The Hutto Hippos started the district season off with a bang, cruising past Cedar Creek on the road in the district opener this past Friday. The Hippos scored on offense, defense and on special teams in the 69-6 victory to start the district season 1-0.
“I think the offense really took a step forward in the victory over Cedar Creek,” Hutto head football coach Steve Hale said. “Chase Adams played a great game at quarterback and I’m really liking his progression from game to game at the quarterback position. He is getting better each week, and so is our team.
“We were also able to run the football and make some big plays at wide receiver. We had a lot of big plays on offense, so we didn’t get as many plays as we wanted, but the defense played great and we’re still doing well in special teams. I thought it was a complete team victory over Cedar Creek and it was a good way to begin the district season.”
Cedar Creek is in its first season as a varsity football team, but Hale’s crew dominated in every aspect. Hutto had 449 yards of total offense, compared to just 151 yards for Cedar Creek.
The schedule only gets tougher as the season wears on, as the Hippos host Elgin this Friday at home with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m.
“Elgin has a lot of speed and athleticism. They are also coached extremely well and the program is buying into the new philosophy be the head coach,” Hale said. “Elgin is a much better team this year than in the last few years we have played them. It will be a big challenge for this team.”
Elgin enters the game 2-2 on the season and 0-1 in district play. The Wildcats started the season off with wins over Bryan Rudder and Lehman High School before dropping their last two games. Elgin ended the non-district portion of the schedule with a 41-40 loss to Vista Ridge before Georgetown High School beat them 31-8 last week to kickoff district play for each team.
“Elgin can score a lot of points and have the ability to score every time they touch the ball because of the athleticism and speed they have at a lot of positions,” Hale said. “The offense goes through the quarterback, so we’ll have to stop him. On defense, they are very good upfront.”
The Wildcats are the smallest school in the district, as such, they rely on numerous two-way starters. Elgin is attempting to build on the first winning season in the school since 2008. Three of those two-way starters – Te’Rel Simmons, De’Trean Simmons and Abraham Zepeda – are skill players, which should be the strength of the team.
Simmons had a breakout sophomore season at quarterback, throwing for 1,527 yards and 20 touchdowns and rushing for another 1,025 yards and eight touchdowns. His twin brother De’Trean will play at wide receiver and in the secondary.
The line will again be a problem on both sides of the ball for the Wildcats. Only one of the seven returning starters is on the defensive side of the ball returns on the defensive line for a defense that allowed 24.4 points per game.
The secondary should be a strength.
The Hippos have a chance to start district 2-0 before the scheduled bye week that every team in the district has on Oct. 5.
“I think it is huge to win this game against Elgin and enter the bye week at 2-0,” Hale said. “We want to be feeling good about ourselves going into the open week and into the game against Connally. Everyone is a little beat up and the bye week is needed, so we need to take care of business this week.
“This district is too tough to let off the gas. A couple of mistakes and we’re not playing in the playoffs. We need to remember that each game. It is about us improving each week and taking it one game at a time. That is our only goal.”