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Football: Braswell at full strength with healthy QB against Sherman

By the time Braswell lines up across from Sherman on Friday night at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex, the Bearcats won't have much knowledge on what the Bengals look like with a true quarterback in the backfield.

"With a healthy guy back there for us, we won't be as one-dimensional as when we played them last year," Braswell coach Cody Moore said. "The big-play ability didn't exist, but I know we have the guys who can make those plays.

"Christian [Battle] wasn't moved from safety to receiver at this point last year, and he'll be able to give us a chance to stretch the field. We know what Jaeden [Johnson] and Ki'Andre [Jackson] can do in open space as well. We've got a lot of guys who will have multiple opportunities to make big plays." 

In last year's 42-7 loss to Sherman, the Bengals didn't record a single passing yard and didn't have a healthy quarterback.

It wasn't for a lack of trying, as Braswell threw two passes in a wildcat package -- comprising receiver Johnson and running back Jackson -- it used because of injuries at the quarterback position. 

In last year's meeting, 32 of Braswell's 38 plays were direct snaps to Johnson and Jackson, who combined for 46 rushing yards.

This time around, Braswell has a healthy quarterback taking snaps in sophomore Greyson Thompson, who is completing just under 50 percent of his passes and has thrown for four touchdowns. 

"Greyson has had two really good weeks of practice, and there has been something I've seen in him lately that I haven't seen until this point — and that's his confidence," Moore said. "I'm liking it, because it reminds me of some of the quarterbacks I've coached in the past. 

"I demand a lot out of that position, and he's done everything he's needed to do and more to be successful." 

Defensively, not much has changed for the Bengals, especially in the ground game as of late. Braswell has surrendered an average of 222 rushing yards per game, and Sherman relied on its rushing attack against Denton in a 35-14 win last week. The Bearcats recorded 338 yards in the victory.

Contrary to the Sherman defense, Braswell knows exactly what it's going up against: running back Nathaniel Omayebu.

Omayebu rushed for 122 yards against Braswell last season, and the Bearcats combined for 360 yards on the ground. He rushed for 177 of their 338 rushing yards in the win over Denton, scoring three touchdowns.

 Sherman forced six Denton turnovers, and Braswell has had trouble holding on to the ball, recording 11 turnovers in five games, including two interceptions returned for touchdowns.

"We can't turn the ball over because Sherman will make you pay for it," Moore said. 

For Braswell to improve this season, it'll have to keep Thompson healthy. He's the only quarterback on the roster after the recent transfer of junior Palmer Campbell. Receiver Ivry Mundy is Thompson's backup. 

"Palmer is at Garland Naaman Forest as of last Wednesday," Moore said. "He was a great player for us, and I wish him all the best." 

JIMMY ISBELL can be reached at 817-781-0379 and via Twitter at @Jimmy_Isbell12.

What you need to know
Matchup: Braswell vs. Sherman
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: C.H. Collins Athletic Complex
What happened last year: Sherman won 42-7
Predictions:
Jimmy Isbell -- Braswell 31, Sherman 28
Steve Gamel -- Sherman 35, Braswell 14 
Brady Keane -- Sherman 45, Braswell 14
Clay Massey -- Sherman 42, Braswell 14