Everyone knew that the 2020 Bryant Hornets had plenty of weapons on offense working behind an offensive line that had experience including a trio of guys that started as sophomores on the 13-0 State championship team in 2019.
Almost all the question marks coming into the season were on defense. Now, because the Hornets played something like 10 games that ended with the mercy rule in effect last season, the guys on defense got quite a bit of experience. But that wasn’t at crunch time, wasn’t always against the opponents’ first team (though often it was).
And, with the coronavirus restrictions gutting spring and summer work, there was very little full-on tackling going on, even when the teams were cleared to practice.
Four games in, defensive coordinator Quad Sanders says that, only now, are the Hornets about where they would be to start a season in that regard.
Admittedly, the Hornets’ D gave up 40 points in week three to Shadeur Sanders and the Trinity Christian Tigers of Cedar Hill, Texas. But, if you recall, when Bryant’s guys absolutely needed a stop as the Hornets protected a 44-40 lead, they came through.
On Friday, in their first 7A-Central Conference game against the Fort Smith Northside Grizzlies, the development of the Bryant defense continued apace as they held the visitors to just 80 yards of total offense in the first half, helping create a field-position advantage that the offense used to build a 42-0 lead by halftime on the way to a 48-7 victory.