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Chargers hope to feel at home in the Dome

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    Champion’s Ryan Brandon (1) runs with the ball for the Chargers as Jordan Nieves (33) and Karson Kaiser (7) block on the play. The Chargers face Sharyland Pioneer Saturday in the Alamodome.  Star photo: Chris Tilton

The Champion football team will go from facing a run team last week to the exact opposite this week when they play Sharyland Pioneer in the Alamodome on Saturday, 4 p.m.

“Last week we had to stop the run and this week we have to stop the pass,” Champion coach Keith Kaiser said.

Both the Chargers and Diamondbacks enter the contest with identical 11-1 records and both can score.

Pioneer has scored more than 50 points seven times this year and the Chargers have tallied more than 50 points three times and had a 70-point performance to open the playoffs against Leander Glenn.

Champion will mix up its run and pass plays, but Kaiser said Pioneer is a pass-first team.

“They throw a lot and they score a lot of points. They have some run plays, their QB will run it, but usually they’re swinging their back to get him out on a pass play,” Kaiser said. “They’ve got two real big receivers and they do a good job.”

Champion had one of its best all-around performance last week against Port Lavaca Calhoun.

The Chargers had three leads in the first half, but the Sandcrabs tied it three times and eventually took a lead into the half with a last-second field goal.

Champion, however had a great second half. They stuffed Calhoun on two 4th and long plays on consecutive drives and kept scoring after they tallied 3 TDs in the second half, while the Sand-crabs were held to 8 points over the last two periods.

“Our coaches did such a good job of making sure we were going to be successful in the second half. All of a sudden, we got a stop and our energy exploded,” Kaiser said. “We were up two scores on them and that was hard on their game, they’re not an up-tempo team. They put a drive together, but it took eight minutes to score.”

Champion quarterback Luke Boyers, who had a devastating run on the Sandcrabs on a 4th and 5 that he took 30 yards for a touchdown, said the Chargers defense played well.

“Our defense made great adjustments and they stepped up,” he said. “They knew they had to make stops and they did their job.”

This will be Champion’s fourth Thanksgiving weekend game in the last five seasons and Kaiser said it means a lot to him, all the coaches on staff, the program and the team. They had a Thanksgiving meal for the players after practice on Wednesday afternoon.

“It’s beyond words, kids appreciate it once they’re there. For coaches, it’s a huge deal. In our coaching fraternity it’s about playing Thanksgiving and beyond, but Thanksgiving is a big deal,” he said. “We get to act like real coaches and just go coach during the day, I couldn’t be more proud of the team.”