'THAT'S FULSHEAR FOOTBALL:' Chargers use run game to thwart FBCA
ROSENBERG — If last week's frustrating loss to Manor was a wake-up call for Fulshear's football team, as coach Nick Codutti attested it would be, then Friday's 38-28 win against state-ranked TAPPS Fort Bend Christian Academy at Traylor Stadium provided a definitive answer.
"It definitely put us back on track," junior quarterback Parker Williams said. "Last week was a hard loss, and coming out and winning like this just gives us a lot of momentum moving forward."
The Chargers (3-1) were prolifically efficient out of their wide-zone offense, gashing the Eagles (2-2) for five touchdowns and 378 yards on 54 carries, good for seven yards per carry. Three Chargers had 100 or more rushing yards: Williams (147 yards, two TDs), senior running back Tyjae Williams (116 yards, two TDs) and sophomore running back Davion Godley (102 yards, TD), who exited the game midway through the second half with a lower left leg injury.
"That's the offense," Codutti said. "The biggest thing for us is trust the process and it will work, and it did."
.@fulshear_fball’s @coachcodutti talks to his players after tonight’s 38-28 win over Fort Bend Christian Academy. T… https://t.co/KRQUstaecD— Dennis Silva II (@Dennis Silva II) 1631935929.0
Capping off a bizarre week that forced Fulshear's initial opponent Clear Brook to cancel because of Hurricane Nicholas, the Chargers showed toughness and perseverance in dealing with adversity.
"I thought the hurricane thing kind of hit us hard mentally," Codutti said. "It was a crazy week for Fulshear High School. Our freshmen played Atascocita. We came out here and played a Christian school out of Fort Bend. I'm proud of our kids for adapting and adjusting."
The run game is the bread and butter of Codutti's offense. Codutti, who calls the plays on offense, is an aficionado of the wide-zone offense, with offensive linemen playing laterally to gain an edge.
Friday's rushing prowess is indicative of improved trust and confidence players are building in the system.
"Sometimes you may see something with your eyes that isn't really there," Parker Williams said. "The holes just flow, and then something opens up backside. Little things like that. It's not just what you see. It's trusting that you know what will open up."
.@fulshear_fball adding on. @Park9rWilliams 8-yard keeper. 16-6 Chargers, 1:20, 2Q. #txhsfb @FulshearABC https://t.co/ywVhFVz353— Dennis Silva II (@Dennis Silva II) 1631927400.0
It's trusting the offensive line, which was dominant against the Eagles. The physicality of juniors John Joe Vasquez, Jacob Sanders and Ryan Ferns, and seniors Joe Sims III and Logan Horn was on full display. The line has gotten better each week at zoning and holding off blocks.
"For us, it's about keeping our feet moving, laying someone out and doing our job," Vasquez said. "Trust our brothers next to us. Trust and run."
Friday's showing, Vasquez said, should be the norm, not the exception.
"It should be what we do; the bare minimum," Vasquez said. "If we do our jobs and keep pounding it, that's us. That's Fulshear football."
.@fulshear_fball RB @Tyja3Williams discusses the play of the O-line and running game in tonight’s win over Fort Ben… https://t.co/qPJS6X8d2o— Dennis Silva II (@Dennis Silva II) 1631937075.0
Entering the game, the Chargers were averaging 278 rushing yards per game at 6.2 yards per carry. They obliterated those averages in their final non-district tune-up.
"We are who we are," Codutti said. "We basically run one play, and we run it over and over and over and in as many ways as possible.
>> STINGY DEFENSE: As dominant as Fulshear was offensively against the Eagles, its defense was just as impressive. Against a Fort Bend Christian Academy team with three NCAA Division I prospects at receiver, the Chargers held FBCA's passing game to just 6.8 yards per pass attempt. Eagles junior quarterback Brady Dever, a formidable talent, completed just 17 of 40 passes for 270 yards and three touchdowns to two interceptions. Seniors Kenya Walton Jr. and Cade Carter, and junior Maverick Schomberg were strong in coverage for Fulshear. "It was relentlessness," Codutti said. "Our DBs were all over the field. Those receivers over there are dudes. But our kids came out, competed, and did a good job. We knew they were going to score. We just had to score, too."
>> 'LIKE A DREAM': Walton was crowned Homecoming King at halftime and had a key interception in Eagles territory late in the fourth quarter that officially halted any hopes of a dramatic Fort Bend Christian Academy comeback. "As soon as (the ball) hit my hands, I knew it was game," said Walton, who said the night "felt like a dream." "We just executed. We were disciplined."
>> FAR FROM SATISFIED: Fulshear is off to a nice 3-1 start heading into district play next week, but the Chargers aren't content. Fulshear had a strong start, too, last season at 4-0, but went 1-5 in district play to finish the season. "Last year, we got last in district, and we still feel that," Tyjae Williams said. "We take that personal. We're going to change people's minds this year."