CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — It's a unit that can go largely unnoticed to the common fan during a football game.
Special teams, is the third unit of a football team that is responsible for the kicking game of a football team.
The times you might notice them, during the bad. But the Veterans Memorial Eagles special teams unit is being noticed for the good during their historic 2020 playoff run.
"Special teams has always been a calling card for our program," Eagles' head coach Cody Simper said. "It's something that we spend a tremendous amount of time on."
During the 2020 playoff run, the Eagles have had big punt returns by Cameron De La Pena, a blocked punt for a touchdown in their game versus San Antonio Southwest, and a kickoff return for a touchdown right out of the gate against Flour Bluff.
"Special teams is huge for us," senior safety Jabez Hudson said. "I feel like we work on it more than anyone in the state."
And if you attend an Eagles' practice, the first thing you'll see, not offense, not defense, special teams.
"We take a lot of pride in our special teams," senior running back Joseph Meador, who has four kick returns for touchdowns this season, said. "It gives us a boost in every game."
Special teams has been setting the tone all post-season long.
"It fires us up because you don't really see blocked punts or kick returns for touchdowns all that much," continued Hudson. "It's all about who wants it more and if you do your job you are going to feel good about it because you are a unit."
Now, with fourth ranked Cedar Park looming and a trip to the state title game on the line, it's the third unit that could decided whether or not the Eagles will head home or head to Arlington.
"It's weeks like this, when you are playing a really good team it really shows up," said Simper.
Veterans Memorial will face off against Cedar Park in the state semifinal on Friday night at 7:30 from Alamo Stadium in San Antonio.