We have some bad news for Paul Pewitt (14-2, 7-1): the Brahmas won’t catch anyone by surprise in 2020.
But this past season, Triston Abron’s team earned the respect of the entire state by finishing as the 3A DII state runner-up and reinvigorated the vibrant Omaha-Naples community.
“It seemed like the entire community might’ve been at that game,” Abron said of Pewitt's 43-22 loss to Gunter in the state championship game.
The Brahmas even earned the respect of nearby Mount Pleasant, who flashed rally signs as the Brahmas’ bus passed through the city on their way to Arlington this past December.
“That was that was neat in itself and it really gave you a sense of pride of not just for the school and what you're playing for, but the area in which you're playing for and the group of people and this end of the state,” Abron said.
Being a proud East Texas program built on a strong foundation set in the 90s and early 2000s that involved the 1998 state championship, it had been almost a decade since Pewitt last won double-digit games. Abron was hired in 2018 from Sulphur Springs, where he was defensive coordinator, and reinstalled the Slot-T offense in hopes of bringing Pewitt back to the days when it competed for state titles.
Heading into his second season following a solid 8-3 mark in 2018, Abron noticed the seeds of potential in the talent he had coming back. In the offseason, a few of his players came to him after finding out that us at Dave Campbell’s Texas Football tabbed them fourth in District 11-3A. Abron reminded them when Muhammad Ali once told George Foreman, “I’m going to show you how great I am.”
It wasn’t until Week 4’s dominating 60-25 win over Waskom when it really hit him that they might be on to something special. That win eventually snowballed into their win over Gilmer Harmony in the area round, which led to their win over Daingerfield in the regional finals and…you get the picture.
Pewitt then rattled off a 9-1 regular season, topped the district and fielded one of the state’s most powerful rushing attacks. The Brahmas posted over 6,300 yards rushing and 80 touchdowns on the ground led by senior Lajathen Allen’s 2,100 yards and 28 touchdowns.
The biggest catalyst behind that offensive explosion was the talent along the offensive line in the form of David Williams, Demarcus Hill, Duke Fitts, Rhys Kelley, Jett Morris and Ben Latham, who Abron was adamant to mention all by name.
“Those dudes, man, those are the guys I feel aren't given enough credit for what we did offensively with our run game because, man, those kids were really good and physical,” Abron said.
What kind of mentality was instilled to spearhead that kind of attack?
Well, running backs coach Cedric Dorsey preached to his players that if you go down after one hit by the defense, you’re not a very good running back and the Brahma backfield played with that edge, especially Allen.
“Lajathen took that to heart,” Abron said. “You give him the rock, you better bring everybody to come try and get him down.”
With Allen, quarterback Cross Holder (1,212 yards) and Kei’untray Hawkins graduating, Pewitt will have to retool a bit, but junior Kadrien Johnson (1,081) and sophomore Deiontray Hill (864) definitely showed the capabilities of leading the offense in 2020 and showing that 2019 wasn’t a flash in the pan.
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