Casey Braden, Defense Lead Dominant Hawks to Victory
EASTLAND, TX—If defense wins championships, fourth-ranked Wall may be destined for one after a 31-7 demolishing of a good Eastland Maverick team on Friday night.
“To come in to Eastland and beat a team like this means a lot,” Wall Head Coach Houston Guy said after the game. “Coach Morton [Eastland’s Head Coach] does a great job preparing offensively and defensively. The schemes they ran defensively were a little different than what they’ve shown. It took us a little while to get going, but I feel our offensive line picked it up. [Brock Rosenquist] made some great reads.”
Wall limited Eastland to just 132 total yards of offense and forced the Mavericks into five three-and-outs in the win
“To hold [Eastland] to just seven points defensively says a lot about us,” said Coach Guy. “[Our defense] is playing really good right now. They’re playing fast and not giving up the big play.”
Running back Casey Braden came up huge for the Hawks on offense, rushing for 182 yards and three touchdowns.
“We thought if we came out and played well against [Eastland], it’d show that we’re out for something bigger,” said Braden of his, as well as his team’s performance Friday night.
“Casey, being the big back he is, he’s going to have to take over in games like this when they’re pressuring our fronts,” Coach Guy said of Braden’s performance. “He did a great job. He found some holes when they were giving us some different looks and made some great cuts.”
The Hawks’ offense tallied 478 yards of total offense in the win. Senior quarterback Brock Rosenquist had one touchdown and kicker Mitchell Horton tallied a 35 yard field goal, in addition to Braden’s hat trick.
This defensive battle didn’t see a touchdown until almost nine minutes into the first quarter when Casey Braden rumbled 16 yards into the endzone for the score. Mitchell Horton’s extra-point split the uprights to give the Hawks a 7-0 lead.
Wall’s second defensive drive was a work of art, as the Hawks limited Eastland to a three-and-out with minus-one yard of total offense.
Wall would run the first quarter clock all the way down to close the first quarter but fumble the ball on the first play of the second quarter at the 19 yard-line where Eastland would recover.
The Mavericks, however, would continue to backtrack against Wall’s stout defense, losing eight yards on their first play following the turnover. Eastland would pick up six yards on second down, but would throw and incomplete pass for their second straight three-and-out of the game.
Wall would start on their own 47 yard-line and continue to march down field. Garrett Stephens would pick up 20 yards on a 2nd-and-7 to comfortably set the Hawks up in Eastland territory. Following a five yard screen pass from Rosenquist to Lucas Hurtado, the Hawks would ride on the legs of Casey Braden who carried the ball four consecutive times in the redzone. Braden’s fourth carry found pay dirt for his second touchdown of the game. Horton would convert another PAT to put the Hawks up 14-0.
Wall had another chance to score before halftime after a turnover on downs, but a fumble in Eastland territory gave the Mavericks the ball with six seconds left to close out the half.
Eastland would strike in just three plays out of the halftime intermission to narrow the Wall lead to 14-7.
After Eastland’s lone score, the Hawks went on a tear where they scored 17 unanswered points and forced multiple three-and-outs by the Mavericks en route to their 31-7 victory.
WATCH Wall Head Coach Houston Guy on the victory over Eastland:
The Hawks move to 4-0 on the season as they head in to their bye week. Wall will play Iowa Park in Breckenridge on October 6.