Your password needs to be at least 8 characters and one number.
Joey Fussell Jr. celebrates a touchdown against Klein Oak
VYPE caught up with Spring RB Joey Fussell Jr. after an outstanding performance against Klein Cain in the 6A-D1 Playoffs Area Round last week. He had a chance to discuss that game, his development with the Lions, and how he is preparing to face Duncanville in The Star
VYPE: First of all, you had the game of your life last week against Klein Cain. In that game, you had 202 total yards and six touchdowns. What was the key to your performance in that game?
Joey: When we walked into that game, we thought we were going to be throwing the ball a lot, and when that wasn't the case, we put in the wildcat package. We had previously used that against The Woodlands and this time it just kept working, so we just kept running it. Coach Miller just happened to call my number a few times and I made my plays.
VYPE: It seems like Spring hasn't used the wildcat package all year, how has that come about in the last few weeks?
Joey: Well actually, we didn't even create the package until the week we faced The Woodlands, and I was kind of shocked, because that was the same week I found out that I'd be starting. So we went through it in practice a little bit, and my coaches were pumped up about it, so I'm just glad they gave me that opportunity.
VYPE: You were featured a whole lot more this year (56 carries) than you were in the 2020 season (18 carries), how have you handled that change in pace?
Joey: Last year, I had just transferred to Spring and I wasn't really familiar with the plays, so this year I just kind of focused on learning the plays and having the coaches start to trust me. This year, I've just been glad to be touching the ball because I knew I could do it, it was always about getting the opportunity and having Coach Miller and my teammates trust me with that.
VYPE: You mentioned that you transferred into Spring ahead of your junior year, what was that whole process like?Joey: The process was pretty smooth, I've been knowing some of these guys since elementary school, played against them in middle school, AAU basketball, 7 on 7, baseball, you know, things like that. Some of the guys really didn't know how I played when I came in, they didn't know if I was good or not or if they could trust me yet, and I proved to them that I could play through the first few practices, and that's when they welcomed me in.
VYPE: Let's take it back to earlier this season when you all dropped your only game of the season against Westfield. What changed in the locker room and at practices after that game?
Joey: Our mindset going into the Westfield game is that because we did it last year, we were gonna do it again this year. We weren't focused, we thought we had already won the game before it even started, and that made us realize that we have to live in the moment, take one game at a time. Right now, we're focused on executing plays in the first half, from the start, so that we don't have first half struggles like we did against Westfield.
VYPE: Well, it seems like you guys just keep getting matched up against storied programs. First you get The Woodlands, and then Klein Cain, and now Duncanville. What has the focus in practice been to prepare for Duncanville?
Joey: Well, we've watched a lot of film and focused on playing real Spring Football, so you know, I feel like if our defense plays like they're capable of playing, and the offense plays like they're capable of playing, we can really go out there and beat this team. At the same time, we can't knock 'em, they're a great team, but it's just about executing plays, we don't have to play a perfect game, they're a very beatable team, so we'll just go out there and execute.
VYPE: Sounds like a plan, we wish you the best of luck against Duncanville this week, and hope to talk to you soon
Joey: Thank you, I really appreciate it
HOUSTON - It was a night full of big scores and some thrilling finishes to close out the Area Round action on Friday night, leaving just a pair of Saturday games to close out the week.
Many teams left little doubt, including Katy Paetow - beating Manor 58-22 and securing its first-ever Area Round win. Katy looked like the defending state champs, rolling past Stratford 59-7, while North Shore, Tompkins, C.E. King, Ridge Point, Summer Creek and Tomball all had dominating wins.
For C.E. King it was a historic win as they move on to the third round of the playoffs for the first time since 1989.
Atascocita had to kick a field goal with four seconds left to down Dickinson 22-21 and Spring staved off Klein Cain in a 56-53 thriller.
FULL SCOREBOARD BELOW
So, the winners move on to practice on Thanksgiving week, which for any coach means that you have reached the third round of the playoffs.
The next round gives us some thrilling day and night match-ups for next Friday and Saturday for the Regional Semi-Finals. Some of the more intriguing ones include Katy facing C.E. King, Manvel taking on Hightower and Ridge Point locking horns with Atascocita.
FULL SCHEDULE BELOW