Shark Bite: Shadow Creek's Defense Stellar to Start Year
HUMBLE – There are plenty of ways to describe Shadow Creek's defensive unit.
Nasty. Disruptive. Elite.
It's easy to see these attributes in a defensive crew that has been recognized across the country to be filled with talent at multiple positions.
Headlined by LSU-commit Alec Bryant, Texas-commit Xavion Alford and Kansas State-commit Ronald Triplette the Sharks are loaded with talent and it shows.
In the season opener against Summer Creek, the defensive unit produced 23 of the eventual 64 points en route to a 64-14 victory for Shadow Creek.
"They were hard to handle," Shadow Creek coach Brad Butler said. "They were really fast on the grass tonight."
Start with the brute force up front.
Facing Summer Creek, which has a dual-threat quarterback who likes to use his legs, the Sharks would have to be strong up front. That's exactly what they were out of the gates.
In Summer Creek's first 13 plays from scrimmage, the Bulldogs were hammered back for -31 yards. The tone was set.
"Last year we used to come out and trail from behind a lot," Bryant said. "But this year we're coming out and attacking."
With 4:37 left in the first quarter, pinned on their own one-yard line, Summer Creek quarterback Bryan Bush tried to step up into the pocket. He was slammed down by linebacker Byron Roberson for the safety.
Two points awarded to the Sharks defense.
SAFETY: @SCSharkFootball defense gets in the end zone and sacks Bryan Bush. Byron Roberson with the sack for the safety. #txhsfb @dctf @abc13sports @DavidNunoABC13 @joeagleason @ABXCII @fvmous_tripp @100YARDLANDLORD @coachbbutler pic.twitter.com/U0KY8ZAnJY
— VYPE Houston (@vypehouston) August 31, 2019
"It sets the tone for our whole football team," Butler said about the intensity of his defense. "Anytime you can get after people and run after the ball, your special teams responds, your offense responds and it just sets the tone."
Two drives later, Bush was trying to run to his right when he had the ball knocked loose. Bryant was on the spot to scoop it up and rumble 40 yards to the end zone.
Seven more points for the Shadow Creek defensive unit.
The Sharks defense did bend at times, giving up 69 and 12-yard touchdown passes to the Bulldogs. Prior to that 69-yard pass, Shadow Creek's defense had given up -27 total yards of offense. The Sharks ended up giving up a total of 149 yards and 14 points in the first half.
"We just try to dominate every single play, every single practice," Bryant said. "On Friday night's, in case this Saturday night it shows."
To cap off the impressive first half, Bryant got involved in another play. On a pass attempt by Bush to his right side, Bryant reached up his arms and batted the ball into the air. Spinning like a helicopter through the sky allowed linebacker C.J. Brown to pick it off and take it in 29 yards for the score.
"That's my guy," Brown said about Bryant. "I know I can always trust in him. He makes plays and I capitalize on them. That's my brother."
POSTGAME: VYPE caught up with @SCSharkFootball LB CJ Brown (@CjHtx02) after the game. He had two pick sixes, matching his 2018 season total of INTs already. #txhsfb @abc13sports @joeagleason @ABXCII @fvmous_tripp @100YARDLANDLORD @D1Jharris @coachbbutler @SCSharkRecruits pic.twitter.com/3T2ErmCmrT
— VYPE Houston (@vypehouston) September 1, 2019
Brown – who had two interceptions all of last season – wasn't done.
Just minutes into the third quarter, the senior linebacker picked off another tipped pass and from 28 yards ran it into the end zone.
Fourteen more points for the Shadow Creek defense.
"I'm on my way to my goal, double the picks," Brown said. "This makes it a lot easier, maybe now I can get triple. I just work hard every day at practice hoping to get to the best that I can be. I'm on my way to it."
This is just the first game, which makes it even scarier of how much better this unit can get as the year carries on.
"This early in the season you're just worried about organizational stuff and transition during the game," Butler said. "So, there's definitely things we need to work on and clean up but I'm proud of the start."