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