CLUTE — When asked how Brazoswood’s fast-paced offense is working out through the first four games of the season, Buccaneers coach Joe Dale Cary answered it very matter of factly.

“We’ll, we’re averaging 62 points a game, so it’s worked out pretty well so far,” he said.

With quarterback Isaac Ponce in his second year starting under center and a trio of weapons to throw to, the sky has been the limit for Cary’s offense, and the added ingredient to push the offense to a record-breaking pace is tempo.

Since he arrived in March, Cary has wanted to push the tempo and reiterated it during practice Wednesday at Slade Field. The idea behind speeding up the pace is keeping the defense in one set and not letting substitutions on the field.

The results have been impressive.

The 2022 Bucs have scored 245 points through four games, helping the team jump out to their first 4-0 start since 2015.

By comparison, last season’s team scored 217 in 10 games. The 245 points also surpass the season point totals for 15 of the last 25 seasons, and entering last week’s game against Houston Westbury, the Bucs’ 60.6 points per game ranked the third-most throughout the state. Now up to 62, the team is most likely still in the top five entering Week 5.

Because of the pace, the offense’s simplicity has allowed Cary’s players to focus on their abilities instead of having to think.

Ponce has been efficient, completing 43-of-70 passing for 61.4 percent and 565 yards, eight touchdowns and three interceptions. He can also do his thing on the ground. Ponce has generated 377 rushing yards and six touchdowns through the first four games. To put it in perspective, he scored six rushing touchdowns last season.

The receivers have also benefited.

Kade Bengtson is averaging 13.5 yards a catch and three touchdowns; Anthony Trevino has 233 yards on 16 catches and three scores; and Cole Hagan is averaging 15.2 yards a catch and has scored twice.

Sophomore back Jose Trevino has excelled with his 523 rushing yards and team-high 10 touchdowns.

“With the offense we are running, when you go fast, you have to keep it simple, so our offense is pretty simple,” Cary said. “We don’t have a lot of complex schemes — the last three weeks, we’ve called two run plays. Now, right and left, but just two run plays.

“When you simplify your scheme, they don’t have to think. They know it, and they’ve done it 100 times in practice and I think that has been a big advantage. So when you have a good athlete like Isaac, Jose, Anthony, Kade, those guys, they can go play. They don’t have to think. Just go play and play fast.”

Keeping the scheme simple has put players like Jose Trevino in a position to receive the tools he needs to be a better back and let his talent do the rest. Cary credits running backs coach Cameron Massengill for not overcoaching.

“He makes sure that Jose understands the game plan and the direction of a play, but we’re not going to overcoach him,” Cary said. “We are going to let him be an athlete and a running back.

“He has great hands, so we are able to utilize him in the passing game, and that is a huge advantage for us to put him out in routes.”

Of course, every plan has a trade-off, and while the Bucs have not experienced that yet, Cary informed his players that the offense will not always run like a well-oiled machine.

“I told our kids on Monday, ‘We’ve had a lot of success. We need to be prepared to go three and out, and there are going to be some frustrations, and that’s OK,’” Cary said. “It’s like that line in ‘Remember the Titans’ when they’re trying to run the split veer. ‘It’s like novocaine. Just give it time, it always works.’ There are going to be some frustrations because we haven’t had any of that. There hasn’t been adversity.”

The Bucs faced adversity in their season opener against Beaumont United when the team lost a 16-point lead and trailed 32-28 midway through the fourth quarter. Trevino, however, gave the Bucs the lead for good with 4:01 remaining.

In last week’s win over Houston Westbury, Brazoswood found itself down in the first quarter before scoring 28 straight points and eventually putting the game away.

Cary highlighted that his team’s pace might not bother their opponent this week in Clear Creek because the Wildcats do not work exotic systems in their 3-4 scheme. As district play opens today, Cary realizes that eventually, his offense might slow down, and the team might trail for more than a few minutes, but he’s confident his offense will respond.

“They (Clear Creek) are going to want to cause problems on first down to get us in second- and third-and-long situations. We have not had a lot of third and longs this year because of our pace,” Cary said. “We are going to be down, whether it is this week or next week; we just have to battle back.”

Jake Dowling is the sports editor for The Facts. Contact him at 979-237-0161 or by email at jake.dowling@thefacts.com.

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