Football Preview vs Vista Ridge

Justin Jalomo, Sports Reporter

After a win over Pflugerville Hendrickson last Friday, the Vipers turn their attention to Vista Ridge tonight, who is 0-4 in the season and 0-2 in district.

“I’m looking forward to our team continuing to play well,” junior Jax Mccauley said. “We came off a 29-20 win over a very good Hendrickson team. I want to see our team continue to play really well and they’ve been doing a great job of that.”

Practice this week has been good for the Vipers but also increased the tempo from last week going into this week.

“We’re running a lot more tempo plays, high speed, one play into the next,” senior Ben Brod said. “It’s a lot more difficult than last week.”

One thing the offense will do tonight in order to be successful against Vista is use their tempo plays.

“We know we can tire them out,” Brod said. “Moving back to back from plays is our gameplan.”

One thing the defense did  in order to be successful against Vista is watch film.

“We’re analyzing what they’re going to do,” senior Nathan Gradwell said. “We have specific calls to match their offense.”

Some key players on Vista’s defense the Vipers need to watch out for are their defensive linemen.

“They have a lot of big guys and small linebackers,” Brod said. “It’s going to be a lot of down the middle plays to hit the small linebackers.”

Some key players on Vista’s offense is their quarterback, Drew Cantu, and their running back, Thailand Mayberry.

“Mayberry is a very fast and athletic back,” Mccauley said. Their quarterback can run too, but we’re focusing mainly on Mayberry. He’s their best player on offense.”

The offensive lineup looks good as they don’t have big injuries from last week while the defensive lineup looks good and will rotate in their defensive tackles.

“We’re keeping our same guys in the secondary, linebackers, so we’re keeping it the same,” McCauley said.

Last week, the Vipers defeated a very tough Hendrickson team, who, at the time, was ranked as the no. 1 scoring offense in the state.

“That was a big game for us,” Brod said. “We knew that going into the game, Hendrickson was a really good team, probably some of the best competition we’re going to get all year. For us, going into their place and taking it to them, it felt really good.”

During that game, there was a two hour lightning delay towards the end with about two minutes in the game with the Vipers leading 26-20 when the delay started.

“Our coaches told us to relax and have time to decompress and get our energy back,” Gradwell said. “During that time, we had snacks and when it got closer to the delay being over, we got our mind right in order to finish the game.”

From that game, some strengths of the team were never giving up or letting down.

“We came back out, even after a two hour delay, and we were still wanting to win,” Gradwell said. “We kicked the field goal, we wanted to drive that win so we can keep it secure.”

One weakness was Hendrickson playing the Vipers a little bit.

“We would do well by stopping them and then they would get a 50 yard touchdown so we need to limit the amount of big plays tonight, but we’ll do just fine,” Mccauley said.

The game is tonight at home at 7 p.m.