SHENANDOAH — “Pflugerville Connally has an excellent secondary with very capable athletes back there,” Neumann said. “He’s a difficult matchup with his stature. He’s not going to run away from a lot of people, but if you’re even with him, you might lose that contest for the ball because of how big he is. That’s a feature you can’t coach. We wouldn’t be afraid to throw it to him against anyone. He’s a big kid who knows how to move his body around to make plays.”
As good as its defense has been Connally’s offense is what catches the eye first. The Cougars averaged 44.2 points per game in eight victories this season and are led by senior quarterback Dajon Williams. The dual threat has thrown for 1,383 yards this season and run for another 484 while accounting for 18 total touchdowns.
“He’s a lot like Dayton’s quarterback,” Neumann said. “He’s also a lot like Central’s (Robert) Mitchell. He can run and throw it. He’s got a pretty good arm. Sometimes in the videos, he’s misfired, but it’s going on a spiral and going in the right direction. It’s not like you think he can’t throw it. You think that could have been a touchdown, he just missed a little bit. He’s a very good quarterback.”
Connally is similar to Nederland in being pretty balanced offensively. The offense rushed for 201 yards per game this season and averaged 332 total yards in 11 games this year. Like Nederland, the Cougars also have a standout back in LaDaedrix Payton, who has rushed for 924 yards and 11 touchdowns this season.
“Their running back (LaDaedrix Payton) is the first thing that jumps out at you about their offense,” Neumann said. “He reminds me in body-type of Wareall Grogan. He’s got great speed and is strong-looking. Our scouts said they heard people referring to him as ‘Little Ricky’ as in Ricky Williams from Texas. That’s pretty high praise, but the guy is a pretty good runner.”