Highlands beats Floresville with late field goal
East Central, McCollum coaches win debut games
Teams included: Brackenridge, Burbank, East Central, Harlandale, Highlands, Jefferson, Kennedy, Lanier, McCollum, Memorial. Sam Houston, South San.
Memorial not only won its first on-field victory since 2010 Friday at Pearsall, it did so in decisive fashion.
The Minutemen (1-0) led the entire way to claim a 31-14 victory over the Mavericks. It was the first road victory for Memorial in, possibly, a decade.
“We never let (the lead) go, but it was interesting,” second-year Memorial coach Alex Guerra said. “With the history of the school and the program, you want the kids to be excited but you need to keep them grounded. Being able to keep them focused on the sideline is crucial.”
The previous on-field win for the program was Sept. 16, 2010 at Frank Mata Stadium over Austin Eastside Memorial.
“You’d have to go way back,” Guerra said. “It was a little bit before my time. I imagine it’s been a while.
“It’s been a long time coming, and the kids have been working very hard. We stress the little things every day, and everything fell into place.”
The seeds of the win were planted during the offseason.
“These kids have a lot of character,” Guerra said. “Last year, when our season ended on a Friday, by Monday they were back in the weight room – and they never left. We have our core group of guys, and they’ve worked very hard. They knew we’d have to get physically stronger to compete.
“Pearsall is a physically tough team. Coach (David) Silva has those guys going. Our kids stood up to the challenge.”
The Minutemen took an early lead on a long pass from junior quarterback Alfred Ramos to David Manzano.
“It was a botched play and a quarterback scramble,” Guerra said. “The defensive backs seemed to come off their coverage, because Alfred can run. He kind of stood up and found David wide open. David had stayed on his route.”
Ramos later broke a 65-yard touchdown run.
“He’s deceptively fast,” Guerra said. “I like to say he has football speed. If you throw him in a track meet, I don’t think you’d win a100-yard dash with him. But, on a football field, he’s hard to contain.”
Pearsall (0-1) eventually closed within 14-7.
“They moved the ball very well,” Guerra said. “We probably had two or three fourth-and-goal series inside the red zone. It was one of those days, but our defense stood up. It was difficult because a lot of our kids play both ways.”
Memorial sophomore Raymond Garcia returned one of his two interceptions Friday 100 yards for a key touchdown.
“He had some great blocks along the way,” Guerra said. “He was very excited. I’ve been him from Day 1, telling him he was going to have to grow up fast. He told me afterward, ‘Coach, I think I’ve grown up.’ I said, You grew up a little more today.’ ”
The Minutemen increased their lead to three touchdowns and added a field goal before Pearsall scored a late touchdown. Gabriel Robles was successful from 35 yards.
“We got that input from special teams, so that was good,” Guerra said. “Our kicker doesn’t do anything else. He just kicks and punts. He was champing at the bit to get a shot. He got a shot and he nailed it.”
The Memorial coach pointed out that his Edgewood district rival Kennedy also won. The Rockets defeated Crystal City 27-7 Friday in their opening game.
“I don’t know how long its been since both Edgewood schools won their first game,” Guerra said. “They’ve handled their business. It’s been a while for us.”
Memorial takes the field again next Friday with a 7 p.m. game at Mata Stadium against Fredericksburg, hoping to sustain the forward momentum.
“Now we have to get ready for Fredericksburg Friday,” Guerra said. “We need to get healthy. If we do and we have a good game plan, I think we have a chance.”
Highlands 17, Floresville 14
Senior Americo Ayala kicked a 32-yard field goal as time expired, giving the Owls a season-opening victory Friday in Floresville.
Highlands (1-0) didn’t take the lead until Ayala made the kick, although they tied it twice. Floresville jumped ahead with a touchdown from Gilbert Ortiz on a four-yard run at the 8:14 mark of the second quarter.
The Owls first 2013 score came on a 40-yard pass play from veteran quarterback Jordan DeLuna (20 of 36, 184 yards) to Sabian Santos (3 receptions, 54 yards).
Highlands answered again after the Tigers scored on a 35-yard pass from Koby Wilkerson to Zach Frantz that put the Owls behind 14-7 entering the fourth quarter. Elijah Garces re-tied it on a five-yard run with 6:46 remaining.
Qunidon Boston led Highlands in rushing with 55 yards on seven attempts. Tavon Johnson caught six passes for 52 yards.
Brackenridge 63, Sam Houston 0
The Eagles (1-0) announced their presence in a definitive way, routing neighborhood rival Sam Houston in the first high school football game to be played at the Wheatley Heights Sports Complex.
Any concerns about Brackenridge’s ability to replace the backs and ends it lost to graduation rapidly were put to rest. The Eagles rolled to 29 points in the first quarter, scoring on each of their four possessions.
Brackenridge gained 430 total yards while limiting the Hurricanes to 95.
Standout Eagles quarterback Ramon Richards (4 of 9, 91 yards) threw 34 yards to Jonathan King for the first touchdown. Richards also scored on runs of 15 and one yard in the quarter. He finished with 108 yards on 12 carries.
Junior Trey Mathis (68 yards, 6 carries) capped the first-quarter scoring with a 22-yard sprint. Brack ran for 330 yards on 39 tries.
Richards added a 43-yard touchdown run in the second quarter and threw a 28-yard scoring pass to speedy senior Rominique Anthony (3 receptions, 57 yards) 1:28 before halftime. The latter increased the Eagles’ lead to 42-0.
Brandon Toston (71 yards, 10 carries) ran for a pair of second-half touchdowns. Tyrus Mathis (55 yards, 7 carries) also recorded a touchdown run.
For Sam Houston, Jvoni Badie-Jones ran nine times for 36 yards. Erin Mack caught three passes for 29 yards.
East Central 21, Jay 14
The Hornets (1-0) pulled out a victory in East Central alum Clint Hartman’s first game as its coach.
A 30-yard touchdown run from Javion Polk (145 yards, 21 carries) provided the winning margin. East Central preserved the win by stopping the Mustangs (0-1) at the EC 30 on their final drive.
Rice University commit Jeremy Jones (10 of 14, 205 yards) ushered in the new era of Hornets football with an 81-yard scoring pass to junior Wanya Ward (153 yards, 3 receptions) midway through the first quarter. Jones also accounted for the second touchdown in the defense-dominated game. The senior ran 13 yards with 6:13 left in the third quarter.
New Mexico State recruit Johnathon Jackson (112 yards, 12 attempts) ran for the key two-point conversion, giving East Central a 14-0 lead. Jay tied it, strangely enough, with back-to-back fumble returns. Luis Trujillo’s 60-yard return with 5:04 remaining made it 14-14 while Jones was sitting out because of an injury.
Jay sophomore Moses Reynolds made an impressive debut as quarterback, completing 18 of 36 passes for 240 yards.
Like Hartman, Jay coach Gary Gutierrez is an East Central alum.
McCollum 35, Jefferson 0
In the night’s other stunner, in terms of margin of victory, the Cowboys (1-0) trounced Jefferson (0-1) in Juan Hinojosa’s coaching debut with McCollum.
McCollum scored twice in each of the first two quarters to win the non-district game at Harlandale Memorial Stadium. Sophomore running back Mike Ramirez (94 yards, 10 carries) accounted for the first two Cowboys touchdowns with runs of one and 42 yards.
Cowboys junior quarterback Ralph Vidal increased the lead to 21-0 with a 15-yard run. Vidal (8 of 13, 124 yards) also connected with Robert Salas with a 25-yard touchdown pass in the second half.
Stevie Diaz added the other McCollum score with a 27-yard touchdown run 25 seconds before halftime. Diaz finished with 44 rushing yards and 37 receiving yards on two catches. Jeff Valdez made three receptions for 33 yards.
Jefferson mustered 53 total yards while McCollum amassed 352.
Harlandale 31, South San 13
Senior quarterback Brandon Ramon engineered a season-opening victory for Harlandale, throwing for 215 yards and three touchdowns Friday at South San Stadium.
South San took the early lead, scoring on a 14-yard run from Christian Morales (50 yards, 10 carries). The 6-0 advantage lasted only until Harlandale ended the ensuing possession. Ramon threw 55 yards to Eddie Pedroza (70 yards, 3 receptions) to give the Indians a 7-6 lead.
Ramon also threw a pair of touchdown passes to James Mendoza (48 yards, 3 receptions), following a 77-yard touchdown from senior back Nick Martinez (150 yards, 15 carries). A 26-yard catch by Mendoza gave Harlandale a 21-6 halftime lead.
In the fourth quarter, Rueben Garcia kicked a 24-yard field goal for Harlandale and the Bobcats got on the board again when Justin Acosta scored from four yards away as time ran out.
Ian Martinez made four receptions for 50 yards and Nick Perez caught two passes for 47 yards for the Indians.
For South San, Darren Tinajero ran for 49 yards and passed for 38.
Kennedy 27, Crystal City 7
Senior Matthew Avalos ran 17 times for 166 yards and a touchdown as the Rockets romped at Frank Mata Stadium.
Avalos got things started for Kennedy with a 12-yard scoring run less than four minutes into the game. Fabian Flores returned an interception 13 yards to give the Rockets a 13-0 lead after a quarter.
Tomas Garcia also scored on an interception for Kennedy.
Isaiah Garcia (2 catches, 46 yards) notched the Rockets’ final touchdown with a 30-yard pass play from Blade Alvarado.
Somerset 39, Lanier 6
Major college prospect Koy Detmer Jr. completed 20 of 25 passes for 366 yards and five touchdowns, leading Somerset (1-0) to victory over the Voks (0-1) at the SAISD Complex.
Justin Guerra and Rocky Reyna each accumulated 170 reception yards for the Bulldogs.
Lanier gained 257 total yards, led by 128 passing yards and a touchdown from Nick Garcia. Garcia connected with Rodrigo Garcia (82 yards, 7 receptions) on a 29-yard touchdown with 6:22 remaining in the game.
Stephen Veliz ran 12 times for the Voks, gaining 80 yards.
Hays 61, Burbank 7
The Rebels (1-0) scored six first-half touchdowns on the way to a decisive victory over the Bulldogs (0-1) Friday in Buda.
Burbank senior Jeremy Sanchez completed four of nine passes for 149 yards in his first start at quarterback. He teamed up with Marcos Luna (2 receptions, 98 yards) for an 87-yard touchdown with 10:15 left in the third quarter.
Tru Bradford caught two passes for 51 yards for the Bulldogs. Hays limited Burbank to five rushing yards.