Horton did not fault Knowles for the Warriors rushing woes. He said Azle’s ability to pursue well combined with mixed blocks were a challenging hurdle for any back to overcome, especially a freshman still transitioning from 11-man to six-man football.
“As good as Levi is and as much as he’s done this year, he’s still a freshman,” Horton said. “He doesn’t make a lot of freshman mistakes, but, at the same time, he’s also learning the game. Keep in mind the kids he was going up against in Azle were all seniors and juniors. If we block for him a little better, he has the same type of game he normally has.”
While Knowles struggled, CCS switched from their normal tight set to a spread formation and senior leader Isaiah Brazeal flourished. He was clearly the Warriors’ player of the game after that point, rushing 15 times for 240 yards and five touchdowns and completing 8-of-15 passes for 145 yards and a touchdown. He was involved in every CCS scoring play. But, unfortunately, it was too little too late.
“Isaiah played real well,” Horton said. “That was pretty encouraging, when you can do some things like that against Azle in the spread. I kind of kicked myself a little bit for not going to it sooner, but I was as surprised as anybody else was. We’ll take that information. I’m happy from the standpoint that we’ve got two different promising types of formations that we can run now.”
It’s undoubtedly good information going into the two most important games of CCS’ season. The Warriors will need “all of their bullets,” as TCU head coach Gary Patterson says, when they go to battle against the blue and gold warriors of El Paso Immanuel.
Immanuel, like so many teams on the CCS schedule, is an established spread team. Horton said they are not the “offensive juggernauts” that Azle are, but they do like to widen the field and keep defenses off-balance with lots of pre-snap motions.