VOLLEYBALL: Postseason schedule (complete)

POSTSEASON PAIRINGS

Class 5A

Bi-district round

Southwest (16-24) vs. Clark (25-14), 7 p.m., Monday at Durbon Center, South San

East Central (21-15) vs. Brandeis (24-16), 6 p.m., Tuesday at Durbon Center, South San

Class 4A

Bi-district round

Brackenridge (14-25) at Alamo Heights (36-8), 7 p.m., Tuesday

Corpus Christi Calallen (22-8) at Harlandale (24-11), 6:30 p.m. Tuesday

Highlands (20-20) at Hays (28-14), 6:30 p.m. Tuesday

Jefferson (24-10) vs. Boerne Champion (22-18), 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Blossom Athletic Center

Class 3A

Bi-district round

Sam Houston (20-14) vs. Wimberley (30-8), 8 p.m. Tuesday at New Braunfels

TUESDAY VOLLEYBALL ROUNDUP: East Central sweeps King to prepare for playoffs (complete)

Edison ends season with win over Fox Tech in 28-4A

TEAMS INCLUDED: Burbank, East Central, Edison, Fox Tech, Harlandale, McCollum, Memorial, South San, Southwest, Young Women’s Leadership Academy.

Photos taken by KJ Toso. For more photos or to purchase photos, please visit: kjtoso.photoreflect.com

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Nine area teams are bound for the playoffs. Of that group, surprisingly, just two of the seven that played Tuesday were winners in that final regular season match.

East Central (21-15, 8-2) and Jefferson are the members of that select role call.

Second-place East Central won its District 28-5A  finale 25-20, 25-22, 25-20 at Corpus Christi King (13-19, 2-8). Brandi Campos led the Hornets with 24 digs. Nichole West added 12 kills and 12 digs. Madison Simon contributed nine kills. Dani Alvarez dealt 17 assists and Alex Pena had 11.

In addition to East Central and Jefferson, playoff qualifiers were: Brackenridge, Harlandale, Highlands, Holy Cross, Jefferson, Providence, Sam Houston and Southwest.

East Central will play Brandeis (24-16), which placed third in District 27-5A, in the bi-district round. Match details are to be determined.

Edison d. Fox Tech

The fifth-place Golden Bears (13-25, 9-7) swept Fox Tech (10-33, 2-14) 25-22, 25-14, 25-24 in a District 28-4A match at the Buffaloes’ gym.

For the Buffaloes, senior Elisabeth Crane had 10 kills and four digs in her final match. Ruby Chapa added 16 assists and four digs. Valerie Villarreal led Fox Tech with10 digs. Ruby Zavala chipped in four aces, four kills and five digs.

Edison statistics were not available. The Golden Bears finished one game behind fourth-place Brackenridge.

Floresville d. Harlandale

The Tigers (24-16, 11-3) prevailed 25-13, 25-17, 24-26, 25-18 over Harlandale (24-11, 10-4), knocking the Indians out of first place at the culmination of the season Tuesday in Floresville.

The host team finished in a three-way tie for first in District 29-4A with Medina Valley (22-18, 10-4) and Uvalde (24-11, 10-4). Medina Valley defeated Kennedy (7-24, 2-12) and the Coyotes defeated Southside (6-27, 2-12) Tuesday to lock the tie in place.

Kennedy, Memorial and Southside all shared sixth place in the district. Harlandale dropped to fourth place because of the loss, although it only was one game out of first.

Indians freshman Kianna Sandoval finished with 10 assists, four digs and two aces. Katie Neira added 13 kills and five digs. Senior Sierra Sandoval was Harlandale’s defensive leader with 15 digs. Kelly Landin had seven digs and Sabrina Esparza chipped in five to go with three kills.

Other statistical leaders for Harlandale included Catherine Silva with nine assists and four digs. Erika Arredondo and Cera Cerda each finished with four kills. Madaline Mendez made three blocks.

The Indians will play District 30-4A champion Corpus Christi Calallen (22-8) in the bi-district round. Match details are to be determined.

McCollum d. Memorial

The fifth-place Cowboys (6-25, 2-10) downed Memorial (11-24, 2-10) 25-18, 25-20, 25-17 District 29-4A win at Edgewood Gym Tuesday.

Jasmine Cordova led McCollum with 19 digs and six aces. Neyda Sanchez contributed 10 kills and four blocks. Savannah Borjas distributed 14 assists.

The Minutemen’s Miranda Puente pounded 12 blocks and served two aces. Senior Jatziry Duarte ended her career with 13 digs. Abigail Garcia was credited with six kills.

Burbank d. YWLA

The Bulldogs (9-24, 4-12) finished their season with a 25-12, 25-20, 25-15 win over Young Women’s Leadership Academy (2-33, 0-16) in a District 28-4A match Tuesday at Burbank.

Senior Jenna Villanueva produced 13 kills and five blocks for Burbank. Alejandra Martinez picked up 16 digs. Adrianna Gonzalez led the Bulldogs with four aces. Bekah Valma provided five assists.

For YWLA, Alejandra Ramirez had team highs of 15 digs and two aces. Karease Williams was credited with 11 assists. Sabrina Cantu added two blocks.

Corpus Christi Carroll d. South San

Sixth-place South San (12-18, 0-10) wasn’t able to post its first District 28-5A victory, but it nonetheless finished its season with a strong showing against third-place Carroll (17-15, 5-5). The Tigers edged the Bobcats 17-25, 25-12, 25-13, 19-25, 15-11 Tuesday at the Durbon Center.

Senior Kimberly Tobias led the Bobcats with 15 digs. Rebekah Rodriguez put down seven kills. Lauren Estrada served five aces. Jaclyn Ozuna dished 11 assists. Giselle Mata made two blocks.

Steele d. Southwest

Southwest (16-24, 5-5) took a game from the District 28-5A champion Knights (26-15, 10-0), but the host  team escaped with its perfect district record intact. Steele won 25-15, 25-15, 23-25, 25-22 Tuesday in Cibolo.

The Dragons, who tied for third, were led by 12 digs from Zoe Marin and 11 from Brandy Martinez. Aashlyn Sulaica tallied eight kills and Kamerie Vidales added seven. Angie Aguilar contributed 14 assists. Felicia Maldonado supplied two blocks.

Southwest’s next match may be a third-place tiebreaker with Corpus Christi Carroll. Match details are to be determined. If the tie is broken by a coin flip, the Dragons will play either District 27-5A champion O’Connor (34-11) or runner-up Clark (25-14).

VOLLEYBALL: Jefferson upends Highlands in final 28-4A match

Owls retain second place in district despite loss

PLEASE FOLLOW THIS LINK TO THE WEEKLY VOLLEYBALL ROUNDUP ON THE SOUTHSIDE REPORTER WEBSITE:

http://www.mysanantonio.com/community/southside/news/article/Seven-area-volleyball-teams-headed-to-playoffs-4954323.php

Jefferson’s loud student section, as well as a sizable crowd on the Highlands side of the gym, supplied a playoff atmosphere Tuesday in the District 28-4A season finale for both teams. The host Mustangs followed suit, delivering an impressive four-game victory.

Taking control midway through the first game and seldom yielding it, Jefferson (24-10, 12-4) defeated Highlands 25-15, 25-19, 23-25, 25-11 over the second-place Owls (20-20, 13-3). The win enabled the Mustangs to hold third place in the district. A loss would have left them vulnerable to a tie and subsequent third-place playoff game this week.

“I love my crowd,” Jefferson senior Courtney Garcia said. “I’m so happy they came out to this (match). They (encourage) us when we’re low with their enthusiasm. We play harder because of them. We realize that we can do it.”

A loss to Highlands Sept. 27, still lingered in the Mustangs’ minds. Highlands prevailed in four games at the Owls’ gym.

“They got to us the first time,” said Garcia, who finished with 20 assists. “We were not going to let them get to us again. We came in focused. We gave it our all. It was all about the simple, little things.

“We weren’t going to lose in our house. I’m so proud of my girls.”

As it turned out, though, district champion Brennan defeated Brackenridge (14-25, 10-6) 25-6, 25-9, 25-8, so those potential concerns ended up being moot.

A year ago, when the teams met at the end of the district season, fifth place was at stake. Tuesday,  Jefferson coach Theresa Ralston marveled at how far each has come.

“For both of us to be in the playoffs,” Ralston said, “it’s pretty nice to see that hard work does pay off. Both of us had worked very hard in the offseason, so this is a little payoff.”

Highlands was plagued by errors, forced and unforced, throughout the match. However, the Owls broke the Mustangs’ momentum in Game 3.

Juniors Emily Pearce (19 digs) and Jenna Thompson lifted Highlands to the win. Pearce made four kills and Thompson had three blocks in the game. The Owls also set Jazmine Jackson (10 kills) on the outside for five kills in the game.

A tip by Pearce put Highlands at game point, 24-19. Then it got a little overanxious, committing three-consecutive hitting errors and a setting error. Suddenly, Jefferson was within a point.

Thompson righted the ship with a block that closed out the set.

“We still need the entire team,” Highlands coach Jaci Barrientes said. “You’re only as strong as your weakest link, and our weakest link wasn’t that strong today.”

Garcia cited the Game 3 loss as a rallying point for herself and her teammates. The Mustangs asserted themselves from the outset of the final game, which was never close after a kill from Garcia made it 4-1.

“We were not going to let it go to five games,” she said. “We were going to end it now.”

An ace from junior Gabby Vasquez and a Highlands error, followed by a kill from Krystin Garcia (11 kills) stretched Jefferson’s lead to 9-2. Courtney Garcia pounded a kill from the middle attack and Vasquez served another of her four aces to extend what turned out to be an 11-point service run.

“(Serving) really brought us momentum,” Ralston said. “We had a couple of runs that gave us the momentum to go forward. Those serving runs were important.

“The thing that was interesting is that we had more service errors than we’ve had in the past few matches. We had a couple of foot faults and some that went into the net. I’m surprised we had as many errors as we had, but we had a lot of aces in this match. With all the points we got serving-wise, it kept propelling us.”

Garcia made four kills in the decisive game.

Trailing 16-2, Highlands never got closer than 13 points the rest of the way. Setter Analisa Garza (24 assists) had a rare kill and an ace, combined with a kill from senior Melody Guzman, to close the gap a bit. Eventually, though, the Owls made errors that put Jefferson at match point and then accounted for the final point.

“We wanted to take it like that,” Ralston said of the playoff atmosphere. “We knew Highlands would come to play. We wanted to use this as preparation for the next level.”

Ralston also wanted to see playoff-caliber intensity from her team.

“Our focus was not what it needed to be against Highlands the first time,” Ralston said. “I think, this time, they had the appropriate fear. We maintained an appropriate fear for them and the kids played well.”

Highlands took a 5-2 lead in Game 1 on an almost unintentional kill from Jackson. Jefferson ran off the next five points, including a go-ahead kill from Vasquez. The Owls recovered to tie it 10-10, but their errors and the occasional well-placed Jefferson kill allowed the Mustangs to pull away.

“We were definitely going to protect our house,” Ralston said. “It was a good win.”

A soft kill from Genesis Garcia stretched the Mustangs’ lead to 19-14. Smart hits around Highlands block attempts helped fuel Jefferson.

“We’ve been practicing that,” Courtney Garcia said. “We knew, coming in, what they’d do. They have a very good outside hitter (Jackson), and we needed to keep the ball away from her. We needed to go around their block or go through their block, anything we could do to get the win.”

A block from Jefferson’s Melanie Sheppard made it 22-14. A jump-serve ace from Vasquez put the Mustangs at game point and Sheppard struck in the middle attack for the final point.

Vasquez contributed a kill and a block as the Mustangs jumped out to a 5-1 lead in Game 2. Highlands tied it 6-6 on a kill from Jackson, in the midst of a four-point run. The Owls took the lead on an ace from Jenna Thompson and built it to 10-7 on a block from Pearce.

Jefferson tied the score twice before getting traction. A kill and an ace from Krystin Garcia helped give the Mustangs the lead to stay. Senior Melanie Ybarra, who led the Mustangs with 15 digs, served three aces and Highlands had an error as the lead grew to 23-16.

“The biggest thing is that we just didn’t have everybody come to play,” Barrientes said. “We had two people who stepped up last time, but didn’t tonight. We didn’t make adjustments the way we needed to. (Jefferson) made adjustments on the court.”

Sheppard made a kill off a slide to put the Mustangs at game point, 24-16. Highlands rallied to within five, however, with Jackson putting down a kill at the end of a long point, despite spectacular digs by Vasquez and Ybarra. However, Genesis Garcia provided Jefferson with a 2-0 lead on her third kill of the game.

“Throughout the course of the season,” Ralston said, “we have pointed out that when teams get down and frustrated, they tend to try to overpower the ball. We’ve talked about being smarter. Using all of our tools to the best of our ability.

“We played the game. We let the game come to us.”

Jefferson ended the Owls’ five-match winning streak.

“This can be a positive thing,” Barrientes said. “They taught us a little bit. It was a mental thing.”

The loss didn’t affect Highlands’ second-place district finish and won’t affect it’s postseason possibilities. The Owls will play at Hays (28-14, 10-4), which placed third in District 27-5A, at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

“Now we need to get back to the drawing board,” Barrientes said, “and get ready for the playoffs.”

Jefferson will face 27-4A runner-up Boerne Champion (21-18, 11-2) at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Blossom Athletic Center.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge,” Ralston said. “They’re going to be a lot taller and a lot quicker than we’re used to. We’re really going to have to play our ‘A’ game.”

WEEKEND VOLLEYBALL REPORT: Harlandale battles to crazy four-way tie for 29-4A lead with one match left

Jefferson, Brackenridge reserve playoff spots with 28-4A wins

PLEASE FOLLOW THIS LINK TO THE WEEKLY VOLLEYBALL ROUNDUP ON THE SOUTHSIDE REPORTER WEBSITE:

http://www.mysanantonio.com/community/southside/news/article/Roundup-of-volleyball-games-for-South-Side-schools-4933546.php

TEAMS INCLUDED: Brackenridge, Burbank, East Central, Edison, Harlandale, Highlands, Jefferson, Kennedy, Lanier, McCollum, Sam Houston, South San, Southside, Young Women’s Leadership Academy.

The craziness in in District 29-4A has reached fever pitch.

Harlandale (24-10, 10-3) defeated Southside (6-26, 2-11) 25-16, 25-13, 25-17 Friday and emerged from the match as part of a four-way tie for first place. The victory also clinched a playoff spot for the Indians.

Floresville (23-16, 10-3), Medina Valley (22-17, 10-3) and Uvalde (21-18, 10-3) are the other co-leaders. Each of those schools finishes its district season Tuesday.

Harlandale defeated Medina Valley 25-22, 25-13, 25-17 Oct. 22. The Panthers went on to defeat Floresville Friday, forcing the tie.

Against Southside at Harlandale, the Indians.were led by Sabrina Esparza (8 kills, 7 digs) and Catherine Silva (10 assists, 5 digs). Sierra Sandoval produced a team-high 12 digs. Katie Neira finished with nine kills and three aces.

Erika Arredondo contributed four kills and three blocks. Alicia Garcia added seven assists. Madaline Mendez made four kills.

Southside received seven digs from Amber Munoz and eight assists from Ariana Cisneros. Ashley Sanchez made four kills and served two aces.

Interestingly, the Cardinals are part of a three-way tie for sixth place with Kennedy (7-23, 2-11) and Memorial (11-25, 2-11).

Harlandale is one of nine area playoff qualifiers. The others are: Brackenridge, East Central, Highlands, Holy Cross (27-10, 6-3), Jefferson, Providence (12-20, 4-8), Sam Houston and Southwest (16-23, 5-4).

Jefferson  d. YWLA

The Mustangs (23-10, 11-4) maintained third place in District 28-4A with a 25-10, 25-14, 25-6 win over Young Women’s Leadership Academy (2-32, 0-15) Friday at Lanier.

Jefferson was led by Selena Garcia with 20 assists. Melanie Sheppard produced seven kills. Melanie Ybarra made eight digs. Gabby Vasquez added four aces.

For YWLA, Alejandra Ramirez hustled for 20 digs. Karease Williams dealt 11 assists. Sabrina Cantu made five kills. Ashley Trevino served two aces.

Brackenridge d. Burbank

The Eagles (14-24,10-5) qualified for the playoffs and held fourth place in 28-4A by defeating rival Burbank (8-24, 3-12) 25-14, 25-13, 25-18 last Friday.

At Brackenridge, the host team received 16 assists and three aces from Kathy Sifuentes. Miranda Flores dished 20 assists and served two aces. Darlene Jackson contributed six kills, seven digs and two aces. Ana DeLeon finished with four kills. Skyler Reyna served three aces. Dominique Ramirez made five digs.

Burbank statistics were unavailable

East Central d. South San

The second-place Hornets (20-15, 7-2) bounced back from a loss to District 28-5A leader Steele to defeat South San (12-18, 0-9) 25-18, 25-14,  25-19 Friday at East Central.

Senior Madison Simon led East Central with five kills, nine digs and 3.5 blocks. Alex Pena provided seven assists and five digs. Dani Alvarez made six digs and Nichole West added five. Christie Crosper made five kills. Lindsey Lubianski had four kills and 2.5 blocks. Kaylin Mills also supplied four kills.

East Central was led by ith 16 kills, 13 digs and 1.5 blocks. Brandi Campos led the Hornets with 41 digs. Dani Alvarez provided 26 assists and 

South San statistics were unavailable.

Highlands d. Lanier

The second-place Owls (20-19,13-2) assured itself of a second-place finish in District 28-4A with 25-20, 25-20, 25-10 win over Lanier Friday at Highlands.

The match completed the Voks’ season. Lanier finished 9-23 overall and 6-10 in district matches.

For Highlands, Emily Pearce turned in an outstanding overall match. The junior right-side hitter contributed 18 digs, six kills, three aces and two blocks. Jazmine Jackson pounded 14 kills and made two blocks. Jenna Thompson added six kills and five digs. Jessica Alvarez dealt 14 assists. Melody Guzman made four kills.

Lanier senior Carina Valencia, who had missed the entire season because of an injury, returned to produce 12 digs and four service aces. Roseanna Perez collected seven kills. Sarah Chavez distributed 11 assists. Yulisa Beltran, who also returned from an injury, made two blocks.

Somerset d. Sam Houston

Fourth-place Sam Houston (20-13, 4-5) lost both of the District 28-3A matches it played last week, but had enough cushion between itself and the two teams below it in the standings to qualify for the playoffs for the first time in seven years.

Second-place Somerset (21-8, 7-2) won 25-18, 25-16, 25-12 at Sam Houston last Friday. Pleasanton (20-11, 5-3) broke a third-place tie with the Hurricanes by winning 25-15, 25-13, 25-16 Oct. 22.

Karisma Mitchell led the Hurricanes against Somerset with eight kills and two blocks. Tashonna Williams generated 10 digs. Rita Davis dealt nine assists. Kanika Evans was credited with two aces.

McCollum d. Kennedy

The Cowboys (6-25, 2-10) lost Game 1 to Kennedy Friday, but recovered to put the District 29-4A match away in four games. McCollum won 22-25, 25-14, 25-11, 22-18 at Edgewood Gym.

Setter Savannah Borjas led McCollum with 14 assists. Valeria Medina and Neyda Sanchez each hammered eight kills. Jasmine Cordova picked up nine digs. Abby Garza served three aces and Emily Solis added two.

For the Rockets, Ashley Garza made four kills. Clara Lopez made five digs. Omni Garcia, Angel Huron and Taylor Martinez all finished with four digs. Huron also made two blocks.

VOLLEYBALL: Two wins over Corpus teams set Southwest up for postseason

Softball players help Dragons move up to third in 28-5A

PLEASE FOLLOW THIS LINK TO THE WEEKLY VOLLEYBALL ROUNDUP ON THE SOUTHSIDE REPORTER WEBSITE:

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Corpus Christi week suggests, possibly, some time at the beach.

It wasn’t quite one of those for Southwest’s volleyball team, but it is a week the players and coaches can always look back on fondly. The Dragons (16-23, 5-4) defeated two Corpus Christi schools last week to qualify for the postseason and steer  themselves onto the right course for the playoffs.

“These two wins have been huge,” Southwest coach Erin Morgal said. “Not only for playoffs, but it has boosted the morale of our team 100 percent. Beating the two Corpus schools gives us a huge boost in our confidence moving forward. Beating one Corpus team at home is huge, but getting to beat both of them in the same week was enormous..”

Southwest, which finished the week in third place in District 28-5A, won 25-23, 14-25, 25-16, 25-20 over Corpus Christi King (13-18, 2-7) last Friday. On Oct. 22, the Dragons and Corpus Christi Carroll () were tied for third before they recorded a 14-25, 25-21, 25-19, 25-14 victory. Both matches were at Southwest.

The King win made Southwest one of nine area teams that will compete in the postseason. Other qualifiers  are: Brackenridge (14-24, 10-5), East Central (19-15, 6-2), Harlandale (23-10, 9-3), Highlands (19-19, 12-2), Holy Cross (27-10, 6-3), Jefferson (23-10, 11-4), Providence (12-20, 4-8) and Sam Houston (20-12, 4-4).

Senior Kamerie Vidales led the Dragons with 25 kills against King. Setter Angie Aguilar (career-high 29 assists) and libero Zoe Marin (24 digs) also turned in noteworthy efforts. Yasmin Garcia served two aces.

Zoe and Angie had great games,” Morgal said. “Zoe has been stepping her game up and has been getting better every match this season. She’s becoming more confident as a libero and her teammates see her effort and it makes them want to give it their all every time they are out there too.

Angie rose to the occasion on Friday. After not seeing a lot of court time against Carroll on Tuesday, she stepped her game up and was distributing the ball very well. When it came to crunch time she knew where the ball needed to go, and she put it there. It’s going to be exciting to watch her try and push herself to break that (assists) record in the years moving forward.

In the Carroll match, the Tigers bolted to a 16-8 lead. Southwest closed to 19-11 with a kill from senior middle blocker Kassandra Cruz  in the first game. Cassie Valent got a sideout that put the Tigers at game point and Annisa Trevino finished it with a crosscourt kill.

“We definitely got off to a slow start,” Southwest senior defensive specialist/setter Elizabeth Phillips said. “I think, because their bus broke down and they got here later, it took us a little longer to get going. We didn’t have that (spark) when we were warming up. But we came out and did a good job after the first game.”

Game 2 developed point-by-point until Cruz put down a block and Carroll was charged with a net violation, giving Southwest a 9-7 advantage. Two kills from Valent in a three-point span swung the momentum back to the Tigers, which established a 14-11.

Southwest’s solid defense, however, led to Carroll errors and helped the Dragons catch up to tie it 18-18. After another tie, the Dragons took control, thanks to a long point which was extended by a dig from Phillips. Freshman Aashlyn Sulaica (11 kills) finished that point with a kill and Felisha Maldonado added another in the three-point run.

“Normally, we rely on our seniors,” Morgal said, “but it’s nice to know that the younger kids are able to rise to that role. That’s good to know, looking forward. That’s exciting.”

Senior middle blocker Kamarie Vidales ended the set with a kill and the teams were tied at a game apiece. Vidales also put the finishing touches on the match with consecutive kills for the last two points in Game 3.

Morgal pointed to effective hitting on the outside from Sulaica, junior Megan Hernandez, freshman Lindsey Calderon and Maldonado among others, which added up to a varied Southwest attack.

“That took pressure of Kamerie,” she said. “She could start swinging a little more freely. She had nine kills in 15 attempts, so her hitting percentage went up.”

Each of those players is new to the Dragons varsity.

“We have a lot of first-year (varsity) players and they’ve been learning since the beginning of the year,” Morgal said. “They’ve been working and improving. Now, we’re a confident team. Things are coming around.”

Hernandez, who went from junior varsity to a starting role, supplied two consecutive kills that lifted   Southwest to a 12-11 lead in Game 3. The junior then put the Dragons at game point (24-19) with third kill of the game.

In the decisive Game 4, Hernandez produced kills that increased Southwest’s lead to 6-1, 13-3 and 20-10. The latter resulted from a pancake dig by Phillips.

“She’s been bringing focus to the position,” Morgal said. “I never worry about her effort or execution. It’s great to see Megan step up and be one of the big people for us. It’s been great.”

Hernandez and Phillips are among four players who also compete for the Dragons’ three-time defending champion softball team. Phillips is the Dragons’ starting center fielder. Hernandez at second base and  Brandy Martinez at shortstop form the double play combination. Vidales probably needs no introduction. She’s not only Southwest’s ace pitcher, but one of the best in the region.

“If I didn’t come out (for volleyball), I don’t know what I’d do,” Phillips said. “They’re very different sports, but playing volleyball puts us in good position for softball.”

“Softball is definitely my passion, but I love volleyball.”

The most distinctive trait about the group is that they’re key players in both sports. Vidales has been the Dragons’ kill leader. Phillips contributed 23 digs in a recent match. The group’s diamond experience clearly translates well to the volleyball court.

“We share a lot of players,” Morgal said. “Miranda Medina last year was one of our top outside hitters. What I like about them is that, although they play softball too, when they’re here they give their all to volleyball. I never have to worry about (their commitment).”

Southwest took command of the last two games with extended service runs.

The Dragons ran off eight unanswered points which broke a 12-12 tie in Game 3.  The stretch included two kills from Sulaica and one from Vidales. It was reinforced by a pair of back-to-back aces from libero Zoe Marin (17 digs) that made it 20-15.

Southwest never trailed in Game 4 after the first point. A six-point spurt that included two kills and a block from Vidales, as well as a block from Calderon, manufactured a 14-3 advantage. Carroll’s comeback efforts were frustrated by a long rally that ended with a four-hits call against the Tigers and gave Southwest a 22-13 lead. “Coming into this match, since we lost at Carroll,” the third-year Southwest coach said, “we needed to win. I don’t want to come in fourth. I’m not going to be OK with just going to the playoffs. We need to come in second or third, or first.

“Last year we were fourth. This year, we have a pretty good shot at third. We’re going in the right direction.” 

Southwest finishes the district season against first-place Steele (25-15, 9-0) at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Cibolo.

“I just want my girls to play their best the can,” Morgal said. “I’ve told them from the beginning of the season that it’s not about winning and losing, it’s about playing the best you can and inspiring your teammates to do the same.

“We got close to taking a set from them the first time around and let it slip through our fingers. If we come out and play that way against Steele this time around, I don’t think that will be the case.”

FOOTBALL: Kennedy celebrations include Rockets’ third-straight win (complete)

McCollom comes up just short in 29-4A defensive struggle

PLEASE FOLLOW THIS LINK TO THE McCOLLUM-KENNEDY STORY ON THE SOUTHSIDE REPORTER WEBSITE:

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Three weeks ago, Kennedy’s chances to make the playoffs this year were on thin ice. Now the Rockets are tied for fourth place in District 29-4A with just two games remaining.

Friday, on a night in which Kennedy Kennedy, as the school celebrated both homecoming and the 50th anniversary of its founding. The Rockets (6-2, 3-2) treated fans to a defensive struggle that seemed appropriate for the Rockets’ first team in 1963 team.

When the dust settled, Kennedy prevailed 14-10 over McCollum (3-5, 1-4) at Frank Mata Stadium.

“The kids are playing well,” Kennedy coach Richard Cerda said. “They’re great kids. After we lost the first two (district) games, they’ve taken it upon themselves to prove they’re a good team. They’ve taken us on this three-game run.”

The outcome wasn’t decided, and Kennedy’s third-consecutive win wasn’t assured, until it stopped the Cowboys at its own 48-yard line 29 seconds from the end. The victory boosted the Rockets into a fourth-place tie with Medina Valley (5-3, 3-2), which handed Kennedy its last loss 34-26 Oct. 4.

“We just started getting our offense going,” Avalos said. “We started slow, but we picked it up in the second half. McCollum played well, but we weren’t going to leave this field without a win. This is our home.”

McCollum, which is tied for sixth in the district after losing its second consecutive game, closed within 14-10 with 4:44 remaining on a 30-yard field goal from Guillermo Carrillo after its drive bogged down at the Rockets 10. Kennedy had scored the winning touchdown on the previous possession.

“We knew they were playing really well,” McCollum coach Juan Hinajosa said, “still, we did our part. We knew it was going to be a battle.”

The 29-4A teams combined for three pass completions in just 17 attempts.

“The credit goes to our defense,” Cerda said. “We’re a complete team. Our kids picked us up when we made some mistakes. We played tough defense.”

Avalos (167 yards, 21 carries) ran six times for 44 yards on a 58-yard drive that spanned the last two quarters. Quarterback Eric Lira scored on a four-yard run with 9:17 to play.

Lira threw to tight end Isaiah Garcia for the two-point conversion that provided Kennedy a 14-7 lead.

“We knew about the 50 years celebration,” Rockets senior back-middle linebacker Matthew Avalos said. “We just came out to play. We won, and that’s all that matters. They’re a good team, but we came away with the win.”

The Cowboys outgained the Rockets 69-5 in total yardage in the third quarter and had a promising drive underway when it ended. McCollum drove from its own 28 to the Kennedy 42 when a fourth-down pass fell incomplete.

“(Avalos) is a really tough runner,” Hinajosa said. “I don’t want to take anything away from Kennedy, but we had a third-and-long, where we thought we should have gotten an interference call. I thought that was really the turning point.

“I thought we had a nice drive going, and that put our defense back on the field. But (Kennedy) did a really good job.”

McCollum’s defense limited Kennedy to just one yard and forced two fumbles in the second quarter.

The Cowboys capitalized on the first Rockets fumble with a quarterback sneak from Ralph Vidal (121 yards, 21 attempts) for a 7-6 halftime lead. Gavin Boyce recovered the loose ball on the Rockets 6 after a bad snap.

Vidal wasn’t able to finish the game because of a knee injury he suffered on McCollum’s final play. His status was not known after the game.

“We’ve got hitters,” Avalos said. “Everybody on the field can make a play. Everybody wants to be great.

“Every time the offense makes a mistake, the defense has its back.”

The Rockets also lost a fumble on their next possession. Luis Casteneda covered the ball inside the final minute of the first half, but time ran out as McCollum tried to pad its lead.

“They’re a great group of kids,” Hinajosa said. “There’s been a transition in the program and some things have changed, but they’re still anxious to play and they still believe in what we’re doing. They’re typical McCollum kids. They keep fighting and playing hard all the way to the end. You saw that tonight.”

Kennedy opened the scoring with 3:37 left in the first quarter on a 10-yard run from Nicholas Gonzalez, immediately following a 57-yard burst from Avalos.

“It’s like every game,” Avalos said. “I tell the coach I’m going to step up, no matter whether I’m playing offense or defense. It’s all about the team.”

The Rockets will try to keep their streak going 7 p.m. Friday at Floresville (6-2, 4-1), which is part of a three-way tie for first place with Harlandale (7-1, 4-1) and Uvalde (5-3, 4-1) – who play each other Friday. It will be a chance for Kennedy to make another climb in the standings.

“What we ask of them on offense and defense,” Cerda said, “is to give us an opportunity to make plays. I just wanted them to take every play one at a time. We have a great line, but the kids have to execute. We did that today.”

McCollum will play host to Southside (0-8, 0-5) Friday in a 7 p.m. game at Harlandale Memorial Stadium.

FOOTBALL: Area playoff picture (thru Nov. 2)

Football playoff picture

These are the area teams that have a chance to qualify for the playoffs (in alphabetical order):

Through Nov. 2

ALREADY QUALIFIED: Brackenridge (6-3, 4-1), Holy Cross (6-3, 5-1), Lanier (3-6, 3-2), Southwest (5-4, 3-1).

LIKELY QUALIFIERS: Central Catholic (4-5, 2-2), East Central (4-5, 2-2), Harlandale (7-2, 4-2).

POSSIBLE QUALIFIERS: Burbank (3-6, 2-3), Edison (3-6, 1-4), Highlands (4-5, 2-3), Kennedy (6-3, 3-3).

VOLLEYBALL: Area playoff qualifiers (updated Oct. 29)

Volleyball playoff qualifiers

ALREADY QUALIFIED: Brackenridge (14-25, 10-6), East Central (21-15, 8-2), Harlandale (24-11, 10-4), Highlands (20-20, 13-3), Holy Cross (27-10, 6-3), Jefferson (24-10, 12-4), Providence (12-20, 4-8), Sam Houston (20-14, 4-6), Southwest (16-24, 5-5).

VOLLEYBALL: This week’s results (Oct. 27-Nov. 2, 2013)

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

Matches of Oct. 27-Nov. 2

Tuesday’s results

District 28-5A

Corpus Christi Carroll (17-15, 5-5) 3, South San (12-19, 0-10) 2 (17-25, 25-12, 25-13, 19-25, 15-11)

East Central (21-15, 8-23, Corpus Christi King (13-19, 2-8) 0 (25-20, 25-22, 25-20)

Steele (26-15, 10-0) 3, Southwest (16-24, 5-5) 1 (25-15, 25-15, 23-25, 25-22)

District 28-4A

Brennan (34-3, 16-0) 3, Brackenridge (14-25, 10-6) (25-6, 25-9, 25-8)

Edison (12-25, 9-7) 3,Fox Tech (10-33, 2-14) 0 (25-22, 25-14, 26-24)

Jefferson (24-10, 12-4) 3, Highlands (20-20, 13-3) 1 (25-15, 25-19, 23-25, 25-11)

Burbank (9-24, 4-12) 3, Young Women’s Leadership Academy (2-33, 0-16)(25-12, 25-20, 25-15)

District 29-4A

Floresville (24-16, 11-3) 3, Harlandale (24-11, 10-4) 1 (25-13, 25-17, 24-26, 25-18)

Medina Valley (23-17, 11-3) 3, Kennedy (7-24, 2-12) 0 (25-12, 25-5, 25-12)

McCollum (12-22, 7-7) 3, Memorial (11-26, 2-12) 0 (25-18, 25-20, 25-17)

Uvalde (22-18, 11-3) 3, Southside (6-27, 2-12) 0 (25-11, 25-15, 25-10)

District 28-3A

LaVernia (24-16, 10-0) 3, Sam Houston (20-14, 4-6) 0 (25-19, 25-14, 25-15)

Somerset (22-8 ???, 8-2) 3, Pleasanton (21-12, 6-4)0 (25-14, 25-17, 25-11)

Poteet (2-22 ???, 1-8) 3, Hawkins (4-21 ???, 0-9) 1 (25-17, 13-25, 25-9, 25-12)

Friday’s matches

TAPPS CLASS 5A

Second round

Houston St. Agnes (31-7) 3, Providence (12-21) 0 (25-9, 25-9, 25-8)

TAPPS CLASS 4A

Second round

Houston Lutheran South Academy (28-9-1) 3, Holy Cross (28-12) 2 (15-25, 25-6, 22-25, 25-18, 15-12)

FOOTBALL: Week 9 results (complete)

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

WEEK 9 SCHEDULE

(Oct. 31-Nov. 2)

Friday’s games

FOOTBALL

District 28-5A

Steele (8-1, 4-0) 45, Corpus Christi Carroll (3-6, 2-2) 3

East Central (4-5, 2-2) 50, South San (2-7, 0-4) 0

Southwest (5-4, 3-1) 14, Corpus Christi King (3-6, 1-3) 9

District 28-4A

Brackenridge (6-3, 4-1) 23, Lanier (4-5, 3-2) 14

District 29-4A

Uvalde (6-3, 5-1) 34, Harlandale (7-2, 4-2) 21

Floresville (7-2, 5-1) 7, Kennedy (6-3, 3-3) 0

Medina Valley (6-3, 4-2) 35, Memorial (3-6, 1-5) 7

Southside (1-8, 1-5) 10, McCollum (3-6, 1-5) 7

District 28-3A

LaVernia (8-1, 3-0) 39,  Sam Houston (1-8, 0-3) 0

Pleasanton (9-1, 3-1) 22, Somerset (6-2, 2-1) 15

TAPPS District 2-I

Antonian (8-1, 4-0) 40, Central Catholic (4-5, 2-2) 14

TAPPS District 3-II

TMI (6-3, 3-3) 43, San Marcos Academy (1-8, 1-5) 14

Austin Hyde Park Baptist (9-0, 6-0) 31, Victoria St. Joseph (1-8, 1-5) 0

San Antonio Christian (5-4, 4-2) 45, Austin Regents (7-2, 4-2) 42

Saturday’s games

FOOTBALL

District 28-4A

Brennan (10-0, 6-0) 58, Jefferson (0-9, 0-5) 3

Highlands (4-5, 2-3) 35, Edison (3-6, 1-4) 7

TAPPS District 2-I

Austin St. Michael’s (6-2, 4-0) 49, St. Anthony (2-7, 0-4) 3

Brownsville St. Joseph (5-4, 2-2) 73, Corpus Christi John Paul II (0-9, 0-4) 14

TAPPS District 3-II

Holy Cross (6-3, 5-1) 61, Cornerstone Christian (2-7, 0-6) 0

FOOTBALL: Brack rallies for seventh-straight win over Burbank

Bulldogs take lead into fourth quarter on Sanchez TD

Ramon Richards threw a 17-yard pass to Marco Marble with 5:52 remaining to lead Brackenridge (5-3, 3-1) to a 26-21 win over rival Burbank (3-6, 2-3) Saturday afternoon at the SAISD Sports Complex.

Burbank had taken the lead in a back-and-forth District 28-4A game on a four-yard run from senior Jeremy Sanchez (132 yards, 13 carries) with 7:15 to play. Sanchez had tied it 14-14 early in the third quarter with a 44-yard touchdown run.

Eagles junior running back Trey Mathis (151 yards, 19 carries) broke a 35-yard scoring run late in the quarter.

Brackenridge, which is tied for second place with Lanier, never trailed on their way to their seventh-consecutive victory in the series.

The Eagles took a 7-0 lead on a five-yard run by Richards with 4:25 left in the first quarter. The senior completed 13 of 23 passes for 236 yards.

The Bulldogs tied it initially on the ensuing possession with a 58-yard pass to speedy Marcos Luna from quarterback J.P. Barrera. Barrera passed for 100 yards in his first start, completing nine of 16 throws.

Twenty-three seconds later, Richards connected with Marble (169 yards, 7 catches) for a 63-yard score, which held up for a 14-7 halftime lead.

Despite the loss, Burbank holds fourth place in 28-4A.

FRIDAY FOOTBALL ROUNDUP: Garcia returns to lead Lanier to victory over Edison

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Central Catholic, Holy Cross romp to district wins

TEAMS INCLUDED: Central Catholic, Edison, Holy Cross, Lanier.

Senior quarterback Nicholas Garcia was back in the Lanier lineup Friday at Wheatley Heights Sports Complex, and that was good news for the Voks (3-5, 3-1).

Garcia (14 of 16, 220 yards) fired three first-half touchdown passes, providing the Voks with a lead they never relinquished on the way to their third win in four games. Lanier posted a 35-14 victory over Edison (3-5, 1-3) in the District 28-4A game.

The 6-foot-3, 216-pounder tossed a four-yard scoring pass to senior fullback Steven Veliz, who had replaced him at quarterback a week earlier, to open the scoring.

The turning point came in the final 43 seconds of the first half. With Lanier ahead 7-0, Garcia found tight end Steven Horton for a 15-yard strike. Little more than a half-minute later, the pair hooked up again, with Horton (134 yards, 5 receptions) scoring on a 42-yard pass play.

The Voks scored again before Edison recorded its first touchdown. Junior Joe Orta (106 yards,9 carries) ran in from five yards away with 7:10 remaining in the third quarter. Lanier led 28-0.

Edison scored on a 45-yard touchdown pass from from Jonathan Hernandez (21 of 34, 250 yards) to Marcello Zavala (124 yards, 10 receptions) with 3:26 remaining in the third quarter.

A 28-yard touchdown run by Orta with 10 seconds left in the quarter sealed the win for the Voks. The Golden Bears added a 14-yard pass from Hernandez to David Sanchez with two minutes left in the game.

Lanier’s balanced offense generated 428 total yards. Edison tallied 277.

Edison senior Rodrigo Garcia caught four passes for 48 yards. Andres Alcantar didn’t play for the second-consecutive game.

Holy Cross 35, Victoria St. Joseph 0

Junior Greg Scott ran for 104 yards and three touchdowns on 15 carries as the Knights (5-3, 3-1) claimed a share of second place in TAPPS District 3-II.

Holy Cross’ win in Victoria enabled it to rise to second-place tie with Austin Regents (7-1, 4-1), which lost 27-24 to Austin Hyde Park Baptist (8-0, 5-0).

David Sanchez caught a 10-yard touchdown pass from Cisco Flores (12 of 21, 155 yards) for a 7-0 lead with 5:56 left in the opening quarter. Scott scored the Knights’ next two touchdowns on runs of three and 18 yards for a 21-0 halftime lead.

Flores, who also ran for a team-high 129 yards, threw 26 yards to senior Greg Kelly (92 yards, 6 catches) for the Knights’ first touchdown of the second half. Scott scored again on a four-yard run with 10:05 to play in the game.

Holy Cross outgained Victoria St. Joseph (1-7, 1-4) 415-65 in total yards. The Flyers gained just 17 yards on the ground.

Central Catholic 48, Corpus Christi John Paul II 0

The Buttons (4-4, 2-1) won their second-consecutive game, scored a season-high 48 points and rose to third place in TAPPS District 2-I Friday at Bob Benson Stadium.

Central Catholic’s homecoming never was in doubt against the Centurions (0-8, 0-3), who have not scored in the 2013 season.

The Buttons scored three touchdowns in the first quarter. Jacob Rodriguez (76 yards, 14 carries) found the end zone on a three-yard run, Jimin Suh (79 yards, 6 carries) ran 22 yards for a score and Will Barr caught a 33-yard touchdown pass from Joseph Nava (5 of 7, 83 yards).

Justin Rodriguez nailed field goals of 23 and 30 yards in the second quarter. Jacob Rodriguez and Suh also notched their second rushing touchdowns as Central Catholic’s lead ballooned to 41-0.

Drake Burgon scored from nine yards out in the fourth quarter. Burgon finished with 58 rushing yards.

Central Catholic accumulated 363 total yards. The Buttons limited John Paul to 41 yards and forced five turnovers. They have not allowed a point in the last six quarters.

FOOTBALL: Week 8 previews (Friday’s games)

FRIDAY

Brennan (8-0, 4-0) vs. Highlands (3-4, 1-2) at SAISD Sports Complex, 7:30 p.m.

Teams don’t seem to spend much time at the crest of the hill in District 28-4A.

Invariably, it seems, when a team gets hot, it’s destined to run into Brennan in a week or two. Highlands is the latest team to put its momentum to the test against the Bears, No. 2 in the Associated Press state Class 4A rankings.

As Brennan rolls toward the playoffs, expect the Bears to keep things fairly vanilla. Brennan quarterback Da’Shawn Key only attempted six passes last week.

Even so, the Bears outgained Lanier 437-49 in total yards in a 62-0 shutout, their third in four district games. Makai Green ran for 145 yards and Nathaniel Green Jr. added 95.

Highlands has adjusted to life without standout junior quarterback Jordan DeLuna, who is out for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament. With progress in the offensive line and among the backs, the Owls have become a grind-it-out team.

Behind a 100-yard rushing game from Quindon Boston (his first), which included touchdown runs of 12 and 50 yards in a 41-22 win over Jefferson. He’s had two long touchdown runs in the last two games.

Senior Elijah Garces and junior John Cervantes are splitting the quarterback duties, and each is a running threat. However, the passing game is lacking a deep threat. That’s going to make it difficult to move the ball consistently against a Brennan defense that’s outstanding against the run (and pretty darned good against the pass, too).

Defensively, the Owls won in classic bend-but-don’t-break style against Jefferson. They gave up 263 total yards, but allowed just eight points and came up with stops at key times in the second half.

Last year’s game was the first in the series. 2012 score: Brennan 63, Highlands 3.

Corpus Christi John Paul II (0-7, 0-2) at Central Catholic (3-4, 1-1), 7:30 p.m.

With a game against Antonian a week away, Central Catholic will be looking for a stepping stone performance tonight.

That shouldn’t be much of a problem. The Buttons seem to be improving and they’ll be facing a Corpus Christi John Paul Il team that still is looking for its points in the TAPPS District 2-I season.

In fact, the Centurions haven’t scored THIS SEASON. They lost 44-0 last Friday to Austin St. Michael’s, a team that defeated the Buttons 28-17 a week earlier.

So, back to Central Catholic. The Buttons scored the last three touchdowns in a 38-13 win over St. Anthony last week. They’ve been a second half team all year. But this one should be in the bag by halftime.

Central Catholic ran for 249 yards with contributions from backs Jacob Rodriguez and Jimin Suh as well as  quarterback Joseph Nava. With wide receiver Will Barr back in the lineup, the Buttons may opt to throw a little more frequently this week to prepare for Antonian. Or they may keep things under wraps so that the Apaches don’t have too much to think about.

That may be the most intriguing element about this matchup. 2012 score: Central Catholic 35, Corpus Christi John Paul II 0.

Corpus Christi King (2-5, 0-2) at South San (2-5, 0-2), 7:30 p.m.

One team will emerge from this District 28-5A game with its first district win.

Basing too much on score comparisons can be a slippery slope, especially when the common opponent is far stronger than the teams in the comparison. Those qualifications aside, King fared a little better in their games at state powerhouse and district leader Steele.

King lost 49-20 two weeks ago. The score might be a tad misleading because King scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns after the outcome had long been decided. The Mustangs mustered 211 total yards to the Knights’ 395.

South San lost 49-7 last Friday. The Bobcats gained 131 yards while allowing 366.

The Bobcats’ fortunes in recent weeks have seemed to coincide with whether senior back Christian Morales  has a big game. Morales’ chances for a bounce back performance are good after Steele limited him to 11 yards.

By the same token, quarterback Darren Tinajero should have a little more time to throw, and find big-play receiver Juan Zamarripa.

South San appears to be a little stronger than the Mustangs defensively.

Quarterback Bronze Jackson is the focal point of King’s offense. Jackson is a run-pass threat. Kevin Dawson is the Mustangs’ top ballcarrier and Dominque Lane is their leading receiver.

Not to overestimate the importance of this game, but a win will keep playoff hopes alive but a loss here means that they’re probably dashed. It’s a small district. 2012 score: Corpus Christi King 31, South San 7.

Edison (3-4, 1-2) vs. Lanier (2-5, 2-1) at Wheatley Heights Sports Complex, 7:30 p.m.

The last six games in the series have been decided by 10 points or fewer, and this year’s District 28-4A contest shouldn’t break the mold.

Lanier enters the game tied for second place while Edison is tied for fifth, but just a game separates them and Edison has the better overall record.

The Golden Bears may have the edge, coming off a 14-6 win over Burbank last Friday. This also shapes up as a defensive-oriented game and Edison has proven that it can win that type of contest.

So has Lanier, with 20-14 win over Jefferson two weeks ago. In that game, though, the Voks had  quarterback Nicholas Garcia throwing for 205 yards. Garcia didn’t play last week.

Without Garcia, Lanier was one-dimensional in a 62-0 loss to Brennan last Friday. Fullback Steven Veliz shifted over to fill the void, but completed just two of 10 passes.

If Garcia returns, the Voks will be able to counter-balance the running threat posed by Joe Orta and open things up downfield for receiver Rodrigo Garcia.

Edison also had a key absence last week, senior running back Andres Aguilar. Without him quarterback Jonathan Hernandez carried the ball more often than usual and only threw eight times.

Like Garcia, Hernandez is able to make game-changing plays with his arm. Either could be a key factor, providing Garcia plays.

Without Aguilar, Edison wasn’t able to play the ball control style it prefers. And the team that controls the ball is the likely victor tonight.

Edison leads the series 29-11 and has won the last six games, although Burbank won on the field in 2008 and later had to forfeit the win. 2012 score: Edison 36, Burbank 13.

Holy Cross (4-3, 3-1) at Victoria St. Joseph (1-6, 1-3), 7 p.m.

The Knights’ road to a second-consecutive TAPPS District 3-II became a little more difficult when they lost 35-28 to Austin Regents. The loss ended 10-game district winning streak.

Holy Cross should get back in the win column this week against Victoria St. Joseph. The Flyers won’t be a pushover, though. They lost 28-16 to TMI two weeks ago and fell 42-6 to Austin Regents in their last two 3-II games.

The top priority for the Knights is to cut down on their turnovers. They committed an uncharacteristic five in the loss to Austin Regents. Holy Cross made none a week earlier against San Marcos Baptist.

Against Austin Regents, the turnovers in both the running and passing games hampered an offense that still managed 324 total yards. The 1-2 punch of Greg Scott and quarterback Cisco Flores out of the backfield has been Holy Cross’ greatest offensive strength. Earlier in the season, Flores had great success through the ari, particularly to senior receiver Greg Kelly.

Victoria St. Joseph is led by back Barclay Proctor. Denny Williams is the Flyers’ quarterback. 2012 score: Holy Cross 46, Victoria St. Joseph 14.

McCollum (3-4, 1-3) vs. Kennedy (5-2, 2-2) at Frank Mata Stadium, 7 p.m.

Both teams are on the outside looking in, as far as the District 29-4A playoff picture is concerned. But that could change for the winner of tonight’s contest.

If Kennedy wins, the Rockets would gain a fourth-place tie with the loser of the Floresville-Medina Valley game. They’ll take a two-game winning streak into the game.

McCollum will be a worthy adversity, coming off relatively close games Medina Valley (48-23) and Uvalde (41-24) the last two weeks. The Cowboys were competitive against teams that are currently sharing third place, but they likely can’t afford another loss if they hope to make the playoffs this year.

Against Medina Valley, they gave up 24 unanswered points from the start of the game. They’ll need to avoid  an early deficit of 14 points or more against Kennedy. The Rockets’ defense only allowed a kickoff return touchdown in a 21-6 win over Southside last Friday.

The Cowboys will try to get their running game established early against the Rockets behind Mike Ramirez.  The Panthers limited McCollum to 46 rushing yards.

Meanwhile, junior quarterback Ralph Vidal completed 15 of 22 passes for 200 yards. Robert Salas finished with 96 reception yards, including a 52-yard touchdown.

McCollum’s defense has given up 952 yards in the last two weeks. Medina Valley passed for 323 yards last week, but that won’t be a great concern as the Cowboys prepare for Kennedy. Uvalde ran for 411 yards two weeks ago, and that’s an area where the defense will need to show great improvement..

Kennedy’s formula for victory has been to ride senior back Matthew Avalos, while its opportunistic defense creates extra possessions and often points.

Avalos scored all three touchdowns last week, while piling up 148 rushing yards. The passing game, though, reveted to its earlier ways, completing just four of 16 attempts for 91 yards

The Rockets will need to show more of a passing threat to keep McCollum from stacking the box for Avalos.

McCollum has an 11-2 edge in the series, although the Rockets won last year. The Cowboys had won the previous seven games. 2012 score: Kennedy 23, McCollum 17.

Memorial (3-4, 1-3) at Uvalde (4-3, 3-1), 7 p.m.

Despite the improvement Memorial has made this season, its back is to the wall, in terms of its playoff hopes.

It’s a tough must-win situation for the Minutemen, as Uvalde is one of the toughest places to play in District 29-4A. The fact that the Coyotes are coming off a 28-14 loss to Floresville and are battling for first in the district won’t make matters easier for Memorial.

Memorial is capable, though. That was reinforced in last Friday’s 42-23 loss to current district leader Harlandale.

A bounce-back game from back Raul Rangel (99 rushing yards) was the best sign for Memorial against Harlandale. The Minutemen are at their best offensively when Rangel is running the ball effectively.

Quarterback Alfred Ramos completed 10 of 15 throws for 159 yards, effectively utilizing four receivers. Senior Ivan DeAnda had his best game of the year with 72 reception yards.

A concern is that Harlandale back Nicholas Martinez ran for 202 yards. Uvalde’s attack is predicated on its ground game.

The Coyotes have had games with more than 400 rushing yards. Floresville held them to 216, but back Zach Sanchez still ran for two touchdowns of more than 60 yards apiece.

Uvalde quarterback Jerry Almaraz is a running threat who’s capable of mixing in passes for first downs or touchdowns when needed.

With a varied attack, Memorial should be able to score points against a Uvalde defense that has been somewhat inconsistent this year. 2012 score: Uvalde 45, Memorial 0.

Sam Houston (1-6, 0-1) at Pleasanton (7-1, 1-1), 7:30 p.m.

Sam Houston breathed new life into its season last Saturday with a strong showing against Somerset.  Saturday in a 32-20 loss.

Unfortunately for the Hurricanes, their District 28-3A schedule isn’t getting any easier.

Pleasanton stomped Poteet 41-0 last week after a late comeback fell short against La Vernia in its 28-3A opener, resulting in a six-point loss. The Eagles rolled up 337 total yards while limiting Poteet to 154.

Unlike Somerset, Pleasanton does most of its offensive damage on the ground. Quarterback Jacob Arevalo and back Grant Jackson combined for 170 rushing yards and two touchdowns last week. They’re over 1,500 for the season.

Sam Houston witnessed the triumphant return of leading rusher Erin Mack against Somerset. Mack gained 129 yards on just nine carries, which helped to balance out the offense.

Quarterback Raymonte Prime threw for a season-best 220 yards. Khiry Darby and Jvoni Badie-Jones each gathered more than 90 reception yards.

The Hurricanes outgained Somerset and its prolific offense 377-310 in total yards, which provides hope for the trip to Pleasanton. 2012 score: Pleasanton 35, Sam Houston 0.

Southwest (4-3, 2-0) vs. Corpus Christi Carroll (2-5, 1-1) at Cabaniss Stadium, Corpus Christi, 7:30 p.m.

Southwest is coming off its two best games of the season, and will face a Carroll team that played arguably its best last Friday.

The Dragons, who find themselves sharing first place in District 28-5A with Steele, defeated East Central 41-21 last Friday and South San 36-20 two weeks ago.

The wins coincided with the return of Nathaniel Scott, who rushed for 397 yards. He gained 193 against East Central and ran for four touchdowns.

Southwest quarterback Bowen Crisp has developed into an increasinly efficient passer. he running threat and find Cody Johnson and his other receivers for big gains.

Corpus Christi Carroll, which lost 31-28 to East Central two weeks ago, pulled away from crosstown Rival King in the second half for a 38-17 win last Friday.

The Tigers are led by quarterback Jesse Jones, who led them in both rushing and passing against East Central. The Hornets’ defense was able to hold back Noah Lisk to five yards.

Southwest’s defense also has been improving lately. It limited the Hornets to 270 total yards as well as just seven points over the last three quarters.

The game shapes up to potentially be a higher-scoring game, and that bodes well for the Dragons. They have the more prolific offense, and likely the more potent defense. 2012 score: Southwest 38, Corpus Christi Carroll 26.

Steele (6-1, 2-0) at East Central (3-4, 1-1), 7:30 p.m.

East Central is seeking to avoid back-to-back District 28-5A losses, and it wll be a tough task, despite the homefield advantage.

Steele might not be quite as powerful as in the last couple of seasons, but still is formidable – not to mention one of the top teams in the San Antonio area.

The Knights are led by back Justin Stockton (949 rushing yards), a Texas Tech commit. Stockton has scored 18 touchdowns, but Steele rested him with just four carries against South San in a 49-7 win last Friday.

Steele quarterback L.G. Williams also is dangerous. He has run for more than 500 yards and thrown for 786 yards. He only passed five times against the Bobcats and still totaled 80 yards through the air.

The Bobcats only mustered 131 total yards against Steele’s defense.

Despite a big game from East Central quarterback Justin Upshaw-Mendoza in just his second start, the Hornets never got rolling last week in a 41-21 loss last Friday at Southwest.  Upshaw-Mendoza threw three touchdown passes and completed 10 of 16 throws for 164 yards. He also was East Central’s leading rusher with 58 yards.

The Hornets have two Division I-calber backs in  Johnathan Jackson (102 yards, 3 touchdowns) and Javion Polk. Although the passing game is getting to where coach Clint Hartman needs it to be, restoring the running game will be a big priority.

Defensively, East Central will need to try to limit Stockton’s long gains.

Steele has won all three games in the series. 2012 score: Steele 28, East Central 0.

FOOTBALL: Harlandale inches into first place in 29-4A with close win over Southside

Trevino leads Cardinals to best performance of the season

Harlandale quarterback Brandon Ramon may not have played his best game of the season Thursday at Harlandale Memorial Stadium, but his leadership skills shone – as always – and he had a hand in all of the Indians touchdowns.

That was what first-place Harlandale (7-1, 4-1) needed to finally subdue a determined Southside (0-8, 0-5) team that played, unquestionably, its best game of the season. Ramon scored on a two-yard plunge with 6:14 remaining and the Indians’ defense held off the Cardinals for a 21-14 victory in the District 29-4A game.

“Every inch counts,” Ramon said, referring to his second effort in short-yardage situations, “and that one inch counted today.”

With the win, Harlandale inched a half-game ahead of Floresville (5-2, 3-1), Medina Valley (5-2, 3-1) and Uvalde (4-3, 3-1) for sole possession of first place.

Eighth-place Southside, in its second game under interim coach Eddie Moreno, pulled within seven points on a long drive that culminated with 3:58 remaining.

Cardinals sophomore quarterback Johnny Trevino (10 of 18, 164 yards) set up the touchdown with a 27-yard pass to tight end Justin Escobar and a nine-yarder to Ruben Zavala on a fourth-and-4. An 18-yard run by Trevino moved Southside to the 5-yard line.

Two carries from senior back Omar Guadarrama cut Harlandale’s lead to 21-14.

The Indians took over on their own 22. Ramon (19 of 29, 212 yards) passed nine yards to junior Ian Martinez to give Harlandale a third-and-short situation. On the next play, Southside senior defensive lineman Jeffrey Sanchez penetrated into the backfield to tackle Ramon short of the first down. On fourth-and-1 from the Harlandale 31, however, the senior quarterback picked up the necessary yardage.

Two long runs by senior back Nick Martinez (76 yards, 20 carries) enabled the Indians to run out the clock.

Veteran Harlandale coach Isaac Martinez said the decision to try for the first down was a reflection of the faith he has in his team.

“When you’ve got units you have confidence in, offensively and defensively,” Martinez said, “I had confidence my offense would make it. But if they didn’t, you have to have confidence your defense will shut them down.

“When you have that, you can take chances with your team. Today, it paid off.”

Harlandale outgained Southside 276-256 in total yards. Southside ran for 92 yards. The Indians finished with 32.

Ramon put Harlandale in the lead with a pair of touchdown passes in the defensive struggle.

The senior broke a scoreless tie by threading a 22-yard pass to Ian Martinez (93 yards, 6 receptions) with 4:59 left in the first half. Martinez made an over-the-shoulder catch about five yards deep in the end zone for the touchdown.

The Indians improved their lead to 14-0 with 7:14 to play in the third quarter. Nick Martinez set the stage with a pair of runs that netted 17 yards. Then Ramon found Eddie Pedroza (56 yards, 5 receptions) for a six-yard score. They had hooked up for a 35-yard gain which pushed Harlandale across midfield earlier in the drive.

Southside answered on the opening play of the fourth quarter. Trevino threw 27 yards to Zavala (106 yards, 7 receptions) to slash Harlandale’s lead to 14-7.

VOLLEYBALL: Southwest takes outside approach to beat Carroll, move into third place

Freshmen stepping up for Dragons in 28-5A play

Game planning is an essential part of any sport, but sometimes nothing goes as anticipated.

Tuesday was one of those nights at Southwest. First, Corpus Christi Carroll’s bus was late, putting the Dragons off their normal pre-match routine. Then, when Carroll came out for warmups, Southwest coach Erin Dorgal found out that the focal point of her game plan, the Tigers’ Katherine Garza, wouldn’t be playing in the District 28-5A match.

The injured Garza had spearheaded Carroll’s middle attack in their first match against Southwest Oct. 4, which the Tigers won in five games.

“The entire week we worked on defending the middle, because that’s how they beat us last time,” Morgal said. “Then when they came out for warmups, I noticed (Garza) was on crutches. She’s the one that killed us.

“Once our kids got out there, they started believing they could beat them.”

The Dragons (15-23, 4-4) adjusted their focus defensively to Tigers middle blocker Cassie Valent. Offensively, that helped to open up their outside hitters which kept Carroll (16-14, 4-4) out of sync after Game 1. Southwest won 14-25, 25-21, 25-19, 25-14.

“We tried to keep the ball away from (Cassie Valent) as much as possible,” Morgal said. “We were concerned a lot about matchups and court communication.”

The win enabled Southwest to tie Carroll for third place with two matches remaining.

In the first game, Carroll bolted to a 16-8 lead. Southwest closed to 19-11 with a kill from senior middle blocker Kassandra Cruz  in the first game. Valent got a sideout that put the Tigers at game point and Annisa Trevino finished it with a crosscourt kill.

“We definitely got off to a slow start,” Southwest senior defensive specialist/setter Elizabeth Phillips said. “I think, because their bus broke down and they got here later, it took us a little longer to get going. We didn’t have that (spark) when we were warming up. But we came out and did a good job after the first game.”

Game 2 developed point-by-point until Cruz put down a block and Carroll was charged with a net violation, giving Southwest a 9-7 advantage. Two kills from Valent in a three-point span swung the momentum back to the Tigers, which established a 14-11.

Southwest’s solid defense, however, led to Carroll errors and helped the Dragons catch up to tie it 18-18. After another tie, the Dragons took control, thanks to a long point which was extended by a dig from Phillips. Freshman Aashlyn Sulaica (11 kills) finished that point with a kill and Felisha Maldonado added another in the three-point run.

“Normally, we rely on our seniors,” Morgal said, “but it’s nice to know that the younger kids are able to rise to that role. That’s good to know, looking forward. That’s exciting.”

Senior middle blocker Kamarie Vidales ended the set with a kill and the teams were tied at a game apiece. Vidales also put the finishing touches on the match with consecutive kills for the last two points in Game 3.

Morgal pointed to effective hitting on the outside from Sulaica, junior Megan Hernandez, freshman Lindsey Calderon and Maldonado among others, which added up to a varied Southwest attack.

“That took pressure of Kamerie,” she said. “She could start swinging a little more freely. She had nine kills in 15 attempts, so her hitting percentage went up.”

Each of those players is new to the Dragons varsity.

“We have a lot of first-year (varsity) players and they’ve been learning since the beginning of the year,” Morgal said. “They’ve been working and improving. Now, we’re a confident team. Things are coming around.”

Hernandez, who went from junior varsity to a starting role, supplied two consecutive kills that lifted   Southwest to a 12-11 lead in Game 3. The junior then put the Dragons at game point (24-19) with third kill of the game.

In the decisive Game 4, Hernandez produced kills that increased Southwest’s lead to 6-1, 13-3 and 20-10. The latter resulted from a pancake dig by Phillips.

“She’s been bringing focus to the position,” Morgal said. “I never worry about her effort or execution. It’s great to see Megan step up and be one of the big people for us. It’s been great.”

Hernandez and Phillips are among four players who also compete for the Dragons’ three-time defending champion softball team. Phillips is the Dragons’ starting center fielder. Hernandez at second base and  Brandy Martinez at shortstop form the double play combination. Vidales probably needs no introduction. She’s not only Southwest’s ace pitcher, but one of the best in the region.

“If I didn’t come out (for volleyball), I don’t know what I’d do,” Phillips said. “They’re very different sports, but playing volleyball puts us in good position for softball.”

“Softball is definitely my passion, but I love volleyball.”

The most distinctive trait about the group is that they’re key players in both sports. Vidales has been the Dragons’ kill leader. Phillips contributed 23 digs in a recent match. The group’s diamond experience clearly translates well to the volleyball court.

“We share a lot of players,” Morgal said. “Miranda Medina last year was one of our top outside hitters. What I like about them is that, although they play softball too, when they’re here they give their all to volleyball. I never have to worry about (their commitment).”

Southwest took command of the last two games with extended service runs.

The Dragons ran off eight unanswered points which broke a 12-12 tie in Game 3.  The stretch included two kills from Sulaica and one from Vidales. It was reinforced by a pair of back-to-back aces from libero Zoe Marin (17 digs) that made it 20-15.

Southwest never trailed in Game 4 after the first point. A six-point spurt that included two kills and a block from Vidales, as well as a block from Calderon, manufactured a 14-3 advantage. Carroll’s comeback efforts were frustrated by a long rally that ended with a four-hits call against the Tigers and gave Southwest a 22-13 lead. “Coming into this match, since we lost at Carroll,” the third-year Southwest coach said, “we needed to win. I don’t want to come in fourth. I’m not going to be OK with just going to the playoffs. We need to come in second or third, or first.

“Last year we were fourth. This year, we have a pretty good shot at third. We’re going in the right direction.”

Yasmin Garcia led the Dragons with 20 assists.

Southwest finishes the 28-5A season with a home match against Corpus Christi (12-15, 0-6) King Friday at 7 p.m. and a  match against first-place Steele (24-15, 8-0) Tuesday in Cibolo. The Dragons defeated King in five games Oct. 8 in Corpus Christi and lost to the Knights Oct. 11 in three in the first round.

“Our district is a little strong,” Phillips said. “We needed to get this win. We did our best.”

Southwest will hope to avoid a slow start Friday against the Mustangs.

“(King) was up 2-0 last time,” Morgal said. “So, obviously, we needed to be ready when we hit the floor. For Steele, we’ll put our big hitters up on boxes in practice and tell the girls to go after it.”

FOOTBALL: Week 8 previews (Thursday’s game)

THURSDAY

Southside (0-7, 0-4) vs. Harlandale (6-1, 3-1) at Harlandale Memorial Stadium, 7 p.m.

Harlandale got back on track last Friday with a 42-23 win over Memorial. Now the Indians are in a four-way tie for first place in District 29-4A and can put pressure on the other co-leaders with a win.

One of the best developments from last week’s win was the first 200-plus yard game of the season from senior Nicholas Martinez. Martinez could be in line for another big game, as the Indians won’t need to take risks against the Cardinals.

Harlandale’s biggest concern offensively will be avoiding turnovers, something it has been good at this year.

Quarterback Brandon Ramon has passed for 1,489 yards with 16 touchdowns and just two interceptions.

Southside made two interceptions last week, but committed five turnovers. The Cardinals’ defense actually limited Kennedy to fewer yards (262 total yards) than the Indians had in a 21-6 loss last Friday.

The best sign for the Cardinals is that they kept the game close and kept the score within a manageable range.

Offensively, though, Southside had a setback, mustering just 153 total yards and no touchdowns. The only score came on an 88-yard kickoff return from Timmy Rodriguez.

Omar Guadarrama stepped up to split carries with Rodriguez and ran for 37 yards. Establishing the run will be essential against Harlandale so that quarterback Jake Ramos can throw more effectively.

Harlandale leads the series 4-3. The Indians last won in the series in 2009 (the teams didn’t play in 2010 or 2011). Southside has won three of the last four games. 2012 score: Southside 32, Harlandale 21.

TUESDAY VOLLEYBALL ROUNDUP: Harlandale sweeps into second place with win over Medina Valley

Jefferson bumps Brackenridge out of third place in 28-4A

TEAMS INCLUDED: Brackenridge, Burbank, East Central, Edison, Harlandale, Jefferson, Memorial, Providence, Sam Houston, Southside.

When Harlandale lost three of four matches in a stretch that began Oct. 3, its chances for a District 29-4A championship seemed to have vanished. They resurfaced Tuesday when the Indians (23-10, 9-3) defeated Medina Valley (21-17, 9-3) 25-22, 25-13, 25-17.

The win lifted Harlandale into a three-way tie for second place with the Panthers and Uvalde (23-10, 9-3), which defeated Kennedy 25-7, 25-13, 25-14. It also clinched a playoff spot for the Indians.

Floresville (23-15, 10-2) leads the district. The Tigers defeated McCollum 25-20, 25-22, 26-24 Tuesday at McCollum. The loss eliminated the Cowboys from playoff consideration.

For Harlandale,senior Katie Neira led a platoon of effective frontline players with 18 kills and two blocks. Sabrina Esparza chipped in with 10 kills, 10 digs and four blocks. Madaline Mendez had five kills and two blocks. Erika Arredondo (2.5 blocks), Jackie Espinoza (4 digs, 1.5 blocks) and Yolanda Garcia (4 blocks) all finished with four kills.

Catherine Silva tallied 15 assists and seven digs. Kelly Landin finished with 10 digs and Sierra Sandoval made nine.

Each 29-4A team has just two remaining games, but there still could be plenty of jockeying for position in the time remaining.

Floresville plays at Medina Valley Friday, then plays host to Harlandale to conclude the regular season at 6 p.m. next Tuesday.

Harlandale will play host to Southside (6-25, 2-10) at 6 p.m. Friday.

Jefferson d. Brackenridge

The Mustangs (22-10, 10-4) wrested third place in District 28-4A away from Brackenridge (13-24, 9-5) Tuesday at Jefferson. The host team split the first two games with the Eagles, but pulled away over the last two for the victory.

Jefferson won Game 1 26-24, but Brackenridge recovered to take the second game, 25-23. The Mustangs put the match away by winning 25-15 and 25-19.

The Mustangs were led by junior Gabby Vasquez with 20 digs, nine kills and three aces. Melanie Sheppard slammed seven blocks. Courtney Garcia finished with 17 assists.

Brackenridge received 15 kills from Jolicia Shelton-Brown and 32 assists from Miranda Flores. Kathy Sifuentes produced 27 digs. Ana DeLeon made two blocks. Skyler Reyna contributed two aces.

Southside d, Memorial

The Cardinals (6-25, 2-10) outlasted Memorial (11-24, 2-10) for a 25-22, 25-12, 22-25, 21-25, 15-13 win at Southside Tuesday. The win forced a three-way tie for sixth place in District 29-4A between the two teams and Kennedy (7-22, 2-10).

Southside had three players with 10 or more kills and four with double-digit digs.

Ariana Cisneros led the Cardinals with 18 digs, 17 assists, 12 kills and seven aces. Alyssa Gallardo dealt 21 assists, made 16 digs and served five aces. Amber Munoz provided 13 kills and 10 digs. Cristina Guerra finished with 10 kills and two aces.

Defensively, Selena Raudales recorded 15 digs, Lisa Casarez added six and Briana Martinez had five.

The Minutemen received an outstanding game from Miranda Puente, featuring 14 blocks, nine kills and three aces. Larissa Lopez also served three aces. Bridget Gomez distributed 19 assists.

Edison d. Burbank

The Golden Bears (12-24, 8-6) swept Burbank (8-23, 3-11) 26-24, 25-22, 25-16 in a District 28-4A match Tuesday at Burbank.

Senior Karen Guerrero led Edison with 15 kills. Marissa Cortinas was credited with 18 assists. Joanna Benavidez hustled for nine digs. Liann Mayen and Destiny McCarty added 1.5 blocks apiece.

Senior Jenna Villanueva had team highs of nine blocks and nine kills for Burbank. Alejandra Martinez supplied 17 digs. Bekah Valma added 12 assists.

Steele d. East Central

Host Steele (24-15, 8-0) defeated the Hornets (19-15, 6-2) in a battle for first place Tuesday in Cibolo. The Knights won 29-27, 27-25, 19-25, 25-22 in a long District 28-5A match.

East Central was led by Nichole West with 16 kills, 13 digs and 1.5 blocks. Madison Simon added 14 kills and 14 digs. Brandi Campos led the Hornets with 41 digs. Dani Alvarez provided 26 assists and Alex Pena dished 14. Lindsey Lubianski added six blocks. 

Pleasanton d. Sam Houston

The Eagles (20-11, 5-3) broke a third-place tie in District 28-3A by defeating Sam Houston (20-12, 4-4) 25-15, 25-13, 25-16 Tuesday in Pleasanton.

Tashonna Williams led the Hurricanes with 12 digs and two blocks. Karisma Mitchell added 11 kills. Tiria Mackey provided 11 assists. Kanika Evans served two aces.

WEEKEND VOLLEYBALL REPORT: Edison clinging to slim playoff hopes in 28-4A

East Central, Highlands qualify for playoffs; nine potential qualifiers remain

TEAMS INCLUDED: Brackenridge, East Central, Edison, Harlandale, Highlands, Holy Cross, Jefferson, Lanier, Memorial, Providence, Southwest, Young Women’s Leadership Academy.

PLEASE FOLLOW THIS LINK TO THE WEEKLY VOLLEYBALL ROUNDUP ON THE SOUTHSIDE REPORTER WEBSITE:

http://www.mysanantonio.com/community/southside/news/article/Volleyball-roundup-for-week-of-Oct-14-20-4914526.php

Edison is hoping to boldly go to the destination two other area teams reached last Friday. After splitting a pair of matches last week, though, that may require winning each of their last three remaining contests – a tall order indeed.

The fifth-place Golden Bears (11-24, 7-6) kept themselves on course for the playoffs Oct. 15 with a  25-7, 25-15, 25-7 District 28-4A win at Lanier (8-22, 5-9). However, their mission became a little more arduous last Friday when they lost 25-23, 25-16, 27-25 to Jefferson (21-10, 9-4), which shares third place with Brackenridge (13-23, 9-4).

“One game at a time,” third-year Edison coach Maricela Quesada said. “We have to just focus on that and keep winning. We have to take it one game at a time.”

East Central (19-14, 6-1) and Highlands (19-19, 12-2) became the first two area teams to clinch playoff berths last Friday.

Edison is one of nine playoff hopefuls that hope to make the cut by the end of the regular season next Tuesday. The others are Brackenridge, Harlandale (21-10, 7-3), Holy Cross (27-11, 5-4), Jefferson, McCollum (10-11, 5-6), Providence (12-18, 4-6), Sam Houston (20-11, 4-3) and Southwest (14-23, 3-4).

Jefferson was led by 12 kills and seven digs from Courtney Garcia. Melanie Sheppard recorded seven blocks. Selena Garcia distributed 12 assists.

The Golden Bears received 10 kills from senior Karen Guerrero and 20 digs from Juanita Gomez. Freshman Marissa Cortinas dealt 15 assists. Kalani Wood made four blocks.

“We’ve been working a lot on defense,” Quesada said. “To me, defense wins games. I only had two returning seniors, so we’ve improved a lot since the beginning of the year.”

Against Lanier, Gomez led the Golden Bears’ defense with nine digs. Cortinas supplied 14 assists and five kills. Guerrero contributed nine kills, seven digs and three aces. Lauren Gutierrez added nine assists.

“I feel like we started really, really strong,” Guerrero said. “Everybody was really on their game. Everybody was contributing. We were really focused on what we had to do.”

Injury-plagued Lanier, which was eliminated from playoff consideration, was led by three blocks from LeeAnna Martinez. Sarah Chavez chipped in with four digs and three assists.

The Golden Bears were scheduled to play Burbank (8-22, 3-10) Tuesday. Friday, they’ll play host to district-leading and state-ranked Brennan (31-4, 13-0) in a 7:30 p.m. match. Edison will close its 28-4A season next Tuesday at Fox Tech (10-31, 2-2).

Highlands d. YWLA

Second-place Highlands won its fourth-consecutive match last Friday defeating Young Women’s Leadership Academy (2-29, 0-12) 35-26, 25-6, 25-16 at Lanier and qualifying for the playoffs out of 28-4A in the process.

The Owls had defeated Brackenridge 25-16, 25-20, 14-25, 22-25,15-8 Oct. 15 at Highlands.

Against YWLA, Jenna Thompson led the way with six kills and three aces. Bryten Mitchan also recorded six kills. Analisa Garza distributed 16 assists. Jessica Alvarez added 12 digs.

YWLA was led by Sabrina Cantu with seven kills and two blocks. Alejandra Ramirez made 13 digs. Karease Williams dealt nine assists.

East Central d. Southwest

The second-place Hornets swept fourth-place Southwest for the second time this season 25-12, 25-13, 25-17 to clinch a playoff spot in District 28-5A last Friday.

Kaylin Mills served a whopping 12 aces to lead East Central. Madison Simon contributed eight digs and eight kills. Brandi Campos produced a team-high 17 digs. Alex Pena was the assist leader with 16.

Leaders for Southwest were senior Elizabeth Phillips with 23 digs, senior Kamerie Vidales with 12 kills and Yasmin Garcia with 15 assists.

East Central also defeated Corpus Christi Carroll (16-13, 4-3) 28-26, 25-19, 25-15 Oct. 15 in Corpus Christi.

Jefferson d. Edison

The Mustangs (21-10, 9-4) kept pace with Brackenridge (13-23, 9-4) to remain in a third-place tie in District 28-4A. Jefferson defeated fifth-place Edison (11-24, 7-6) 25-23, 25-16, 27-25 to Jefferson (21-10, 9-4), which shares third place with Brackenridge .

Jefferson was led by 12 kills and seven digs from Courtney Garcia in its second win over Edison this season. Melanie Sheppard recorded seven blocks. Selena Garcia distributed 12 assists. Gabby Vasquez and Melanie Ybarra each served two aces.

The Golden Bears received 10 kills from senior Karen Guerrero and 20 digs from Juanita Gomez. Freshman Marissa Cortinas dealt 15 assists. Kalani Wood made four blocks.

Harlandale d. Memorial

The Indians (22-10, 8-3) maintained a tie for third-place by winning a District 29-4A match 25-8, 25-18, 25-23 over Memorial (11-23, 2-9) Friday at Edgewood Gym.

Harlandale received eight kills from Katie Neira. Erika Arredondo each served five aces. Catherine Silva and Alicia Garcia each contributed five digs. Madeline Mendez made three blocks.

Memorial senior Jatziry Duarte recorded five digs. Sophomore Mirande Puente had team highs of four kills and three blocks.

Holy Cross d. Corpus Christi Incarnate Word

The Knights (27-11, 5-4) won a hard-fought TAPPS District 3-4A match against Corpus Christi Incarnate Word. They lost the first game 25-12, but came back to win 25-15, 25-20, 25-21 Thursday.

Mallory Ozuna distributed 32 assists and served three aces. Erin Torralva also served three aces. Victoria Gonzalez and Anna Zuniga each made three blocks. Gonzalez also finished with 10 kills.

Senior Julia Ibarra led the Knights with 25 digs and Daisy Flores added 12. Freshman Henrianna Ibarra notched eight kills.

Providence d. Laredo St. Augustine

The Provets (12-19, 4-7) swept Corpus Christi Incarnate Word 25-14, 25-17, 25-20 in a TAPPS District 2-5A match Saturday at Providence.

Sabrina Casares and Logan Glick each supplied 13 assists. kills. Senor Davion Turella made four blocks. Juliet Alanis and Gabby Mitchell each served four aces. Alanis also recorded eight digs.

Sam Houston d. Hawkins

The Hurricanes (20-11, 4-3) moved into a third-place tie with Pleasanton, whom they play Tuesday, by  defeating Hawkins (0-7 in district) 25-15, 25-14, 25-12 Friday at Hawkins in 28-3A match.

Karisma Mitchell led Sam Houston with six kills and six aces. Chardonnay Green chipped in with six digs. Rita Davis dealt 16 assists.

Brackenridge d. Lanier

The Eagles (13-23, 9-4) defeated the Voks (8-22, 5-9) 25-20, 25-23, 25-17 last Friday at Brackenridge.

Jolicia Shelton-Brown led the Eagles with 13 kills and eight digs. Darlene Jackson contributed nine kills,11 digs and two blocks. Miranda Flores distributed 26 assists and made seven digs. Kathy Sifuentes provided 13 digs and Dominique Ramirez added seven. Jacklynn Nevarez made nine digs and served three aces. Sophomore Skyler Reyna added four kills and four digs.

Lanier statistics were not available.

VOLLEYBALL: This week’s results (Oct. 20-26)

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

Matches of Oct. 20-26

Tuesday’s results

District 28-5A

Southwest (15-23, 4-4) 3, Corpus Christi Carroll (16-14, 4-4) 1 (14-25, 25-21, 25-19, 25-14)

Steele (24-15, 8-0) 3, East Central (19-15, 6-2) 1 (14-25, 25-21, 25-19, 25-14)

Corpus Christi King (13-17, 2-6) 3, South San (12-17, 0-8) 1 (25-14, 25-27, 25-20, 25-23)

District 28-4A

Jefferson (22-10, 10-4) 3, Brackenridge (13-24, 9-5) 1 (26-24, 23-25, 25-15, 25-19)

Edison (11-24, 7-6) 3, Burbank (8-22, 3-10) (26-24, 25-22, 25-16)  

Brennan (32-3, 14-0) 3, Fox Tech (10-32, 2-13) 0 (25-11, 25-12, 25-10)

Lanier (9-22, 6-9) 3, Young Women’s Leadership Academy (2-30, 0-13) 0 (25-13, 25-12, 25-22)

District 29-4A

Floresville (23-15, 10-2) 3, McCollum (10-22, 5-7) 0 (25-20, 25-22, 26-24)

Harlandale (23-10, 9-3) 3, Medina Valley (21-17, 9-3) 0 (25-20, 25-22, 26-24)

Southside (6-25, 2-10) 3, Memorial (11-24, 2-10) (25-22, 25-12, 222-25, 21-25, 15-13)

Uvalde (20-18, 9-3) 3, Kennedy (7-22, 2-10) 0 (25-7, 25-13, 26-14)

District 28-3A

Somerset (20-8 ???, 6-2) 3, Hawkins (4-20 ???, 0-8) 0 (25-8, 25-14, 25-4)

LaVernia (22-16, 8-0) 3, Poteet (2-21, 1-7) 0 (25-6, 25-6, 25-7)

Pleasanton (19-11, 4-3) 3, Sam Houston (20-12, 4-4) 0 (25-15, 25-13, 25-16)

TAPPS District 2-5A

Austin St. Michael’s (16-10, 7-5???) 3, Providence (12-20, 4-8) 0 (25-14, 25-13, 25-11)

Wednesday’s results

TAPPS District 2-5A

Incarnate Word (23-9, 11-1) 3, Corpus Christi John Paul II (???) 0 (25-6, 25-4, 25-12)

Friday’s results

District 28-5A

Steele (25-15, 9-0) 3, Corpus Christi Carroll (16-15, 4-5) 0 (25-19, 25-17, 25-23)

East Central (20-15, 7-2) 3, South San (12-18, 0-9) 0 (25-18, 25-14, 25-19)

Southwest (16-23, 5-4) 3, Corpus Christi King (13-18, 2-7) 1 (25-23, 14-25, 25-16, 25-20)

District 28-4A

Brennan (33-3, 15-0) 3, Edison (11-25, 8-7) 0 (25-20, 25-12, 25-12)

Brackenridge (14-24, 10-5) 3, Burbank (8-24, 3-12) 0 (25-14, 25-13, 25-18)

Jefferson (23-10, 11-4) 3, Young Women’s Leadership Academy (2-32, 0-15) 0 (25-10, 25-14, 25-6)

Highlands (20-19, 13-2) 3, Lanier (9-23, 6-10) 0 (25-20, 25-20, 25-10)

District 29-4A

Medina Valley (22-17, 10-3) 3, Floresville (23-16, 10-3) 2 (21-25, 23-25, 25-22, 25-18, 15-13)

McCollum (11-22, 6-7) 3, Kennedy (7-23, 2-11) 1 (22-25, 25-14, 25-11, 25-18)

Uvalde (21-18, 10-3) 3, Memorial (11-25, 2-11) 0 (25-13, 25-14, 25-12)

Harlandale (24-10, 10-3) 3, Southside (6-26, 2-11) 0 (25-16, 25-13, 25-17)

District 28-3A

LaVernia (23-16, 9-0) 3, Hawkins (4-21 ???, 0-9) 0  (25-1, 25-10, 25-3)

Pleasanton (21-11, 6-3) 3, Poteet (2-22 ???, 1-8) 0  (25-8, 25-6, 25-10)

Somerset (21-8 ???, 7-2) 3, Sam Houston (20-13, 4-5) 0 (25-18, 25-16, 25-12)

FOOTBALL: Second-half spurt lifts Highlands to 41-22 win over Jefferson

Mustangs forge halftime tie, but Owls pulled away to end three-game losing streak

PLEASE FOLLOW THIS LINK TO THE HIGHLANDS-JEFFERSON STORY ON THE SOUTHSIDE REPORTER WEBSITE:

http://www.mysanantonio.com/community/southside/news/article/Highlands-defeats-Jefferson-4914490.php

The second half of games had been a problem for Highlands, before Friday. During the Owls’ three-game losing streak, they had difficulty scoring after halftime and watched opponents pull away.

There was a reversal of roles  at the SAISD Sports Complex. Highlands (3-4, 1-2) came out out of the locker room in the District 28-4A game like a team on a mission.

Unlike earlier games against Burbank and Central Catholic, the Owls did their best work after halftime. They ended a three-game losing streak and kept their chances to make a second-consecutive trip to the playoffs. Highlands scored three unanswered touchdowns in the third quarter to pull away from fired-up Jefferson (0-8, 0-4) for a 41-22.

“We just tried to take away a win,” Highlands junior back Quindon Boston said. “It’s something we needed to do as a team. We did what we wanted to do tonight.”

The Mustangs were on a quest for their first win and it seemed more than possible at halftime, with the teams locked in a 14-14 tie.

Highlands capitalized on Jefferson’s difficulty with the center snap just 12 seconds into the second half. Defensive lineman Henry Rodriguez charged to hurry Jefferson quarterback Weston Redding as he tried to corral the football and Owls defensive back Malik Johnson picked it up for an 18-yard touchdown.

“I was downfield covering (D’Andre Melton) and I looked at the quarterback,” Johnson said. “I could see him bobble the ball. I could see henry Rodriguez hit him, so I scooped up the ball and ran for a touchdown.”

Following a Mustangs punt, Boston (100 yards, 21 carries) got through the line, cut back and was off on a 50-yard scoring run. In two minutes and one second, Highlands had built a 28-14 lead it never surrendered.

“I just followed my offensive line,” Boston said. “I just told my offensive line, give me some holes and I’ll get there. I’ll get them a touchdown. I just saw a chance to cut back. I saw that the linebacker was pursuing kind of slow, so I cut back.”

The two-touchdown advantage was a welcome infusion for a team that had struggled to find its identity after its quarterback Jordan DeLuna incurred a season-ending anterior cruciate ligament injury Sept. 26 against Burbank.

“When Jordan went down, we lost our momentum. We couldn’t pass as much,” Highlands coach Bert Lopez said. “But our running backs have stepped up and our offensive line has stepped up as well. Quindon made some good runs and (De-Morriay) Richardson did as well.”

A 20-yard run from Richardson added seven points to the Owls’ lead. Jefferson ended Highlands’ scoring run with a two-yard touchdown run from backup quarterback Brian Febus with 3:26 left in the game. Febus also threw to Jessi Brito for a two-point conversion that brought Jefferson within 35-22.

Junior John Cervantes, who split Highlands’ quarterbacking duties with Elijah Garces, tacked on the Owls’ final touchdown with a 32-yard interception return with 26 seconds to play.

“We needed this win,” Lopez said. “The seniors deserved it. We’re not really a 3-4 team. It showed a lot that we were able to come back and win, with Jordan still out. The kids have been working hard and we have good coaches.”

Highlands took a 7-0 lead on a 12-yard run from Boston. The drive covered 22 yards in two plays after Boston returned the opening kickoff 63 yards.

The junior has grown into the job as Highlands’ featured back as the season progressed. He has rushed for 189 yards in the last two games.

“I’ve just gotten more and more comfortable with it,” Boston said. “My team just gives me the ball and I put my faith in my offensive line to open the holes for me. We believe. We’re growing as a team.”

The Owls extended their lead to 14-0 with 1:59 left in the first quarter when Garces threw a 16-yard pass to Richardson. The senior quarterback also plays linebacker, just like Cervantes starts in the secondary, so Lopez said he wasn’t sure if the timeshare arrangement would continue in future games.

“Elijah was older, being a senior and he was always the backup,” Lopez said. “But it’s an adjustment, because we rely on him a lot at the linebacker position. We have to keep him healthy. John plays in the secondary, but he doesn’t play there as often as Elijah does at linebacker.

“It’s still a work in progress, but they’ve overcome a lot. They made a lot of turnovers when they first replaced Jordan, but they’re not doing that anymore.”

A 38-yard kickoff return from junior Drew Lopez set up Jefferson’s first touchdown. Redding (13 of 19, 123 yards) threw a 24-yard pass to Febus for the score with eight seconds to play in the quarter. It was just the fifth reception and first for a touchdown for Febus, whose role has been expanding throughout the season.

Jefferson tied the score with a 41-yard, six-play drive that ended 50 seconds before halftime. The Mustangs’ featured back Jesse Flores (125 yards, 21 attempts) scored on a six-yard run. Redding completed three passes for 30 yards to pave the way to the end zone.

“They have a lot of talent,” Lopez said. “They’re getting better as the year goes on. The numbers for Redding in passing are way up there. (D’Andre) Melton is a great receiver, although we were able to hold him down today.

“I think we contained (Flores) as well. He’s the No. 1 rusher in the district. Having two weeks to prepare helped. Getting our legs underneath us, that really helped.”

 

SATURDAY FOOTBALL ROUNDUP: Holy Cross can’t knock Austin Regents out of ranks of unbeaten

Sam Houston makes solid showing against potent Somerset

TEAMS INCLUDED:Holy Cross, Lanier, Sam Houston.

Austin Regents receiver McCade Rice’s fourth touchdown kept the Knights (7-0, 4-0) undefeated, enabling them to hold off defending champion Holy Cross (4-3, 3-1) for a 35-28 decision Saturday at Harlandale Memorial Stadium.

It was the Holy Cross Knights’ first loss in 11 games in TAPPS District 3-II.

Rice (78 yards, 10 catches) scored the winning touchdown with 6:48 remaining in the game. Holy Cross responded quickly, as senior Greg Kelly (77 yards, 6 recptions)hauled in a 35-yard scoring pass from quarterback Cisco Flores (8 of 17, 109 yards) 48 seconds later.

However, Holy Cross wasn’t able to mount another scoring drive to win the game or send it to overtime.

Regents took a 7-0 lead with 2:46 remaining in the first quarter on a four-yard pass from Grant Brown (27 of 37, 214 yards) to Rice. Holy Cross junior Greg Scott (79 yards, 17 carries) scored on a 25-yard run before the quarter ended.

Regents scored the only touchdown of the second quarter, on a 55-yard run from Will Zudock. It gave Reents a 14-7 lead.

Kelly scored on a 25-yard run that opened the scoring in the second half, but Rice returned the ensuing kickoff 91 yards to the end zone.

Trailing 21-14, Holy Cross tied it for the last time on a 64-yard bolt from Flores (111 yards, 14 carries) with 3:18 left in the third quarter. Rice gave Regents some separation with back-to-back touchdowns, starting with a 13-yard reception with 1:01 to play in the quarter. 

Somerset 32, Sam Houston 20

Erin Mack was back and Raymonte Prime was, well, in his prime for Sam Houston (1-6, 0-1) Saturday at Wheatley Heights Sports Complex. Those factors and a couple of new weapons helped the Hurricanes challenge an explosive Somerset team led by Koy Detmer Jr.

Sam Houston took a 7-6 lead with 3:36 remaining in the first quarter on a three-yard pass from Prime (11 of 22, 220 yards) to Steven Garcia. The Bulldogs (6-1, 2-0) surged ahead 12-7 at the half when Detmer, whom the Hurricanes held under 200 yards, found Demitre Molina for a two-yard touchdown late in the second quarter.

Somerset built an 18-point lead when Justin Guerra returned the second-half kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown and Donaldo Perez (134 yards, 25 carries) scored on a 15-yard run.

Mack (129 yards, 9 carries) brought the Hurricanes back with a 90-yard run at the 5:16 mark of the third quarter. Following a Somerset touchdown, Prime passed to Khiry Darby (113 yards, 5 receptions) for a 45-yard strike.

Hurricanes senior Jvoni Badie-Jones caught three passes for 91 yards. Detmer, who had averaged 259.2 yards a game, to 156 yards. The junior, grandson of Somerset coach Sonny Detmer, completed 10 of 15 throws.

Sam Houston produced 377 total yards. The Bulldogs finished with 310.

Brennan 62, Lanier 0

Brennan (8-0, 4-0) posted its third shutout in four District 28-4A games Saturday at Gustafson Stadium. The loss ended a two-game winning streak for Lanier (2-5, 2-1).

Brennan took the lead with a pair of first-quarter touchdowns from Nathaniel Wells Jr. on runs of 64 and nine yards. Wells ran for 89 yards and three touchdowns. He also caught a pass for another. Makai Green had a game-high 150 rushing yards on eight attempts.

Neither team had its starting quarterback. Explosive Da’Shawn Key did not play for the Bears. The Voks played without Nicholas Garcia. Senior running back Steven Veliz stepped in as his replacement and threw for 34 yards.

The Bears limited Lanier back Joe Orta to 13 rushing yards. Rodrigo Garcia had a 27-yard reception. Brennan finished with 417 total yards. The Voks mustered 49 against a Bears defense that recorded its sixth shutout this year. Brennan also forced three turnovers.

FOOTBALL: Area playoff picture (thru Oct. 26)

Football playoff picture

These are the area teams that have a chance to qualify for the playoffs (in alphabetical order):

Through Oct. 26

ALREADY QUALIFIED: none.

LIKELY QUALIFIERS: Brackenridge (5-3, 3-1), Burbank (3-6, 2-3), Central Catholic (4-4, 2-1), Harlandale (7-1, 4-1), Holy Cross (5-3, 4-1), Lanier (3-5, 3-1), Southwest (4-4, 2-1).

POSSIBLE QUALIFIERS: East Central (3-5, 1-2), Edison (3-5, 1-3), Highlands (3-5, 1-3), Kennedy (6-2, 3-2), McCollum (3-5, 1-4), Memorial (3-5, 1-4).

VOLLEYBALL: Area playoff picture (thru Oct. 25)

Volleyball playoff qualifiers

These are the area teams that have a chance to qualify for the playoffs (in alphabetical order)

Through Oct. 26

ALREADY QUALIFIED: Brackenridge (14-24, 10-5), East Central (19-15, 6-2), Harlandale (23-10, 9-3), Highlands (19-19, 12-2), Holy Cross (27-10, 6-3), Jefferson (23-10, 11-4), Providence (12-20, 4-8), Sam Houston (20-12, 4-4), Southwest (16-23, 5-4).

FOOTBALL: Week 8 results (complete)

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

WEEK 8 SCHEDULE

(Oct. 24-26)

Thursday’s results

FOOTBALL

District 29-4A

 Harlandale (7-1, 4-1) 21, Southside (0-8, 0-5) 14

Friday’s results

FOOTBALL

District 28-5A

Corpus Christi King (3-5, 1-2) 33,  South San (2-6, 0-3) 14

Corpus Christi Carroll (3-5, 2-1) 42, Southwest (4-4, 2-1) 35

Steele (7-1, 3-0) 38, East Central (3-5, 1-2) 10

District 28-4A

Brennan (9-0, 5-0) 64, Highlands (3-5, 1-3) 0

Lanier (3-5, 3-1) 35, Edison (3-5, 1-3) 14

District 29-4A

Floresville (6-2, 4-1) 14, Medina Valley (5-3, 3-2) 7

 Uvalde (5-3, 4-1) 46, Memorial (3-5, 1-4) 13

Kennedy (6-2, 3-2) 14, McCollum (3-5, 1-4) 10

District 28-3A

LaVernia (7-1, 2-0) 70, Poteet (1-8, 0-3) 0

Pleasanton (8-1, 2-1) 50, Sam Houston (1-7, 0-2) 36

TAPPS District 2-I

Central Catholic (4-4, 2-1) 48, Corpus Christi John Paul II (0-8, 0-3) 0

Antonian (7-1, 3-0) 54, St. Anthony (2-6, 0-3) 13

TAPPS District 3-II

Austin Hyde Park Baptist (8-0, 5-0) 27, Austin Regents (7-1, 4-1) 24

TMI (5-3, 2-3) 53, Cornerstone Christian (2-6, 0-5) 14

Holy Cross (5-3, 4-1) 35, Victoria St. Joseph (1-7, 1-4) 0

San Antonio Christian (4-4, 3-2) 42, San Marcos Academy (1-7, 1-4) 0

Saturday’s games

FOOTBALL

District 28-4A

Brackenridge (5-3, 3-1) 26, Burbank (3-6, 2-3) 21

TAPPS District 2-I

Austin St. Michael’s (5-2, 3-0) 48, Brownsville St. Joseph (4-4, 1-2) 21

FRIDAY FOOTBALL ROUNDUP: Harlandale forges four-way tie for first in 29-4A with win over Memorial

Southwest shares 29-4A lead after win over East Central

TEAMS INCLUDED:Burbank, Central Catholic, East Central, Edison, Harlandale, Kennedy, Memorial, Southside, Southwest.

Harlandale (6-1, 3-1) scored the first 14 points Friday at Frank Mata Stadium and it nearly ended up needing them in a District 29-4A game against Memorial (3-4, 1-3).

The Minutemen launched a strong comeback bid, but the Indians held them off for a 42-23 win. The victory not only got Harlandale back on track after an upset loss to Memorial’s sister school, Kennedy a week earlier. It lifted the Indians to a four-way tie for first in 29-4A with Floresville (5-2, 3-1), Medina Valley (5-2, 3-1) and Uvalde (4-3, 3-1).

Harlandale senior quarterback Brandon Ramon (9 of 14, 181 yards) connected with Caleb Aguirre for 23 yards and Carlos Martinez for 54 to take a 14-0 lead in the first quarter. Martinez led the Indians with two receptions for 63 yards.

Memorial closed within 14-9 at halftime. The Minutemen notched a safety and 21-yard touchdown pass to senior Richard Casares from Alfred Ramos (10 of 15, 159 yards).

Harlandale’s Nicholas Martinez, who finished with 203 yards on 35 carries, extended the lead with a 12-yard touchdown run at the 8:52 mark of the third quarter. Memorial back Raul Rangel (99 yards, 16 carries) answered with a 10-yard scoring run. However, Martinez scored two consecutive touchdowns on runs of three and 28 yards to build a 35-16 lead after three quarters.

Memorial scored 59 seconds into the fourth quarter on a 57-yard pass play from Ramos to Ivan DeAnda (72 yards, 3 receptions). Manases Cano had five catches for 54 yards.

Harlandale capped the scoring with a two-yard run by Martinez. The Indians outgained Memorial 435-254. John Aguirre had 12 carries for 68 yards.

The Indians will play host to Southside (0-7, 0-4) 7 p.m. Thursday at Harlandale Memorial Stadium. The Minutemen travel to Uvalde for a 7 p.m. game Friday.

Southwest 41, East Central 21

Southwest (4-3, 2-0) carried a two-game losing streak into the District 28-5A season. A week later, the Dragons are tied for first with Steele (6-1, 2-0) after winning their second-consecutive game Friday at East Central.

The Dragons broke a 14-14 tie with three unanswered touchdowns in the second quarter. Each of them was scored by senior Nathaniel Scott (193 yards, 19 carries).

Scott broke a 47-yard touchdown run little more than a minute into the second half. He added an eight-yard run shortly before halftime and a 63-yarder early in the third quarter.

Ahead 34-14, Jon Cruz added an 18-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter for Southwest. East Central’s final score came courtesy of a 16-yard pass to Trayvon Hinson from Justin Upshaw-Mendoza (10 of 16, 164 yards). The quarterback also finished with a team-high 58 rushing yards.

Upshaw-Mendoza began the scoring with a 55-yard pass to Johnathan Jackson. Southwest had the equalizer, a 37-yard pass from Bowen Crisp (5 of 8, 87 yards) to Jaedon Johnson (74 yards, 4 receptions). Scott scored on a 15-yard run that gave Southwest the lead, but the Hornets answered immediately with a 43-yard touchdown reception from Kyle Lamey seven seconds before the first quarter ended.

Central Catholic 38, St. Anthony 13

The Buttons (3-4, 1-1) scored the TAPPS District 2-I game’s first 10 points, then pulled away with 21 unanswered points after halftime.

Junior quarterback Joseph Nava (61 yards, 13 attempts) scored Central Catholic’s first touchdown on a two-yard run and Justin Rodriguez booted a 42-yard field goal for a 10-0 lead.

St, Anthony (2-5, 0-2) tallied all of its points in the last 7:40 of the first half. A 74-yard run by Kevin Stone at that point put the Yellowjackets within three. Justin Rodriguez  (129 yards, 19 attempts) restored the Buttons’ lead with a 12-yard run, but St. Anthony cut it to 17-13 at halftime.

Jimin Suh and Rodriguez scored on short runs in the third quarter. Drake Burgon added a 45-yard dash with 3:21 remaining.

Central Catholic’s defense limited the Yellowjackets to 247 yards while returning to its pattern of holding opponents scoreless in the second half. The Buttons overcame three turnovers.

Edison 14, Burbank 6

Burbank’s defense held the Golden Bears (3-4, 1-2) to just 125 total yards, but Edison made the plays It needed to win this District 28-4A defensive struggle Friday at Wheatley Heights Sports Complex.

The game was scoreless at halftime. Edison got on the board first with a 26 yard pass from Jonathan Hernandez (32 passing yards) to David Sanchez with 4:04 left in the third quarter. Jesus Banuelos kicked the extra point for a 7-0 advantage.

Burbank (4-3, 2-1) scored with 16 seconds left in the quarter on a two-yard run from Jeremy Sanchez, who had a career night. Back at quarterback, Sanchez ran 34 times for 161 yards and passed for 24 yards.

Edison assured the win with a one-yard touchdown from Hernandez on the ensuing possession. The junior quarterback finished with 61 yards on 16 carries.

Daniel Gonzales added 79 rushing yards on 11 carries for Burbank. The Bulldogs accumulated 276 total yards.

Kennedy 21, Southside 6

Senior Matthew Avalos accounted for 20 points, leading the Rockets (5-2, 2-2) to their second-consecutive District 29-4A victory Friday at Southside (0-7, 0-4).

Avalos scored on a seven-yard run and a 25-yard pass from Eric Lira (53 passing yards) in the first half. He finished with 148 rushing yards on 33 carries.

Southside sophomore Timmy Rodriguez took the second-half kickoff back 88 yards for a touchdown, putting the Cardinals within 14-7.

Southside kept the game close despite mustering just 153 total yards against a Rockets defense that forced five turnovers. Kennedy committed two.

Avalos added a seven-yard touchdown run less than two minutes before the ed of the third quarter. Kevin Garduno kicked the extra point.

The may have dropped their first two district games, but they came back fighting and felled   previously undefeated Harlandale (5-1, 2-1) 31-21 Friday at Harlandale Memorial Stadium. What’s more, Kennedy led from the outset.

Kennedy’s Matthew Guzman had two catches for 44 yards, 2 catches.

Jake Ramos threw for 118 yards for Southside. Noe Zavala made two receptions for 47 yards. Omar Guadarrama ran for 37 yards.

FOOTBALL: Week 7 previews (Saturday’s games)

SATURDAY

Austin Regents (6-0, 3-0) vs. Holy Cross (4-2, 3-0) at Harlandale Memorial Stadium, 7 p.m.

The Knights haven’t lost a district game since being assigned to TAPPS TAPPS District 3-II before the 2012 season. Austin Regents will pose the biggest threat to Holy Cross’ 10-game winning streak so far this season.

Holy Cross and Austin Regents, whose nickname also is the Knights, are locked in a three-way tie for first place.

Holy Cross has outscored its first two opponents 82-27, scoring 48 unanswered points last Friday against San Marcos Academy and pulling away from TMI in the second half a week earlier.

Its defense limited San Marcos Academy to 140 total yards and is averaging 181 yards allowed in the two games. Austin Regents also defeated the Bears (41-0 on Sept. 27) and limited them to 89 total yards.

Holy Cross stayed fairly conservative offensively against San Marcos Academy, opting to run the ball behind Greg Scott. Look for quarterback Cisco Flores to open things up against Austin Regents.

Key players for Regents include quarterback Grant Brown and back Will Zudock, who is a receiving threat coming out of the backfield.2012 score: Holy Cross 35, Austin Regents 21.

Lanier (2-4, 2-0) vs. Brennan (7-0, 3-0) at Gustafson Stadium, 7 p.m.

No one expected Lanier to be one of the last two undefeated teams in District 28-4A, but that’s the position the Voks find themselves in, heading into this battle for first place. 

The biggest reason has been a defense that has only surrendered 22 points in Lanier’s first two district games. Jefferson produced a solid 322 yards last week, but the Voks limited them to six points over the final three quarters, which came on a 69-yard pass play to explosive D’Andre Melton.

None of Brennan’s first three opponents has been able to find a way to slow down the Bears. They’re averaging a mind-boggling 64.3 points in the district, a performance worthy of a team ranked No. 3 in the state Associated Press Class 4A poll.

Everything originates with quarterback Da’Shawn Key, who has run for 849 yards and passed for 831, with just one interception. In a 69-0 win over Burbank Oct. 11, backup running back Alex Hill gained 149 yards and scored two touchdowns on just four attempts.

Brennan has only allowed 27 points this year, including six against Brackenridge on an 80-yard run. It limited to 54 total yards in its last outing.

Lanier’s offense depends on ball control, although Voks  quarterback Nicholas Garcia threw for 205 yards in a 20-14 win over Jefferson last Friday. In his second start, Joe Orta ran for 91 yards – narrowly missing the 100-yard mark for the second week.

The key for Lanier will be its ability to sustain drives, as it did against Jefferson.

Brennan and Lanier met for the first time last year. 2012 score: Brennan 52, Lanier 6.

Somerset (5-1, 1-0) vs. Sam Houston (1-5, 0-0) at Wheatley Heights Sports Complex, 7 p.m.

Sam Houston has played some strong teams in its first six games, but hasn’t faced a powerful passing offense like it will face in Somerset’s Saturday in its District 28-3A opener. Fortunately for the Hurricanes, they’ve had two weeks to prepare.

Somerset junior quaterback Koy Detmer Jr. already has thrown for 1,546 yards this year (an average of 259.2 yards a game). Detmer has thrown 22 touchdown passes and just two interceptions.

The Bulldogs aren’t one dimensional, though. Back Donaldo Perez has rushed for 770 yards.

The Bulldogs have been involved in their share of shootouts, but they also have limited Lanier to six points, Hondo to 15 and shut out Poteet 44-0 last Friday in their district opener.

The Hurricanes haven’t had leading rusher Erin Mack for essentially the last two games and the ground game has suffered in his absence. Sam Houston ran for just 76 yards in a 54-12 loss to Navarro Sept. 27 and 39 yards in a 36-0 loss to Gonzales Oct. 4.

Quarterback Raymonte Prime threw for 160 yards against Navarro, but the Hurricanes had exactly zero passing yards against Gonzales.

Mounting a consistent offense is one challenge the Hurricanes will face against Somerset. The other major hurdle will be slowing down the Detmer offense. 2012 score: Somerset 47, Sam Houston 19.

FOOTBALL: Week 7 previews (Friday’s games)

FRIDAY

Burbank (3-4, 2-1) vs. Edison (2-4, 0-2) at Wheatley Heights Sports Complex, 7:30 p.m.

Burbank is aiming for its first on-field win since 2006 in the series, which dates back to a playoff meeting in 1959.

The Bulldogs also are looking to get back on their feet after falling 69-0 to first-place Brennan last Friday. Prior to that game, they had a two-game winning streak.

Edison has run a similar course lately, losing to Brackenridge 34-7 last Friday and Brennan in their previous game. The Golden Bears finished the non-district season with two-game winning streak.

For Burbank, the key is to re-establish the running game behind senior quarterback Daniel Tello, who ran for 244 yards in his debut against Jefferson. Tru Bradford, Damien Gusme and Marcos Luna also will be counted on in that regard.

That would free up Luna and Jeremy Sanchez for receptions.

Defensively, the Bulldogs will need to continue their bend-but-not break ways and maybe force some turnovers, as they did against Highlands. Edison has a capable offense, having scored 40 points Sept. 20 against Sam Houston.

Offensively, the mission for Edison is the same as last week: to re-establish its running attack behind senior Andres Aguilar. Francisco Gomez had a big receiving day against Brackenridge with 86 reception yards. The Golden Bears also will need quarterback Jonathan Hernandez to get back on target.

Edison’s defense shut out Pearsall and gave up 12 points to Sam Houston in its last two non-district games. The Golden Bears will need that level of performance against a Burbank team that can score quickly.

Edison leads the series 29-11 and has won the last six games, although Burbank won on the field in 2008 and later had to forfeit the win. 2012 score: Edison 36, Burbank 13.

East Central (3-3, 1-0) at Southwest (3-3, 1-0), 7:30 p.m.

Both teams re-asserted themselves last Friday in the first week of the District 28-5A season.

Southwest overpowered South San in the second half to break open a close game and win 36-20. East Central won a squeaker 31-28 over Corpus Christi Carroll.

Southwest is shooting for its first win in the series since 2007after an impressive win over the Bobcats.   However, the impact of losing senior Bryan Donnell to a leg injury against South San is difficult to measure. In addition to getting the tough yards on offense, the senior also was a force defensively and handled the Dragons’ punting chores.

The Dragons still will have a strong running game with Nathaniel Scott, who gained 204 yards against South San in his first action of the season, and  Reilly Riggs. Quarterback Bowen Crisp can play off the running threat and find Cody Johnson and his other receivers for big gains.

Southwest’s defense played well against South San, shutting down the Bobcats’ running game and holding them to one touchdown after halftime.

East Central’s margin of victory against Carroll might have been a bit misleading. The Tigers scored two touchdowns in the last 2:33.

The Hornets received a strong performance from back Johnathan Jackson (102 yards, 3 touchdowns), restoring a 1-2 punch with Javion Polk. Justin Upshaw-Mendoza completed a 95-yard pass play to electrifying Wanya Ward for a touchdown in his first action as East Central’s quarterback.

Against Southwest, the Hornets will need to attempt more than six passes to keep Southwest’s defense honest.

Defensively, East Central made a stand last week, limiting Carroll to 233 total yards.

If the Hornets can move the ball consistently against Southwest’s defense, this should be a close game.

East Central leads the series 13-7. The Dragons’ last win was in 2007. 2012 score: East Central 52, Southwest 21.

Highlands (2-4, 0-2) vs. Jefferson (0-7, 0-3) at SAISD Sports Complex, 7:30 p.m.

The key for Highlands is whether junior quarterback Jordan DeLuna is able to return from an injury, following the Owls’ bye week.

Highlands has lost its last three games, including two in which DeLuna didn’t play. Without the more than 200 passing yards he supplied, this game looks like a toss-up.

Jefferson still is in search of its first victory, but it seems to be getting closer week-by-week. The Mustangs led 14-12 with little more than four minutes left last Thursday, but Lanier overtook them at that point with a four-yard touchdown from Joe Orta and a two-point conversion.

The Mustangs, who have lost their last two games by a combined 13 points, need a return to form from back Jesse Flores and more touches for receiver D’Andre Melton if they’re to pull out that first win.

Jefferson quarterback Weston Redding seems to be growing into the job and the Mustangs are getting good results in the running game when Brian Febus is under center.

Defensively, the Mustangs are making strides, too. That will need to continue as they allowed a 392-yard  total offense output to Lanier. If DeLuna is back, Jefferson must apply the pressure.

Highlands’ last game also was against Lanier, on Oct. 4. The Voks won 21-8.

If DeLuna and the deep threat he offers aren’t present for Highlands, the Owls will need to hit short passes and, especially, find a little more consistency in its running game.

Senior Elijah Garces, who has replaced DeLuna, provides leadership and was able to rush for 70 yards. Quindon Boston produced 89 rushing yards against Lanier, but 61 came on one touchdown run.

Defensively, Highlands has fallen into a bad pattern of allowing opponents to win on second-half touchdowns. By the same token, the Owls were scoreless after halftime in their last three games.

Highlands leads the series 26-12, although the Mustangs won a nail-biter last year. It ended a six-game winning streak for the Owls.2012 score: Jefferson 29, Highlands 28.

Harlandale (5-1, 2-1) vs. Memorial (3-3, 1-2) at Frank Mata Stadium, 7 p.m.

Harlandale got a wake-up call in its’ high-powered offense against Kennedy’s big play defense. The Indians aren’t likely to need another in the District 29-4A season.

Kennedy’s defense showed its district rival, Memorial, the way in its 31-21 win last Friday at Harlandale Memorial Stadium. The Rockets capitalized on rare interception by Harlandale quarterback Brandon Ramon,  held the Indians’ ground game to 110 yards and controlled the ball behind senior back Matthew Avalos.

That won’t work for Memorial, though. The Minutemen thrive on a balanced run-pass mixture.

They’ll need big plays from quarterback Alfred Ramos, receiver Manases Cano and back Raul Rangel. That was the formula in Memorial’s three wins.

The Minutemen lost 41-0 to Floresville last week for their second-straight loss. McCollum defeated them by a point Oct. 3.

Floresville gained 589 yards against a Memorial defense that had been solid during the non-district season. The Tigers produced a couple of big plays in the second half, but sustained drives have been a bigger concern for the Minutemen.

Harlandale back Nicholas Martinez will be on a mission this week. So, too, will an Indians defense that had allowed an average of 219 yards a game before Kennedy put up 343 yards of total offense. Harlandale had limited opponents to 12.3 points a game before the Rockets scored 31.

The key for Harlandale will be simply to get back to what it had done in the first five games of the season.

Harlandale leads the series 5-2. Prior to last year’s game, these teams hadn’t played since 1983, when Memorial won 7-0. 2012 score: Harlandale 49, Memorial 21.

Kennedy (4-2, 1-2) at Southside (0-6, 0-3), 7 p.m.

Kennedy’s playoff hopes got a needed shot of adrenaline last week with the 31-21 win over district favorite Harlandale. This week will be about sustaining the momentum.

Southside’s challenge, on the heels of a 48-0 loss to Medina Valley last Friday, will be in trying to limit Rockets back Matthew Avalos’ yardage. The Panthers only rushed for 148, but took to the air for an additional 212.

The Rockets may have finally settled on a quarterback, and look for sophomore Eric Lira to threw a little more often than usual against the Cardinals’ depleted secondary. Lira threw 16 times for 120 yards against the Indians.

Avlalos’ success is crucial to Kennedy’s passing game, and he’s coming off 176 yards.

Southside will need to re-establish its running threat with sophomores Timmy Rodriguez and Johnny Trevino. Medina Valley held the Cardinals to 28 yards on the ground.

Senior quarterback Jake Ramos completed seven passes for 73 yards to seven different receivers.

Southside leads the series 6-5. The Cardinals won in 2011. 2012 score: Kennedy 30, Southside 27.

Medina Valley (4-2, 2-1) vs. McCollum (3-3, 1-2) at Harlandale Memorial Stadium, 7 p.m.

McCollum lost 41-24 last Friday to District 29-4A leader Uvalde, but its ability to match the Coyotes touchdown-for-touchdown until the endgame is cause for optimism entering this test against Medina Valley, a legitimate playoff contender.

A win here would be a big boost for the Cowboys’ playoff aspirations.

The Cowboys have been more effective running the ball recently as quarterback Ralph Vidal has taken on a greater share of the load. Sophomore back Mike Ramirez  has been solid, and also is a receiving threat coming out of the backfield.

The biggest development for the Cowboys was an eight-reception, 164-yard game from Jeff Valdez.

Defensively, McCollum gave up 504 total yards. It will need to step up effectiveness against the run. Uvalde ran for 411 yards.

Medina Valley made a statement in its 48-0 win over Memorial.

The Panthers haven’t skipped a beat with Bradley Griggs as their featured back in place of injured Nathan Stein. Panthers quarterback David Olvera has thrown for 337 yards in the last two games for the previously ground-oriented team.

Medina Valley has 7-2 advantage in the series. The Cowboys won 34-15 in 2011. 2012 score: Medina Valley 31, McCollum 20.

St. Anthony (2-4, 0-1) at Central Catholic (2-4, 0-1), 7 p.m.

Central Catholic fell behind early but finished strong in losing its TAPPS District 2-I opener 28-17 to Austin St. Michael’s last Friday.

The Buttons trailed 14-0, but scored 17 unanswered points before St. Michael’s notched the clinching touchdown.

Central Catholic outgained its opponent 353-302, but turnovers were a problem. Jacob Rodriguez and Jimin Suh complemented quarterback Joseph Nava’s running ability as the Buttons ran for 225 yards.

The Buttons defense will need to limit big plays from St. Anthony’s passing game.

St. Anthony lost its district opener 62-48 at Brownsville St. Joseph. Quarterback Michael Mayer threw for 289 yards, but the Yellowjackets committed a fatal seven turnovers. Mayer’s favorite target is Kevin Stone, who finished with 157 reception yards and three touchdowns. St. Joseph gained 571 yards. 2012 score: Central Catholic 49, St. Anthony 0.

South San (5-1, 1-0) vs. Steele (5-1, 1-0) at Robert Lehnhoff Stadium, Schertz, 7:30 p.m.

South San has made impressive progress since the beginning of the year, but this will be its biggest challenge.

Steele might not be quite as powerful as in the last couple of seasons, but still is formidable – not to mention one of the top teams in the San Antonio area.

The Knights are led by all-state back Justin Stockton (900 rushing yards), but quarterback L.G. Williams also is averaging more than 10 yards a carry. Williams has thrown for 716 yards with eight touchdowns and just one interception. Matthew Moen, D’Angelo Wallace and Jaylen Harris all have more than 200 reception yards.

Defensively, Steele gave up 46 points in its season-opening loss to Madison and more than 20 points four times, most recently in a 49-20 win over Corpus Christi King last Friday.

To move into that category, the Bobcats will have to cut down on the three turnovers they committed in a 36-20 loss to Southwest last Friday. South San also will need big performances from power  back Christian Morales and deep threat Juan Zamarripa (165 receiving yards against the Dragons).

Senior quarterback Darren Tinajero encountered some resistence in his second start, partly because he needed more time to throw.

Defensively, South San allowed just 48 total yards against Burbank and 211 against Central Catholic, but Southwest was able to run for 361 yards and control the line of scrimmage in the second half.

Last year’s game was the first in the series. 2012 score: Steele 63, South San 0.