After sitting out the 2016 season, the Houston Titans are returning for the 2017 season and they look to pick up right where they left off.
The Titans posted an impressive 21-2 record over their two years in the Crossroads Amateur Football League (2014-15), and so far they have won convincingly in pre-season action this year with a 49-20 win over the San Antonio Hurricanes and a 12-0 win over the Channelview Bulls.
This weekend, the Titans will play their final pre-season tune-up game in Round Rock, Texas, against the Williamson County Cobras, before Texas United Football Association play begins next month.
“I don’t know anything about them, nothing, so we’re going in there blind,” Titans owner Rod Peters told Developmental Football USA.
Over the past year, the team has adjusted some things within and has developed a different approach this go around.
“The main expectation is taking a game at a time and not trying to look beyond the task at hand,” Peters said. “We’re not trying to reach for a championship just yet, with the young group that we have. We’re just trying to take each opponent as the weeks go on, take it one game at a time and get ourselves in the playoffs then make a championship run.”
Offensively, the Titans’ speedy star running back Jerome Griffin returns from two seasons ago, and he is joined by power running back Marcus Hayward Jr., who currently leads the team in rushing during pre-season.
“Griffin was the leading rusher in the CRAFL two years in a row,” Peters said. “He’s returning this season.”
As teams account for the dynamic one-two punch in the backfield, they might just get beat in the passing game by slot receiver Derick Mathews.
“He’s a new guy,” Peters said. “He’s a shifty, finesse guy. He can do it all, he’s only 5-6, but he’s been ripping DBs apart, he’s been killing them with speed and not dropping anything.”
Defensively, look for safety Trevan Alexander and middle linebacker Chris Blanks flying all over the field, making plays as a rookie defensive tackle stuffs the middle.
“(Alexander) is balanced, he can cover and hit you and make you pay,” Peters said. “Our defensive tackle, Gerome Johnson. He’s a rookie, but he’s been doing pretty good in pre-season, making a huge impact on our line in the little time he’s been with us.”
Go see the Titans at Old Kempner Stadium in Sugarland when their season kicks off, and look for more coverage at DFUSA.