The No. 4 ranked Trinity Valley Cardinals are ready to wrap up the final stretch of the season with three of four on the road.
The Cardinals (5-0 overall, 3-0 in SWJCFC play) head to Cub Stadium in Brenham for a 3 p.m. kickoff against the Blinn Buccaneers.
It is homecoming for Blinn, who come in with a record of 3-2 overall and 2-2 in conference play. Blinn defeated Navarro, 56-49 last week in Midlothian.
“Blinn seems to be getting better and better as the year goes on,” TVCC coach Sherard Poteete said. “It is wild because in this conference you have got to bring it every week. It doesn’t matter who you are playing or what team or what you did the previous week, there are no days off. We have to make sure that we are taking care of business so we are prepared. He (Ryan Mahon) will have them coached up and ready to go.”
The Cardinals were open last week and moved up to No. 4 in the rankings heading into Saturday. Poteete said the Cardinals focused on special teams and making sure they were healthy for the stretch run.
“It was an opportunity to get back in the weight room and we practiced three days last week just trying to stay sharp and fresh,” Poteete said. “We gave a couple of guys who were banged up a little time off that was needed. We are in the middle of the season and depending on how we do in the last four, we will see if we can play some more. It was a good little break for the guys and back at it again this week since it is game week.”
In the last game for the Cardinals, the two blocked punts were a focal point for the special teams unit. Poteete said Blinn has shown to be aggressive when it comes to that side of the football.
“We are coming off of a game where we had two punts blocked. We have got to sure up some things in the special teams game,” Poteete said. “We have to go back and make sure that we are lined up right and taking care of our business and our assignments. We have to make sure that we are more solid in our punt protection and coverage on those things this week.”
Leading the way at quarterback for Blinn looks to be freshman Terrance Gibson, who has thrown for 610 yards with two TD’s and three interceptions this year. He is third on the team in rushing with 140 yards and one touchdown.
“They have some guys who they can throw the ball to and can run. Offensively, I think they have a quarterback who can run the ball as well,” Poteete said. “They have played a few guys and I think they have found the guy that can run the football and make some plays with his feet. When you have running quarterbacks, they are hard to stop because you are trying to play pass defense. They can take off at any time and it causes problems.”
The Bucs defense has allowed 381.8 yards per game and 23 points in the five games so far this year. They are led by freshman linebacker Nate Dyman, who Poteete said never seems to miss a tackle along with linebacker Johnathan Bloom.
“Defensively, they make it out like they will be better than you in the secondary and have some backs who will play man-to-man coverage and they have some size and speed,” Poteete said. “The defensive line gets after it and they are one of the better ones on film. They are penetrating some guys and trying to wreck some havoc in the backfield.”
The Cardinals return home next week as they host the Navarro Bulldogs for homecoming.
NOTE: For the entire interview, check out the TVCC Coaches Corner podcast on our social media sites. You can also find out more about the game in the Tuesday printed edition of the Athens Daily Review with the Sideline Review.