When Christ Church played St. Joseph’s in Week 9, Knights running back Andre Stoddard rushed for 200 yards on 34 carries.
Stoddard gained 72 yards on one touchdown run, and the Cavaliers, for the most part, contained him other than that.
In the last two weeks, Stoddard rushed for 441 yards against Southside Christian and 304 against Lewisville. So why did Christ Church have some success against Stoddard?
“We tackled,” Cavaliers coach Don Frost said. “It’s that simple. He is a very good running back. He is a very good athlete. When the opportunity presents itself, you’ve got to tackle. You can’t miss tackles. That’s the key.”
The teams will meet again Friday at Christ Church in the second round of the Class A Division I playoffs. The top-ranked Cavaliers are 11-0, including their 49-14 win against St. Joseph’s (8-3).
The Region 2-A and private-school rivals also played twice last year. Stoddard rushed for 354 yards in the Knights’ 42-34 regular-season loss. Then Christ Church limited Stoddard to 45 yards on 19 carries in a 54-14 first-round playoff victory.
This season, the 5-foot-10, 220-pound Stoddard has rushed for 2,639 yards and 37 touchdowns.
“Their offensive line does a good job of blocking, and he does a good job of running,” Frost said. “He’s got good vision and he breaks tackles, and that calculates into yards.”
Christ Church, which won the Class A Division II state title in 2011, has been led by quarterback Demetrius Anthony. He has passed for 1,594 yards and rushed for 433 and made the most of weapons such as running backs Alex Conner and Michael Batson and receivers Rudy Johnstone, Quan White and Nick Taylor.
Conner rushed for 165 yards in the Cavaliers’ Week 9 victory, but Frost said that statistic and the others should be forgotten.
“Any time we play people almost back-to-back like this,” Frost said, “throw everything out the window and go by what the latest film shows you, and play them just like it was the first time you played them.”