Nederland seeks playoff revenge against Georgetown
Georgetown vs. Nederland
When: 2 p.m. Saturday
Where: Bower Stadium at Sam Houston State University
Records: Georgetown 9-2, Nederland 10-1
Last Year: Georgetown 38-6
Radio: KLVI (560-AM)
Directions to Stadium: Take I 10 West until exiting on 775A on 610 North. Exit 19B for Hardy Toll Road North and merge on 45N. In 40 miles exit 112 for Texas 75 toward Sam Houston State University. Turn right on Sycamore Avenue and then left on Bowers Blvd.
Coach Larry Neumann never lets himself look too far ahead when the UIL playoffs start.
He continues his thought of taking it one game at a time. This year, though, was a little different.
Neumann did not have to look very far at all to see a familiar name, the Georgetown Eagles.
The Eagles (9-2) eliminated the Bulldogs (10-1) a year ago in the regional final, 38-6. Now the two teams will meet up in the second round at 2 p.m. Saturday at Bower Stadium on the campus of Sam Houston State University in Huntsville.
“This is certainly meaningful to several of our players who were on that team last year and were taken out by Georgetown,” Neumann said. “They played a tremendous game last year. It is human nature for our guys to be motivated in this game.”
Georgetown scored 17 points in the second quarter last year and then put up 21 in the third to take a 38-0 lead into the fourth. Nederland didn’t get on the board until there was 1:37 left in the game — on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Carson Raines to Zach Taylor.
The Eagles forced five Nederland turnovers last year, three interceptions and two fumbles.
Georgetown Coach Jason Dean said his team will not put too much stock into last year’s game. A good reason why is because there are not a lot of the same Eagles players who were in the game that are on the Georgetown roster this year.
“We lost 56 seniors last year,” Dean said. “We only have four guys back who were on varsity last year. Over the last six weeks we really have become a much better football team. Our players who are here this year want to leave their own mark.”
There are many Nederland players who are back this year from a year ago.
Star defensive lineman DeShawn Washington has called this game “personal.”
Caleb Malveaux earlier this week described how it was Georgetown last year who stopped the Bulldogs from achieving their goals. Now Nederland wants to return the favor.
“Our seniors and guys back are explaining those feelings to the younger players,” Neumann said. “They don’t want to feel like that again.”
Georgetown’s offense starts with the play of its junior quarterback, Ben Bottlinger. Bottlinger has attempted 275 passes this year and has completed 173 for 63-percent passing. He has 1,869 yards with 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
Camden Lepley has 61 receptions for 635 yards with four touchdowns, while Ben Nunes has 49 catches for 605 yards and four scores. Zach McCoig has 30 receptions for 337 yards and six touchdowns.
“Georgetown again this year has a very good football team,” Neumann said. “Their quarterback is a precision quarterback and they feature timing routes. They like to play fast, so they are very hard to prepare for. You can’t really simulate what they do in practice. Our defense knows what is in front of them.”
Speaking of his defense, Neumann said it is very well known the Bulldogs are playing exceptional defense these days.
Nederland gave up only 124 yards last week to Kingwood Park. A week before the Bulldogs held Beaumont Central to only seven points in a game that Colton Kimler had four interceptions. The last team to really put a scare into Nederland was the Port Neches-Groves Indians. Nederland defeated PN-G 21-17 to move to 6-1 at that point in the season.
“We have to start getting the tough yards, offensively,” Neumann said. “Without those yards, we are starting to rely on our defense a little too much. We cannot expect our defense to score points. We can’t sit and wait on our defense to continue to make the amount of plays they are making these days. We certainly will take them but our offense needs to start running the football a little better, even when our opponents know we are going to run the ball.”
Nederland running back Kendrick Hopkins now has 1,330 yards with 15 touchdowns. Kingwood Park limited Hopkins to 27 yards on 15 carries.
Preston White has 1,659 yards on 100-for-156 passing, with 15 touchdowns and eight interceptions.
Kimler leads the Bulldogs with 38 receptions for 791 yards and nine touchdowns, while Sage Seay has 25 catches for 383 yards and three touchdowns.
Seay and Kimler also worry Dean when the duo play in the Nederland secondary. Seay had an interception last week and Kimler has six in two weeks.
“Their defense, of course, starts with those defensive tackles in Caleb and DeShawn,” Dean said. “Those guys are tremendous football players and leaders. Kimler and Seay have done a great job over the last week making it real difficult to pass and it looks like Austin Krautz is healthy and he is a great player too.
“This is a typical Nederland team that is very well coached by Coach Neumann. They are a quality team that does not beat itself too often.”
Neumann is also looking forward to a well-played football game.
“This is going to be a game won up front,” Neumann said. “In a game like this, you cannot overlook the kicking game. Georgetown is a great team and we look forward to playing those guys again.”
QB – Ben Bottlinger (11)
RB – Tyler Moody (38)
RB – Camden Lepley (2)
WR – Ben Nunes (80)
WR – Zach Mcoig (7)
WR – Hayden Whiteaker (85)
OL – Jakob Brandenburg (77)
OL – Josef Gaudiesus (52)
C – David Vicars (66)
OL – Tyler Preson (57)
OL – Skyler Adams (59)
DL – Jake Blankenship (50)
DL – Garrett Lee (58)
DL – Ty Nichols (47)
DL – Micah Downs (4)
LB – Matt Ray (45)
LB – Jace Lacaille (42)
LB – Jordan Haas (6)
CB – Wade Harris (8)
FS – Hank Northcutt (5)
SS – Dakota Cahill (20)
CB – Brodie Sachs (29)
QB – Preston White (7)
RB – Kendrick Hopkins (24)
FB – Marcus Barton (3)
WR – Colton Kimler (8)
WR – Sage Seay (10)
TE – Brandon Dial (27)
OL – Justin Carr (77)
OL – Jacob Brinkley (66)
OL – Cole Brown (62)
OL – Logan Albritton (58)
OL – Chris Henry (53)
DE – Connor Hughes (99)
DT – De Shawn Washington (6)
DT – Caleb Malveaux (5)
DE – Beau Stewart (8)
LB – Christian Contreras (14)
LB – Leon Mayfield (1)
CB – Austin Krautz (22)
S – Sage Seay (10)
S – Colton Kimler (9)
S – Travis Gallier (20)
CB – Trey Richardson (18)