Divison 3A-1 Week 1 Preview: Brock vs. Bushland

Gavin DunawayBy Gavin DunawayAugust 22, 20204 Minutes

On Friday, August 28th, the Brock Eagles are set to take on the Bushland Falcons in a neutral non-conference game. This match looks like it could be one of the more fierce battles in the opening week of Texas High School Football since both teams are considered to be in the top 10 schools of their division. Maxpreps ranks the Eagles 3rd in Divison 3A-1 while the Falcons are placed at the 7th spot.

Brock finished up the 2019-2020 season with a devastating 36 to 35 loss against Pottsboro in the playoff semifinals. Bushland’s final game of last year was against Brock in the regional playoffs, which we’ll get into more later.

Both Bushland and Brock have several recent years of playoff experience, however, Brock has made the deeper push by racking up a state title in 2015 and a runner-up finish to that title in 2017.

The last time these two teams met was in a 2019 regional playoff game. Both teams were striking and stopping each other equally. That consistent give and take left the score tied at 14 at the end of regulation time. Ultimately, the Eagles managed to come out on top at the end of the game with a final score of 20 to 17.

Going into that playoff game, both teams looked extremely dominant. They won all of their previous playoff games in that season by at least 24 points. The Falcons were even undefeated until their bout against the Eagles.

Despite Bushland’s advantage in terms of having much more senior leadership, Brock still managed to win that playoff game. That being said, Brock is expected to return a fair amount of offensive and defensive starters this season while Bushland has lost some key senior pieces.

The wide receiver group for Bushland has lost 3 senior wideouts, which could potentially be an issue since Bushland was a tremendously pass-heavy team throughout the season. However, that is not to say that this new group of wide receivers can’t step up and lead. It’s a matter of continuing to develop chemistry with the offensive unit.

Among the returning starters for Brock is RB Cash Jones, an offensive powerhouse that rushed for over 1,000 yards last season. In the 2019 regional playoff game against Bushland, Jones ran in the 2-yard touchdown that won the game for Brock. The Eagles were very much a ground-and-pound team throughout that season, so having Jones back is a huge positive for their offensive identity.

Considering that Brock is expected to have key starters returning with arguably more experience than the group has ever had before, I would give them the advantage in their week 1 battle against Bushland. 

Although Bushland could still be a tough force to face, they may have some chemistry issues beginning this season. Their potential chemistry issue may even be compounded by how the COVID-19 pandemic has limited their ability to connect.

Gavin’s Prediction: Brock to win by at least 10 points