Lubbock Estacado football looks to bounce back against Big Spring


You wouldn’t expect it, but the Estacado football team could appreciate Friday’s loss to Brownwood.

William Blaylock, first-year coach of the Matadors, sees it that way and hopes the 52-14 setback will serve as a teachable moment with the postseason two weeks away.

“It was actually a good lesson for our kids,” Blaylock said, “to understand, hey, this is what playoff-caliber football teams look like. They were big, they were physical, they were strong… which made a big difference. If you don’t win the line of scrimmage, it’s going to be really hard to win the game.”

Trench play is a focus for Estacado this week as the team prepares to host Big Spring on Thursday. The Matadors and Steers are each tied 1-1 in the district game, with the result further shaping playoff positioning in the five-team league.

“It’s not about the other team, it’s about us,” Blaylock said. “So we really focused on the little things, things that we might have slipped on against Brownwood, that we know we have to make our way against Big Spring. It’s a big game, No. 2 playoff seed in the We’ve got everything but a district championship ahead of us and our kids know it.”

The Steers (5-3 overall, 1-1 district) come in after a 21-7 win over runners-up San Angelo Lake View. Big Spring is averaging 25.1 points, helped by a 51-point performance against Lubbock High in Week 2. But the Steers have been consistent, scoring at least 20 overall, except for a 41-10 loss to Brownwood on Oct. 7.

Blaylock said Big Spring wanted to “throw it around the court” and have the defense fight numerous formations. He noted the same about the Steers defense being aggressive with their strobes. The former offensive lineman knows where the game will be decided.

“The main thing is that you have to win the line of scrimmage,” Blaylock said. “You have to be able to control football and then not leave it to the other team.”

The Matadors (4-4, 1-1) have ridden the run of sophomore Bobby Ross, particularly with a backup quarterback Javion Fernandez coming up against Brownwood. It’s unknown who will get the nod at quarterback this week. Whoever it is has the services of slender receiver Devoryea Boyd, who is two games away from a game-winning catch against Andrews.

The defense will be looking to recover after conceding 88 points over the past two weeks. This unit could be the deciding factor.

“There’s a lot of teams that have had good runs because they’ve been winning the right games,” Blaylock said, “and that bracket has set up and they’ve been able to play a role. Then if you play in late November, early December, anything could happen. … We always talk about controlling our own destiny. We have the chance to do that.

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