Bye week helps Bay City get ready for Liberty Hill matchup
With a bye week to help them prepare, Bay City now must fasten its chinstraps for a opening bi-district playoff game against a tough Liberty Hill squad Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Giddings High School.
“Liberty Hill is a solid football team,” Matthews said of the state-ranked Panther squad. “They are a good disciplined football team. They have a really good program.”
Even facing a state-ranked team at this point of the season, Bay City knows they can compete with those state-ranked squads. The Blackcats opened the year against a state-ranked Cuero team and then held their own for a half against state-ranked Sealy two weeks ago.
“We held our own against Cuero and then played a great first half against Sealy,” Matthews said. “We have had an opportunity to go against the best and hopefully we learned some things from those experiences and take it into this game and give us an opportunity to win this game.”
Liberty Hill runs the slot-T offense and that accounts for their running numbers to their offensive attack.
The Panthers are led offensively by senior running back Kyle Harrison, who has rushed for 1,694 yards and 27 touchdowns on the season. Harrison has rushed for eight times for more than 100 yards in nine games this season.
Liberty Hill also features Shane Gonzalez, with 645 yards rushing and junior quarterback Jacob Cearley with 440 yards rushing in their ground attack. Cearley has passed for 326 yards and two touchdowns this season as the Panthers feature a primary run attack.
Matthews believes his Blackcats can play with Liberty Hill but Bay City will need to minimize its mistakes in a contest against a team that is this good.
“We have to control the things that we can control,” Matthews said. “We have to be very disciplined defensively. When you run a slot-T and having to deal with the option, everyone has to be disciplined and do their jobs. It is not one of those games where it will be an individual standout but everybody has to do their job and make sure we are all on the same page.
“On the offensive side of the ball, we have to execute and give Dylan (Davidson) and our receivers and running backs a chance to flourish,” Matthews said. “Our offensive line will have to be on point this week and take care of the guys in front of them.”
One big plus for Bay City this week will be the return of junior RJ Mitchell, who missed the second half of the Sealy and the entire El Campo game with an ankle injury.