WALLER — The Waller Bulldogs found a way to battle the undefeated Montgomery’s Lake Creek Lions (3-0) for the last pre-district game of the year, but came up short, 57-14, Friday night.
The Bulldogs now stand at 0-3 early in the season, after last week’s home opener went to Katy’s Mayde Creek Rams (click to read the story).
The Bulldogs now have their state-mandated bye week for the week of Sept. 16. The Bulldog offense has the opportunity to recuperate after multiple injuries during practices, ultimately forcing Waller to finish the Lake Creek game with only a single varsity receiver on the roster.
“We’re down (players) right now on offense,” head football coach Marcus Mendoza said. “We’re down to just one receiver, but we’re going to figure it out. We had one who unfortunately broke his ankle with a small fracture (earlier this season), and another one had a dislocated shoulder, another one had a concussion, and my fourth one just got ejected, so he’ll be out for the next game.”
Waller is set to return to action in their first weekend game as Klein Forest hosts the Bulldogs at Klein Memorial Stadium for the District 15-6A league opener on Sat., Sept. 24 with a 6 p.m. kickoff.
After being held scoreless in the opening stanza, the Bulldogs reached pay dirt early in the second quarter.
Alex Barrs struck on a 5-yard carry, with Eric Cornejo splitting the uprights on the point after kick. Waller trailed 22-7 with 11:27 standing in the second quarter.
The Lake Creek defense kept Waller out of the end zone until midway through the third period of play. Barrs took a long step with a 29-yard run. Cornejo drilled the extra point, 43-14, with 7:21 left in the quarter.
The Lions scored twice afterward, leaving the final score at 57-14.
Even though Waller’s offense is dinged up, his team has improved in one area he keyed on after losing the home opener last week: The Bulldog players’ discipline has visibly improved since last week’s showing.
“We are going to continue to build on the discipline,” Mendoza said after the game. “The discipline part, we cleaned up a little bit, but we still have some ways to go on both sides of the ball and special teams, on knowing what we need to do and where we need to be. Those things are going to be more consistent on the more reps we get — something I always say is: ’practice makes permanent.’ We’re going to permanently work on those things. To me, practice doesn’t make perfect; because if we practice it (poorly) then that’s going to become permanent.”
Coaches and leaders have a focus on the play-by-play story that isn’t necessarily communicated by the final score. This can be difficult for a casual observer to see — high school football is about more than rankings and bowl games.
“We did better today, especially on the defensive side with watching the ball and cleaning up the penalties, but we still had unforced penalties on ourselves,” Mendoza noted. “We still had a personal foul, which we went over and talked as a team. But I’m going to keep digging in and figuring out the formula to make sure we have success for the kids. But even with all that adversity, my guys kept fighting and found a way to produce a little bit of what we’re able to show with our explosive offense. The kids came through and battled with adversity … We came out and we did not get stuffed, and we were comfortable being uncomfortable in that situation, because we still able to move the ball and still able to go score. They got comfortable in that new style we had to do, and they moved the ball.”
NEXT WEEK AND BEYOND
When the Bulldogs return to action on Sept. 24, it will Waller’s second away game. This season, Klein Memorial Stadium will effectively serve as the Bulldogs’ home-away-from-home as three of their games will be held there.
“We have a lot of things we need to fix on our side, but going into 6A is going to be exciting (for our community) to see what that looks like,” Mendoza said. “I think we can compete, I think we have the skill, I think we have all the things that we need to consistently see the things we need to fix and play at that level.
“I’m excited for us: new teams, new stadiums, all the things that are going to help us with where we’re at,” Mendoza said. “We’re continuously growing and we’re growing really fast.”
Klein Memorial Stadium is located at 16607 Stuebner Airline Rd, Spring, TX 77379.
In District 15-6A, the Bulldogs are currently one game behind Klein and Tomball in overall season standings.
For reference, Tomball advanced to the Class 6A state semifinals last year. Three out of the five Klein ISD teams have undefeated records as of the time this article was written.
Up next, Waller has Week 4 off for the mandatory bye game. The Bulldogs are slated to return to action in Week 5 against Klein Forest for their first District 15-6A battle on Sat., Sept. 24 at 6 p.m. in Klein Memorial Stadium.