Voks blank Highlands in second half
AREA TEAMS INCLUDED: Highlands, Lanier.
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Six days after Lanier lost a halftime lead and with it an opportunity for its first victory, the Voks came out of the locker room for the second half with determination.
The Voks (1-5, 1-3) scored two unanswered touchdowns against Highlands (0-5, 0-3) after halftime Thursday in a District 28-5A game at Alamo Stadium. They erased a halftime deficit to record the win, 28-24.
“We had a long discussion at halftime,” Lanier coach Don Gatian said. “The last three games, we’ve played good defense and our offense has been coming along. But the first half tonight, we weren’t getting anything done.”
Lanier senior back Joe Orta (118 yards, 17 carries) scored the winning points with a five-yard touchdown run 10:45 from the end. It was his third score of the game, matching three touchdowns from Highlands’ Quindon Boston (103 yards, 27 carries).
Orta had cut the Voks’ deficit to 24-21 with a three-yard scoring run at the 2:56 mark of the third quarter. Lanier drove 64 yards in 10 plays to score.
“We’ve got five weeks to get in the playoffs,” Orta said. “It’s my senior year. We’re going to be going all out for it.”
Highlands came out throwing a little more often than usual on its first possession and the Voks were playing catch-up the rest of the half. Owls quarterback John Cervantes completed all three of his passes on the drive for 58 yards.
Boston scored the first of his three first-half touchdowns with 7:10 remaining in the first quarter. The senior also scored on a 28-yard sweep before the quarter ended.
“We played great the first half,” Highlands coach Bert Lopez said. “We just couldn’t finish it. Turnovers tonight killed us.”
Lanier sliced the lead in half with a 10-yard touchdown run Julian Castillo. The Voks first TD wrapped up an 84-yard drive. Following a 21-yard field goal from Highlands senior Americo Ayala, Orta powered in from the 10-yard line just 1:04 before halftime.
Thanks to a 44-yard pass play from Cervantes to sophomore Darius Prescott, Highlands had time to increase its halftime lead to 24-14.
“We got the monkey off our backs,” Gatian said. “The last three weeks we’ve been so close. This could pick us up.”