As the clock wound down last week, Anderson-Shiro football players and coaches hugged and congratulated each other. There was plenty of reason to celebrate the 46-0 win over a talented Brazos Christian team, but one thing stuck out.

The Owls are 4-0 for the first time in program history, and the community is loving it. The success is leading to the biggest crowds in Anderson-Shiro history and raucous student sections.

“That’s pretty exciting when you’ve got the community rallying behind you, and that’s something we stress and talk about that it’s a lot bigger than us,” Anderson-Shiro head coach Brad Hodges said. “We’re playing for a lot of people, and so when our guys know they’ve got our backs like that, they’re parking miles up the road, it’s pretty cool to see.”

Anderson-Shiro has three shutouts in four games, outscoring opponents 145-20. Senior running back/cornerback Zacarrius Haynes leads the charge on both sides of the ball and is one of two Owls to have been voted Brazos Valley football player of the week along with junior defensive tackle Shyheim Jones.

“Our kids take a lot of pride in our defense,” Hodges said. “They really get after it. In fact, we kind of have to rein them in a little bit in practice. They get pretty excited about going out there, and we just don’t have the numbers to be smashing on each other like they’re wanting to do. But once Friday rolls around, they’re pretty fired up.”

Hodges says the Owls’ success is a group effort.

Offensive coordinator Taylor Beadles and defensive coordinator Bill Cowley have been with Hodges since he started at Anderson-Shiro three years ago, and he gives them a lot of credit for the on-field product.

“It’s showing itself on Friday nights, but our guys are working their tails off Monday through Thursday,” Hodges said. “They’ve really embraced the message that me and my coaching staff are preaching and embracing that grind. The coaching staff has done a terrific job each week with my defensive coordinator Bill Cowley and offensive coordinator Taylor Beadles.”

Anderson-Shiro has one final nondistrict game at 7 p.m. Friday at Granger before a bye week and the start of District 12-3A Division II play at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 11 at Hemphill. The Owls will host the 2018 Class 3A Division II champions, Newton, at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 8.

Smith breaks school record

Hearne’s Micah Smith always is capable of turning heads, but his performance last Friday was one for the record books.

Smith, the Eagles’ junior quarterback, broke a school record, throwing for 527 yards on 17-of-26 passing in Hearne’s 59-6 nondistrict win over Lexington. He added 50 rushing yards and two touchdowns on eight carries.

Smith threw five TD passes, two each to Jalen Gonzales and Tyquez Tindle and one to Damion Dunn. All three seniors finished with over 100 receiving yards, led by Gonzales, who caught six passes for 203 yards.

Hearne begins District 13-2A Division I play at 7:30 p.m. Friday against Holland.

Locals open district

Bryan got things started last week, and now the other three Bryan/College Station public schools will begin their respective district schedules this week.

College Station will go first, taking on Conroe Caney Creek in District 8-5A Division I action at 7 p.m. Thursday. The Cougars, two weeks removed from their upset over Huntsville, beat Nuevo León 48-9 last week and are taking on a Panthers team they beat 70-0 last season.

Rudder and A&M Consolidated will begin District 10-5A Division II play at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Both squads have big matchups.

The Rangers (2-1) will travel to Montgomery and take on a Bears squad that beat Rudder 46-22 last year and ultimately finished third in the district standings. Rudder is looking to win its third straight game, and a win over Montgomery would go a long way toward bolstering the Rangers’ playoff hopes.

Consol travels to Huntsville for one of the most anticipated games in the state. Huntsville won last year’s showdown 27-7, but the Tigers’ offensive line is more consistent and many of the skill players have an abundance of experience, just like many players on the Consol defense. Like last year, this game could decide who wins the district title.

Brenham, the Brazos Valley’s other Class 5A team, opens District 13-5A Division II against Bastrop Cedar Creek at 7 p.m. Friday at Cub Stadium.

Looking ahead

In other District 14-6A action, Bridgeland, which is coached by former Consol head coach David Raffield, is off to a 4-0 start. The Bears, in their second year of varsity action, made waves when they took down Cypress Ranch 48-14. Cy-Ranch was last year’s district champ, and Bryan beat Bridgeland 42-21 last season. Bryan will take on Bridgeland at 7 p.m. Oct. 3 at Cy-Fair FCU Stadium.

In the polls

After a dominant 42-3 win over Leander Rouse, A&M Consolidated held steady at No. 5 in Dave Campbell’s Class 5A Division II rankings. The Tigers’ opponent this Friday, Huntsville, moved up one spot to sixth in the rankings.

District 10-3A Division I rivals Cameron and Rockdale appeared in the rankings, checking in at third and eighth, respectively. Rockdale, which moved up one spot from last week, is idle, while Cameron will host Troy at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Bremond held steady at No. 6 in Class 2A Division II. The Tigers will host Leon in their homecoming game at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

· Maria McIlwain’s email is

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