Hico is still adjusting to life without returning starting quarterback Sonny Morrow, and the Tigers don’t yet have an idea when he’ll return.
The Tigers scrimmaged Moody and Valley Mills Thursday night, their final tune-up before meeting Dublin in next Friday’s season opener at Tarleton Memorial Stadium.
Hico head coach Keith Wood says his squad has simplified its offense without Morrow to lead the way, returning to the run-heavy wing-T they have employed in seasons past.
It worked fine Thursday, as returning 1,000-yard rushers Dylan Turner and Alex Sikes were able to move the ball.
“We can still drive the field with those guys,” Wood said. “We had to change our plans some with Sonny out, but with those two guys back there it’s not like the cupboard is bare.”
Morrow, who dislocated his elbow pole vaulting at the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation’s Summer Games of Texas on Aug. 5, was also a first-team all-district cornerback last fall.
“As of right now we’re not really sure when he might be back,” Wood said. “They put him in a brace and finally this week the swelling went down enough so they could examine it better. We really don’t have a timeline yet.”
Phillip Garza, a junior, has taken over as the starter under center. He backed up Morrow last year.
“Phillip was on the varsity last year, so we had been preparing him for a while to be our starter next year,” Wood said. “It’s not as if he hasn’t been getting ready for this opportunity, we just didn’t expect it to come so soon.”
When Garza was asked to pass Thursday, Wood said he did well.
“He did pretty well passing the ball,” he said. “He’s getting there.”
Wood said the offensive line still has a long way to go.
“We did okay up front, but we have to get more physical,” he said. “We have to come off the ball better.”
Wood said the defense played well Thursday under the circumstances.
“They played pretty well, we just had some alignment mistakes and little things like that,” he said. “We expect that in a scrimmage when we’re not really scouting what teams might try to do against us. I was pleased with the way we ran to the football.”
The Tigers, fresh off a 7-3 campaign in which all three losses came in district play to keep them out of the playoffs, are meeting Dublin in Stephenville Friday because Tigers Stadium in Hico will be set up for this weekend’s annual Six-Man Super Saturday.
Wood is glad to have Dublin back on his team’s schedule after a two-year absence.
“I think it’s a good rivalry,” Wood said. “Our kids know the Dublin kids. They’ve competed against each other since pee-wee. It’s good for two towns so close to play each other, and I think having it at Tarleton will make it even more special.”