The normal reaction to a game like the one Sherman suffered through last Thursday night would be to “burn the tape.” Forget about what happened and move forward.
Not the case with new head coach Bill Patterson and his staff. Patterson wants his Bearcats to know what they did — and didn’t do — that caused a 63-point stampede by Frisco Lone Star, with no points at all on their side of the ledger.
“Obviously it was disappointing,” Patterson said. “We weren’t ready to play, and that’s the job of coaches. Once we played, we didn’t get much effort, and that was disappointing. That’s hard for a head coach to say, especially for someone who’s been a head coach for 20 years and who’s been around the game for as long as I have … We’ve got to play a lot better this week, I know that.”
Learning to play hard is going to be a big part of how the Bearcats fare the rest of this season, and Chapter 2 of the lesson comes Friday night at Sulphur Springs’ Gerald Prim Stadium.
Adding injury to last week’s insult, senior starting quarterback Clay Gilbert is out indefinitely with a broken right wrist suffered early in the second quarter when his hand hit a Lone Star defender’s helmet on a throw. Sophomore David Bedgood, who started at a receiver spot last Thursday, took over signal-calling duties and was 4-of-8 passing.
“We didn’t give him any help, either,” Patterson said. “We didn’t protect up front, and we didn’t get much established for him. We’ve got to do a better job of that.”
Bedgood is now the quarterback, probably for the rest of the way. Patterson said the Bearcats will use the next two games to adjust the offense around him and put players in the right positions. A lot of those alterations will be apparent Friday night.
“I know he’s a sophomore, but everybody remembers he was an integral part of that baseball team last year,” Patterson said of Bedgood. “I don’t think the pressure or whatever you call it is going to bother him. I think he likes to step in there and go.”
Among the numerous sophomores forced into duty, Patterson was happy with kick returner and cornerback Brayshon Savage, cornerback Greg Jay, right tackle Josh Schnitker, linebacker Hunter Hull and receiver Jymond Moore for stepping up. That’s a lot of first-year guys for a Class 5A varsity program.
“We still have plenty of work to do, but I’ll tell you, nobody feels sorry for you,” Patterson said. “They don’t care if you’re playing sophomores; they’re going to try to beat your brains out. They don’t care who (they’re) playing.”
With that said, the Bearcats travel east to a place that is tough to pull a win out of, even when the Bearcats are at full strength — although, Sherman did manage to sneak away with a 49-44 win at Gerald Prim two years ago.
Senior four-year starter Larry Pryor, who has verbaled to Texas A&M, returns at quarterback for the Wildcats, where he passed for 2,666 yards and rushed for 1,000 more in 2013. Pryor is projected to play safety at A&M, and he’ll play quite a bit of that position Friday as well.
The Wildcats were outscored by Rockwall-Heath last week, 33-21, but Patterson said the final score wasn’t indicative of the game. Sulphur Springs had almost 400 yards of offense but bogged down in the red zone several times.
Back at home, last week showed what happens when a team gets its collective head down in the middle of a rout. Patterson hopes that against Sulphur Springs, the team shows more fight than he saw last Thursday night in Frisco.
“We’ve got to play with effort,” Patterson said. “As a head coach, I’m looking for us to go play with some effort … We’ve got to play with effort for four quarters and see what happens. If you play hard, you give yourself a chance to win.”