BRENHAM — On the first play from scrimmage, Brenham’s Jackson Mueller caught a pass over the middle, veered to the home team’s sideline and never looked back.
From there the Cubs never looked back, scoring again in less than 3 minutes and eventually racing to a 38-13 victory over rival Waller in a nondistrict matchup Friday at Cub Stadium.
“We got off to a good start, and we needed that, and I was really pleased with the way we played the first half, “ Brenham coach Eliot Allen said. “Certainly when you get off to a good start, it boosts your confidence level quite a bit. Our big goal was we want to get better, and I feel we did, but we’ve got a long way to go.”
Garrison Weiss threw the strike to Mueller and was on target again with a 24-yard pass to Yann Toussom at the pylon on a fourth-and-7. The short field was set up by a J’Sin Lopez interception.
“I knew the linebacker was right behind me that I beat, so I kind of shook him off, and then I just had to outrun the safety,” Mueller said of the opening play. “I could kind of see the safety out of the corner of my eye.”
It was just the start the Cubs needed after losing their opener 38-13 to Magnolia West. Waller dropped to 0-2.
“Once I saw Jackson open, I just thought, ‘I’ve got to get it to him.’ I was just hoping he could do the rest,” Weiss said. “I was running with him the whole way once he caught it.”
The third drive took a few minutes longer and only netted a 26-yard field goal by Victor Mendoza, but it completed a dominant first quarter in which the Cubs held Waller to 14 yards on 11 plays from scrimmage.
“I was happy to make something of [the start] and pleased with how we played defense in first half,” Allen said.
On the Cubs’ fourth possession, senior quarterback Alldyn Schroeder found junior Cameron Richardson down the left sideline for a 35-yard touchdown reception to make it 24-0.
Waller had one sustained drive in the opening half, but an interception by sophomore cornerback Adan Villatoro on fourth down ended any hope the Bulldogs had of getting back into the game.
Waller opened the second half nearly as quickly as the Cubs did the first, getting excellent field position with a good kick return and a penalty on Brenham. From there, quarterback Caleb Godfrey ran for 20 yards, and Jared Hicks finished the drive with an 11-yard run. It was the Bulldogs’ first touchdown of the season.
Brenham responded with a drive that consisted mostly of tailback Daylonn McCowan and a 35-yard pass from Weiss to Kaden Watts. McCowan, who rushed for 100 yards on 19 carries, finished it with a 10-yard touchdown run that pushed the lead to 31-7.
Waller played well in the second half and had a nine-play drive that culminated with Godfrey finding Dayvion Crawford in the corner of the end zone for a 10-yard TD to make it 31-13.
The Bulldogs thought they had pulled to within two touchdowns on the third play of the fourth quarter, but a 91-yard touchdown pass was called back because of a personal foul.
“We got a couple of breaks, and it’s not playing smart,” Allen said. “We busted coverages, and we can’t do that.”
Brenham then put it away for good on Jaavon Dixon’s 8-yard run that capped a six-play drive after the defense held on downs at the Cubs’ 26.
“Our goal this week was to slow it down a little bit,” Allen said. “We took way too many snaps on defense last week, so I’m pleased with how our offense adjusted to that and did some good things. We wanted tempo in spurts but had to take our time at other points in the game.”
Weiss threw for 223 yards and was complemented by the rushing game that pounded out 203 yards on 38 carries.