The Huntsville Hornets have been here before, and they’re confident they can repeat history.
Huntsville fell to College Station last Friday, suffering its first loss of 2019 in the team’s final non-district test. It was a familiar feeling for the then-No. 4 Hornets, whose hot start last season hit a road bump in Week 3 against the same opponent.
Things turned out OK then — Huntsville proceeded to win 10 straight games, beating league opponents by an average of 43.9 points per game on its way to a District 10-5A Division II championship and the school’s deepest postseason run in 28 years. So as the Hornets attempt to turn the page on a rare setback, it’s understandable why they have belief in their ability to do so.
“Sometimes we need to get punched in the mouth to get the feeling back that we need to be a little more hungry.,” Huntsville head coach Rodney Southern said after the loss to College Station. “These kids will bounce back. … We were in the exact same situation last year."
Huntsville will need to bounce back immediately. Once again, the team’s first district test is poised to be its steepest.
The Hornets, who are on a bye this week, open league play at home on Sept. 27 against A&M Consolidated in a matchup of Texas high school football powerhouses. Huntsville fell to No. 7 after its loss to College Station, while the 2-0 Tigers moved up to No. 5 as they approach their final non-district game.
Bowers Stadium will boast a plethora of Division I prospects that late-September night. The Huntsville defense features Colorado State commit Briceon Hayes and North Texas-bound Jordan Brown in the front seven, while A&M Consolidated has Power Five commits Devin Price and Brian Darby — who are headed to Texas A&M and Oklahoma, respectively — at the skill positions. And these are hardly the only impact players, with each team featuring a handful of others that have the potential to play at the college level.
Without a doubt, barring unforeseen circumstances, this meeting will serve as a defacto district championship game. Both teams have the talent, coaching and leadership to run the table in league play after this.
The same was the case last year, when Huntsville rode a dominant defensive effort to a 20-7 victory in College Station. A&M Consolidated didn’t lose again until it faced state runner-up Fort Bend Marshall in the second round of the playoffs, while the Hornets went undefeated until facing the same team in the quarterfinals.
Did Huntsville’s recent loss to College Station shed light on potential areas of concern? Absolutely.
But as history has taught us, fans shouldn’t fret about one defeat that has no bearing on the season as a whole. With 32 seniors, this team is battle-tested and accomplished — and they certainly aren’t dwelling on one minor setback.