Game One - La Grange Leopards - Bellville 21, La Grange 6
The opening regular season game of the season took place on September 2nd in La Grange, as the Brahmas faced the Leopards and their Head Coach Jack Narrell. The Leopards were coming off a six win, four loss season and would finish the 1977 season with four wins and six losses. They had been predicted to have a weaker season, and had scrimmaged Navasota and Yoakum, who was rated the top team by the AP in 2A to start the season.
La Grange was led by quarterback Mike Miller and receiver Bobby Johnson. The Leopards started the scoring in the first quarter on a running play, but the PAT was short and they led 6-0.
Senior Eric Hamaker, with less than a minute left in the 1st quarter scored with a one yard run, but the PAT attempt by Parker was wide and the score was tied. The Brahmas score had been set up when a high snap on a punt attempt was recover on the LaGrange nine yard line.
Quarterback Rusty Parker scored on a three yard keeper with 5:54 left, and Allen Ward ran in the two-point conversion to make it Bellville 14-6 at halftime.
Both defenses stiffened and the score remained that way until 51 seconds left in the game when Reese Burger broke free and raced 86 yards for the touchdown. Parker’s PAT attempt was good and the final score was 21 - 6.
There were nine total turnovers in the game, with seven being fumbles and two interceptions. Burger had an interception for Bellville. Bellville had 257 yards of offense, while La Grange totaled 280.
Quotes from Coach Parker the following week mentioned a lot of inconsistency on offense, and the fact that a number of players were seeing their first varsity action. During the game, junior Gary East broke his ankle and was out of action the remainder of the season.
Game Two - Needville Bluejays - Needville 0, Bellville 39
The first home game of the 1977 season at Bryant Field would be played against the Needville Blue Jays. The Blue Jays were coming into the contest after a 17 - 0 loss to the 3A Katy Tigers. Needville had finished the 1976 season with four wins and six losses, and would complete 1977 with1 win and eight losses. The Blue Jays were coached by Roland Conrad.
Craig Tekyl was a star lineman for the Blue Jays, while Darrell Eason led the passing attack, but they relied primarily on the run with their two big backs of La Curtis and Joe Hargrove.
Bellville scored first in the first quarter after a Needville fumble on the nine yard line. Reese Burger scored on a four yard run, and Rusty Parker was successful on the PAT. Bellville was able to capitalize on six fumbles and an interception by Joe Pettiette to take a commanding lead. Rusty Parker was 8 of 11 on passing attempts, two of them touchdowns to tight end Jerry Reese. Eric Hamaker and Edward Leaks were the leading rushers, with Parker adding yards on the option to give Bellville 255 yards rushing during the contest.
The big story of the game was the rising up of the Brahma defense. They held Needville to no yards the first half, and did not allow one pass completion, while causing six fumbles and one interception. This shutout would start a string of four in a row for the Brahmas.
Game Three - Katy Tigers - Bellville 27, Katy 0
A pair of undefeated records would meet at the Brahmas traveled to Katy to face the Class 3A Tigers. Katy had allowed only 3 points on the season, while Bellville had only allowed one touchdown. The Tigers had finished the 1976 season with six wins and four losses, and would finish the 1977 season with three wins, six losses and one tie. They were coached by Jack Rhoads.
Tiger captains Donald Snowden and Ritchey Faulk, along with nose guard Terrell Mikeska led the Katy defense. Offensively they had struggled the first two games, but relied on quarterback Gary Poe and Kevin Bryant in the passing game.
Bellville scored first when Dwayne Bryant recovered the first of two Katy fumbles, and Allen Ward sprinted 23 yards for the touchdown. Steven Jackson added the conversion, and the Brahmas led 7 - 0.
The game remained scoreless until the 3rd quarter when Parker scored and Jackson’s PAT was good. The final two scores occurred late in the 4th quarter when Burger scored two touchdowns in less than two minutes, with one of Jackson’s PAT’s being good.
Bellville rushed for 269 yards, with Burger having 90 yards on 14 carries, and Parker having 70 yards on 14 carries. Allen Ward also had a productive game rushing, but his defensive play was outstanding. The Tigers only rushed for 81 yards, suffering four interceptions and a pair of fumbles. Bellville lost two fumbles. Paul Albert, Edward Leaks, Ike King and Joe Pettiette also scored high defensive marks as Pettiette had an interception.
This win by the Brahmas moved the to the top of the AP Poll in Class 2A, as Yoakum had lost to Gonzales. Coach Parker had mentioned in several Bellville Times articles that the number one ranking always gave the opposing team extra incentive to play their best game of the year against the Brahmas.
This game also saw the return of several players who had been out the first two games, as the remainder of the team had remained healthy and were starting to play a lot more consistently on both offense and defense.
Game Four - Hallettsville Brahmas - Hallettsville 0, Bellville 68
O’Bryant Field would the the arena as the two Brahma teams met for the fourth game of the season. Hallettsville was coming off the 1976 season as a State Semifinalist under Coach Billy Seale. They would finish the 1977 season with a record of 3 wins, six losses and one tie.
Hallettsville sported a large defensive line and quick backfield with a lot of depth. Coach Parker expected a battle with Hallettsville and had the team prepared. However, Bellville’s second team offense led by quarterback Robert Warmke took over with with 8 minutes left in the first half as Bellville had outscored the other Brahmas 51 to 0 by halftime.
Hallettsville suffered six pass interceptions and and five fumbles, including a snap over the punters head which accounted for a Bellville score with a safety. The Bellville defense held Hallettsville to a total of 60 yards rushing and 17 passing while Bellville rolled up 221 yards rushing and 117 passing. Allen Ward led with 81 yards, followed by Eric Hamaker with 52 yards and Reese Burger with 40, scoring a pair of touchdowns.
Robert Warmke also scored, John Jackson had two touchdowns, and Steven Jackson added a field goal and 7 PAT’s. Bellville also scored on defense as Randall Barton and Joe Pettiette both returned interceptions for touchdowns.
Coach Parker stated that he was extremely pleased with the defensive play, and being able to play the entire squad in the victory, the third shutout in a row.
The reserve offensive unit led by Warmke was affectionately called Warmke’s Worms. How that name came to be may forever be lost in history. That unit called its own offensive plays, not relying on calls from the sideline. While the team had a good starting lineup, there was a lot of depth on the team with the Juniors, which were seeing Varsity action for the first time. The time they spent together in games like this helped strengthen the team for the tough games ahead.
Game Five - Boling Bulldogs - Boling 0, Bellville 36
The Brahmas would wrap up the non-district schedule at O’Bryant Field with the crowning of the Queen at Homecoming. The top ranked Brahmas would face a Boling team that had two wins and one loss coming into the contest. Boling, coached by James Staffel, had achieved four wins and six losses in 1976, and would end the 1977 season with five wins, five losses and one tie. Their lone defeat so far had come at the hands of undefeated district foe Columbus, who the Brahmas would face in two weeks to open District play.
Boling was led by speedster George West, who had returned a kickoff back 90 yards against the Brahmas in 1976, and Ronald Waddy, another in the long line of Waddy’s from Boling who had made their mark in the college levels.
John Jackson scored on a 23 yard run in the first quarter, followed by a 17 yard run in the second quarter by Allen Ward. Both conversions were good by Steven Jackson. That was followed by a one yard run by Reese Burger in the third, and a touchdown pass from Robert Warmke to David Bartay for six yards to end the scoring.
Bellville also scored on a safety as Kenny Kiecke and Stevie Pawlowski tackled a Boling runner in the end zone. Jackson converted on two out of the three attempts.
Bellville had 282 yards rushing and 53 yards passing in the game, while allowing only 79 yards rushing and 46 yards passing. They also recorded their fourth shutout of the season. Both teams lost three fumbles during the game.
Week Six - Open
Bellville would rest and recuperate from an exciting non-district schedule to prepare for the tougher District schedule. The next five games would determine who would advance into the playoffs. As a reminder, only the District Champion advanced into the playoffs at that time. One loss in district would make the difference in making the playoffs, or staying home with one loss.
They would open District 20-AA play on October 13th in Columbus against the Columbus Cardinals. Both teams were currently undefeated, with Bellville ranked number one, and Columbus coming in ranked fourth in the AP State Football rankings.
Down the road in Sealy, Eric Dickerson was also setting rushing records and the Tigers were planning on a playoff run of their own. Bellville’s defense was looking forward to the test, as they had only allowed one touchdown in the first five games, that one being in the first game. They had four consecutive shutouts and were looking for more. The Brahma offense had scored 191 points, and the bevy of running backs was primed for the District run.