Glenn head coach Rob Schoenfeld and the Grizzlies are getting a little weary about everything being a first for the school. It’s been an applicable storyline just about every week this season.
But as they prepare for another first when they host Medina Valley in the bi-district round of the playoffs Friday night at 7:30 p.m. at Bible Stadium, the mindset has graduated past the youthful narrative.
“I don’t think we have to go out and oversell that it’s a playoff game and it’s the first this or that,” Schoenfeld said. “We’re approaching it like this is a very important football game at the end of the week. That’s how we’ve approached every game. Because of what football means to the community and culture, it’s all big.”’
Glenn finished as the No. 1 seed in District 13-5A-DII this season with the Grizzlies, Brenham and East View all ending the regular season with identical 5-2 records in district play. Bastrop beat Glenn in the regular-season finale to clinch the No. 4 seed.
The Grizzlies scored the first two touchdowns of the game last Friday, but the Bears scored five unanswered touchdowns to take a three-score lead. Bastrop negated a pair of second-half touchdowns by Glenn with a score late in the fourth quarter.
Quarterback Drew McGuire finished with 185 yards and a touchdown passing and used for 29 yards and a score. Running back Julian Morris had 50 yards and a touchdown, Shamir Nichols had 63 rushing yards and 60 receiving yards and Rondrick Stubblefield caught two passes for 29 yards and a score.
The last time Glenn lost, a 20-7 defeat against Marble Falls during district play, it responded with a hard-fought win at Bible Stadium against Brenham to clinch the top seed and at least a share of the title.
Schoenfeld hopes the trend repeats itself.
“It’s certainly not something you want to make a habit of,” he said. “At this point, you rebound or you put all your equipment away. It’s totally dependent on our mindset when we come out. We’ve got to start fast and sustain it. It’s about maintaining that throughout the game and not letting one mistake turn into multiple mistakes.”
Medina Valley has made the playoffs in four of the last five seasons but hasn’t advanced past the first round in that span.
The Panthers run the ball twice as much as they pass it, averaging 238.3 rushing yards per game compared to 134.9 yards through the air. They’ve rushed for 2,383 yards and 33 touchdowns this season.
Medina Valley junior James Gipson has rushed for 1,172 yards and 18 touchdowns and has six games with at least 100 rushing yards on the year. He rushed for 137 yards and two touchdowns in the Panthers’ regular-season finale.
Medina Valley enters the playoffs on a two-game losing streak, falling to Alamo Heights and undefeated district champion Tivy — both playoff teams — in the last two weeks of the regular season.
Schoenfeld coached against the Panthers when he was in the San Antonio district. Even though they have different people and different coaches now, the standards of the community and the expectations of Medina Valley hasn’t changed.
He expects the Grizzlies to stay focused.
“The mindset is that we’ve got to prepare in a great fashion every day to get ready to give us an opportunity to compete,” Schoenfeld said. “I know I say it every week and it sounds cliche, but that’s how things work in the playoffs.”