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After a tough start to the season, Fort Bend Bush is 4-0 in District 20-6A play.
Winning the turnover battle and stronger production in the run game have Fort Bend Bush on a four-game winning streak after starting the season 0-3. More leaders and better buy-in from players have the Broncos already three wins better than they were last season.
"We're just more committed to each other. We're playing more as a team and we're getting these wins we need," senior running back Adrian Cormier said. "I think we have more leaders. More players that want to play football and coaches who all buy in to the program and want to see the best in all of us."
Bush, coming off a 1-6 2020 season, had a challenging non-district slate that consisted of Fort Bend Hightower, College Station and Alief Taylor. The Broncos were blown out by Hightower and College Station, who have a combined record of 13-1. They fell by a touchdown to 3-4 Taylor.
"We talked at the beginning of the season about improving every week and improving on mistakes," coach Allen Aldridge said. "The guys have stayed on top of that, along with the coaches. We had some tough games at first, but they prepared us for district. We've learned to stay consistent every game."
What's mattered most is the Broncos' play in District 20-6A. They've run rampant. Bush is 4-0 in district, thanks to a furious defense that has allowed a total of 15 points on an average of 111.5 yards allowed per game.
"We hang our hat on our defense," Aldridge said. "My defensive coordinator, Coach (Javin) Thornton, has been with me since 2008, and he's very good at what he does. Teams know what we're going to do. We're a very attacking defense. We're going to bring pressure. We play a lot of man."
Bush's defense is ignited by its secondary, and the secondary is led by versatile senior free safety/cornerback Dantonio Hackworth Jr. Hackworth is tied for the district lead in interceptions with four.
I know somebody needs a CB/S with IQ like this……..C/O 2022 #21 Dantonio Hackworth @21_dantonio #THEBushHS https://t.co/lqpR6Ec031 — Coach Jerome Wilson (@Coach Jerome Wilson)
"Everything is different," Hackworth said of the defense. "We all got big in the weight room, and our coaches give us a great game plan to execute against our opponents. It starts with the D-line making plays and the linebackers putting pressure on the quarterback to get the defensive backs interceptions. We all click as one."
The 6-foot, 155-pound Hackworth, whose added strength has enabled better physicality jamming receivers, is being humble. Aldridge said the defense goes as Hackworth goes.
"He's our leader. He can go," Aldridge said. "He can tackle, he can cover. He's rangy, sideline to sideline. He's becoming a leader and embracing all that comes with that. He's leading our captains leadership meeting every Monday morning. He's vocal on the field and the sidelines."
Offensively, Cormier has been a rock of stability. With the loss of senior running back Nelvens Borgella two games ago to injury, Cormier has carried the brunt of the Broncos' run-oriented offense.
Cormier has 638 yards and three touchdowns on 118 carries, an "outstanding year," Aldridge said.
"I have shown the team I'm giving 100 percent, and they will follow," Cormier said. "I think this year I have a bigger voice on the team, with a leadership role."
665 yards rushing , 4 TDS Mid Season highlight - https://t.co/BuW9bpzUsd — adrian cormier (@adrian cormier)
Bush has significant momentum. It is undoubtedly playing great football, its best in quite some time.
But the Broncos aren't in the clear just yet. The toughest portion of their schedule remains, as George Ranch (2-2 20-6A), Ridge Point (4-0) and Clements (2-2) linger.
Still, Bush will be no easy out. Just ask Travis, which is 3-1 in district play, with that one loss coming to the Broncos.
"It's going to take our dedication and how bad we want it to keep it going," Hackworth said. "It's been unreal. Everybody is starting to notice what we can do now, but we're not going to let it distract us from our main goal."
Christian Lee, Friendswood
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