Knights lose QB Flores on first possession
AREA TEAMS INCLUDED: Holy Cross, football.
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A promising start for Holy Cross quickly degenerated into a train wreck Saturday at Harlandale Memorial Stadium.
The Knights (1-1) moved the ball nearly to midfield on their first possession. Senior quarterback Cisco Flores effectively employed short, quick passes to reach the Antonian 43-yard line.
There the drive stalled and the Apaches (2-0) took over. Within six minutes, Antonian had established a nine-point lead and was well on its way to a 30-0 rout.
“Holy Cross is a great team,” Antonian coach Van Fuschak said. “They had some adversity right at the start, and it seems like they had that last year, too.
“It wasn’t like we ran up and down the field on them. We got two scores in there early, and it grew from there.”
The Knights were rolling on their first play, with a screen from Flores to senior back Greg Scott netting a 27-yard gain. Flores then dumped a three-yard pass to Steve Villela. Following an incomplete pass, Flores scrambled for a five-yard gain that served as his final salvo of the contest.
That left Holy Cross with a fourth-and-2 at the 43. The Knights elected to punt, and they went on without their starting quarterback. Flores sustained an apparent knee injury on his only carry of the game.
“We’ll just have to hope for a good diagnosis,” Holy Cross coach Mike Harrison said.
Antonian manufactured an 11-play drive off the punt. Although the Knights defense prevented the Apaches from scoring on the possession, they pinned Holy Cross deep in its own territory and a botched snap resulted in a Holy Cross safety.
“Any kind of jump you can get in a game like this,” Fuschak said. “That’s a big play.”
After the resulting free kick, Antonian’s two-point lead quickly grew to 9-0.
With help from a 15-yard penalty against Holy Cross and a 33-yard pass from Peyton Bryan to Steven Wynn, the Apaches drove 51 yards in five plays. Standout junior back Dan Rosenfeld (62 yards, 13 carries) scored on a two-yard touchdown run.
Rosenfeld added a second score on a five-yard sweep to the right side with 10:47 left in the second quarter. He sustained an apparent ankle injury on the play.
“I’m not really sure what it is,” said Fuschak, who previously coached at MacArthur. “It could be broken or sprained. He’ll see the doctor (later tonight).”
Holy Cross reached the Antonian 28 on its final drive of the first half. An 18-yard pass play from sophomore quarterback Steven Gutierrez to Scott took the Knights across midfield, but the drive ended in an interception.
Gutierrez completed three of eight passes for 24 yards in his debut.
“Having an injury like that early in the game,” Holy Cross coach Mike Harrison said, “is devastating, as far as (morale) is concerned. I thought, defensively, our kids played well. That’s a great football team, even without Rosenfeld.”
Without Flores, the Knights were forced to rely heavily on Scott. The second-year starter finished with 149 yards on 24 rushing attempts.
“I think Greg Scott handled it extremely well,” Harrison said. “That’s a tough, young man. That kid, I’m so proud of him. Knowing where he came from, what he’s done has been really fantastic.”
Antonian kept its offense moving by utilizing several backs and with increasingly effective passing from Bryan (5 of 10, 106 yards).
The senior quarterback connected with Matthew Tabet for a 56-yard touchdown on a streak route with 10:11 left in the third quarter and with Wynn on a six-yard throw with 1:56 on the clock. Wynn made a leaping catch in the end zone over a Holy Cross defender.
“We needed him to step in and be a leader,” Fuschak said. “He did a really great job. We don’t throw a lot in our offense, and that can be frustrating sometimes, but he plays hard and does what he can.”
Holy Cross is idle next weekend and has two weeks to prepare for a Sept. 19 game at Hondo (1-1).
“We got down so quick, it was tough coming back,” Harrison said. “I thought, a couple of times, we were maybe a play away from getting back into it. We moved the ball, but we made some mistakes.”