Voks outscore Mustangs 14-8 after halftime, but come up empty
PLEASE FOLLOW THIS LINK TO THE EXPRESS-NEWS WEBSITE:
PLEASE FOLLOW THIS LINK TO THE SOUTHSIDE REPORTER WEBSITE:
Jefferson didn’t throw a pass on its time-consuming final drive until it needed to win the game.
The Mustangs (1-3, 1-1) cut Lanier’s lead to a point with 58 seconds remaining on an 11-yard touchdown run from senior Jesse Flores. Jefferson then took to the air for the two-point conversion.
Weston Redding threw to Drew Lopez in the left corner of the end zone for a 15-14 District 28-5A victory Thursday at Alamo Stadium.
“It was time to believe in the team,” said Flores, who ran for 152 yards on 25 carries. “We had to do what we worked hard for in practice. We put it all together.”
The Voks (0-4, 0-2) had driven 62 yards in eight plays to overtake Jefferson with 6:25 remaining. Adrian Losoya caught a 27-yard pass from Jeremiah Esquivel for the touchdown and a 14-7 lead.
Jefferson’s Eric Flores returned the ensuing kickoff 16 yards from the end zone to begin the winning drive. He also carried the ball three times for 21 yards, taking the Mustangs to 50.
“They were running the same plays they ran all game,” Lanier coach Don Gatian said. “We just over-ran the ballcarrier or lined up wrong. It wasn’t Jeff. It was us.
Jesse Flores took over on the Lanier 26. On his fifth-consecutive carry, he darted right and found blocking ahead. Utilizing the blocks of Arturo Garcia and Cruz Salazar, Flores made a sharp cut and scored untouched.
“Whatever they get for me,” Flores said of his linemen, “that’s where I am.”
Lanier put together a 13-play, 76-yard drive to erase Jefferson’s halftime lead. Joe Orta powered over a would-be tackler on a three-yard scoring run with 23 seconds to play in the third quarter.
Eric Flores was the only player to reach the end zone in a penalty riddled first half. The junior returned a punt 54 yards down the left sideline, with help from Davion Clark’s block.
Lanier outgained Jefferson 162-111 in total yardage in the first half, but an illegal substitution added five yards to an unsuccessful field-goal attempt and had a touchdown wiped out by a holding penalty. The Voks were rejuvenated in the second half by the running of Orta (132 yards, 20 carries), who returned from an ankle injury, and Julian Castillo.
“Being healthy helps. My younger guys are getting better each game,” Gatian said. “For the most part, we’ve played pretty good defense all year. It’s just that, offensively, we weren’t moving the ball. Now we’re moving the ball and getting some points.”
Despite the touchdown, Jefferson only mustered three first downs in the first half and ran just one play in Lanier territory.
The Voks attained nine first downs, but two were courtesy of Jefferson penalties. Lanier had a touchdown taken away by a holding penalty with 32 seconds left in the half and an illegal substitution added five yards to an unsuccessful field-goal attempt.
The Voks were penalized six times for 55 yards in the first half. The Mustangs were flagged five times for 49 yards.
The Mustangs had lost a close game to Harlandale six days earlier in their 28-5A opener.
“We knew we had unfinished business,” Jesse Flores said. “No one believed in us. We had to show everyone what we were capable of.”