Pearland locked and loaded for season opener

PEARLAND — Pearland will put an explosive offense on the field this season and the defense is ready to shut down the opposition.

The Oilers ran the table during the 2018 regular season with a perfect 10-0 mark, but the wheels fell off in the opening round of the playoffs to Dickinson 49-21.

The Cy-Springs Panthers will arrive at The Rig on Thursday, August 29 at 7:00 p.m. and the Oilers hope to repeat with another victory like they got last year 47-10.

Pearland has five returning starters on offense and just three on the defensive side of the ball, so reconstruction is the order of the day for the Oilers.

“Collectively, we feel good about the varsity kids we have coming back,” Tullos said of 42 lettermen. “We showed a lot of progress in the spring, and we’ll see what happens.”

Cy-Springs was 1-9 last season and 1-7 in district leaving them at home when the playoffs started.

The Panthers should be more competitive this year, but they still won't be too much of a threat to the Oilers.

"Around here, we talk about taking care of ourselves and executing at a high level,” Tullos said. "If we can do that, we try not to get caught up in who our opponent is. I’m a firm believer that we need to focus on ourselves first and foremost."

Pearland quarterback is J.D. Head, who set several Pearland passing records last season after moving in from Oklahoma. This year, running back Brandon Campbell has joined the team from Katy Taylor..

Campbell, a four-star running back according to recruiting services, adds punch to an already potent Oiler backfield which includes Torrence Burgess.

Campbell is a 5-10, 190-pound junior has received offers from Arkansas, USC, Texas, Houston, Illinois and Louisville.

One of the top returning receivers is Jaden Piece who has speed to burn and great hands.

The Pearland defense should be much better this year.

“(Zakary) Salinas, (Christian) Sauter and (Amari) Deason all had good springs in the defensive line,” Tullos said. “Overall, we feel like we have six to eight guys that can give us quality depth.

“I think the second year in our system will bode well for those guys. The technique we play and what we ask of our kids is a little different and it takes time. Now that these guys have done that over and over, it should be a lot better in the second year.”

Linebacker Anton Simieou (5-10, 190) will provide strong leadership from his position.

Junior kicker Caleb Mendez will add an extra feature to the offense as he has a strong leg and kicked several field goals last season. This is one offensive threat that a lot of teams don't have, but Mendez is a dedicated player at his position and be the difference in getting a win or loss.