WALLER — The Waller Bulldogs stood toe-to-toe with Katy’s Mayde Creek Rams (2-0) for the 2022 home opener in Waller, but came up short, 49-27, Friday night.
The Bulldogs now stand at 0-2 early in the season, after last week’s season opener went to the Bryan Vikings, 67-21.
With only one non-league game and an off week on the schedule before District 15-6A action begins, head football coach Marcus Mendoza has his sights set on increasing the team’s discipline.
“A big part for us is going to be discipline,” Mendoza said. “We’re having penalties right now that are self-inflicted on our team and on what we’re doing. My number one is that we need to clean up the discipline part.”
Using his judgment, the first-year head coach concluded that this Bulldog team has the potential to compete at the 6A level.
“Skill-wise, if we clean up our own things, I think the score is even better than what it shows,” Mendoza added. “Just talking about the second half offensively, we went three-for-three with our first three drives on offensive. If we do that in the beginning, it’s 21-0 our way.”
However, having roughly a dozen new coaches and being grouped with a whole new set of teams for the upcoming District 15-6A competition, on top of the UIL moving Waller up to Conference 6A, the Bulldogs have a lot of learning to do in a hurry.
“We can play at the 6A level — The big difference is the discipline part,” Mendoza said. “(We are) trying to make a lot more positives for our kids, and our kids are really excited to play football. Our community is starting to get really excited about football. I really thank the community for everything they’ve been doing to back us up. I want to make them proud in what we’re doing. I promise you, I’m going to clean up the discipline part, so we can make sure that we come put on a great show next week.”
One thing the Bulldogs haven’t learned yet is quitting. Even as time was running out with the score stacked against them, this Waller team kept going with hard-nosed football.
The one thing about my kids: They fought the entire game,” Mendoza said. “They fought to the end, they just did not quit.”
Although it took most of the first half, the Bulldogs got onto the scoreboard with a short touchdown carry by Alex Barrs with 8:42 standing on the second quarter clock. Eric Cornejo’s extra point kick split the uprights, cutting Mayde Creek’s lead to 21-7.
The Rams closed out the first half with another touchdown and point after touchdown, making the halftime score 28-7.
Mayde Creek clocked in with another score before Barrs broke loose with a scoring run covering most of the red zone with 8:46 left in the third quarter. The extra point attempt slammed into the right goal post, leaving the score at 35-13.
Barrs again scored for the Bulldogs with 10:42 remaining in the fourth period of play with a seven yard carry. Cornejo split the uprights, bringing the scoreboard a tad closer at 42-20.
Barrs scored the final Waller touchdown on a four-yard run with 4:57 standing on the fourth quarter clock. Cornejo’s kick was true, 42-27. But Mayde Creek punched their ticket once more, leaving the final score at 49-27.
NEXT WEEK AND BEYOND
In District 15-6A, the Bulldogs are currently in a three-way tie for sixth place with Klein and Tomball. For reference, Tomball advanced to the Class 6A state semifinals in the 2021 season. The other four Klein ISD teams had 2-0 records, with Tomball Memorial at 1-1 after two games.
Editor’s note: This article was written before Klein’s Saturday game had completed.
Next, the Bulldogs are set to host the Montgomery Lake Creek Lions (2-0) at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 9, 2022. This game will close out the pre-district season, as Waller has the following week off for the mandatory bye game. The Bulldogs are slated to return to action against Klein Forest for their first District 15-6A battle on Sat., Sept. 24 at 6 p.m. in Klein Memorial Stadium.