Bryan High School Athletics


Bryan football team to open season against familiar coach


The Eagle | 8/30/2019

PHOTO CREDIT: Laura McKenzie

Bryan football coach Ross Rogers spent more time watching the tape of a future district foe this week than he did studying his 2019 season-opening opponent Waller.

Former Waller head coach Jim Phillips stepped down after last season, and the Bulldogs hired Gene Johnson, who just happened to be the head coach of Cypress Ranch, the District 14-6A champions last season.

“We went back and watched a lot more on Cy-Ranch and the things [Johnson] was doing with them at that time,” Rogers said.

The Vikings expect Johnson to use many of the schemes that carried Cy-Ranch to a 27-0 victory over Bryan last season. The good news for Bryan is Johnson has only been at Waller for six months, and Friday’s matchup will be his first game with the Bulldogs, whom the Vikings defeated 20-10 to open last season.

“He had outstanding teams at Cy-Ranch, and I have no doubt that is his intentions at Waller,” Rogers said. “I don’t think there is any doubt watching that Waller’s schemes now are the basics of his offense. He likes the two tight ends, the power, the counter and the quarterback running, so that is going to be basic, and what he adds this game, because we only saw the one scrimmage, who knows? He’s going to do what he does.”

Better news for the Vikings is Waller quarterback Cade Bartlett has graduated. Bartlett started for three years against Bryan and was the centerpiece of what they did under Phillips.

Bryan coaches did scout Waller’s scrimmage against Bastrop and came away impressed with the Bulldogs’ defense, especially sophomore cornerbacks Isaiah Blair and Jared Hicks, who played close to the line of scrimmage and worked well against both the pass and run.

“The big change for [Johnson] is he changed defenses, hired a different defensive coordinator, so where they were an odd front and did it well, they are now a split-six team, and we are going to see a lot of that [Friday],” Rogers said. “I like the way their cornerbacks play, and I think their linebackers are very active. They are trying to come get you. They are not going to twiddle fingers.”

Linebackers Jamari Thompson and Kasen McLean help lead Waller’s defense.

The Vikings have a new quarterback in Nico Bulhof and are hoping to help him with a running game that had success between the tackles with three strong backs and an all-senior offensive line in scrimmages against Fulshear and Rudder.

“Our offensive linemen set the tone,” Roger said. “We feel like we were not where we needed to be the last two years, and some of that was injuries, couldn’t keep the same guys on the field. Knock on wood and cross fingers — I hope these guys can play a lot of football f... Click here to read full article