Showdown in Brownwood

Derek Longoria and the Brownwood Lions got the season started in style last week, handing Gatesville a 56-19 defeat. This week, the top-ranked Lions host Graham -- which went 14-2 last year -- in the home-opener for Brownwood. Find out what Longoria had to say about the initial game of his senior season, as well as his thoughts on this week's bout with the defending state-runner up Steers.

"We went in with high confidence last week," said SMU commit Derek Longoria of his team's easy victory in the opener. "We started putting them away in the first quarter; we didn't give up much yardage on defense.

"When the score was 45-6, our coach took the starters out and the second-string did a pretty good job. Our back-ups are dependable, and we kept the game at our level.

"I had eight tackles and scored a touchdown (from two yards out) on my only carry. Our linebackers were fantastic, our offensive line did a terrific job, and the running backs found the right holes.

"Jaxon Shipley returned two punts for touchdowns, and I think he caught a pass for another touchdown. Ethan Horton, one of our junior linebackers, had a good game, but I wouldn't say that he played his best. That was his first game at Brownwood, so he's still getting used to things.

"Our junior cornerback, Kevin Vaccaro, did really good. He deflected some passes and has definitely gotten a lot better. Whenever our secondary would allow a completion, he would get on their case and say that we can't be having that."

This week, Graham comes to town. The Steers went 14-2 in 2009, losing in the 3A Division II state championship to Carthage at SMU's Ford Stadium. In its first game, Graham edged Mineral Wells, 10-9.

"They lost Case McCoy and also lost a lot more of their team," said Longoria of the Steers, "but we have to play at our level, regardless of the opponent. We're going to do whatever it takes to win."

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