Southside sets up first-place showdown with Uvalde
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Southside officially survived its District 29-5A setback to earn another crack at first place.
A week after incurring an upset loss to Laredo Martin, Southside (7-1, 4-1) romped to a 35-14 home win over Medina Valley (2-6, 2-3) Friday. The victory helped reshape the district standings and land the Cardinals in first.
Southside, Somerset (5-2, 4-1) and Uvalde (7-1, 4-1) all were tied for first place after Friday’s games. The Cardinals play at Uvalde this Friday at 7:30 p.m.
“That’s what we’ve been going after the whole time,” Southside senior quarterback Brandon Herrera said. “We want to win first place in the district, then go to the playoffs.”
The first half belonged to Herrera. After halftime, sophomore back Matt Collier (302 yards, 27 carries) took center stage for the Cardinals Friday at Southside Stadium. Herrera (170 yards, 18 carries) scored three first-half touchdowns and Collier added two in the second half as Southside
The combination was too much for Medina Valley to cope with.
“I thought we played much harder this week,” Southside coach Ricky Lock said. “Our line blocked better. We’ve got Uvalde next week, that’s going to be a big game.”
Medina Valley didn’t score until 3:02 remained in the third quarter. Quarterback Bradley Griggs ran four yards for the touchdown, following an interception from Cody Moos. The Panthers were within 19-7.
Collier gained 167 rushing yards in the fourth quarter alone, enabling the Cardinals to put the game out of reach.
The sophomore ran 31 yards with 10:47 remaining. His 60-yard run led to a 21-yard field goal from Zach Henry on Southside’s next possession, increasing the Cardinals lead to 28-7. Little more than a minute later, he rambled 76 yards on a misdirection play for his second touchdown.
Moos scored on a 46-yard pass play from Griggs (15 of 37, 203 yards) with exactly a minute remaining. Medina Valley had thrown nine consecutive incomplete passes at the start of the fourth quarter as Southside applied more and more pressure on the passer.
“Coach (Steve) Hale and his staff do a good job,” Lock said, referring to the Panthers coach. “We were able to keep pressure on (Griggs). They got a few points against us, but I think we did a good job of containing them for the most part.”
Herrera’s role was to establish control for Southside, which was important after two late turnovers led to the loss against Martin. He has grown increasingly comfortable in the role he inherited after starting quarterback Jonny Trevino suffered an injury three weeks earlier.
The former wide receiver hadn’t taken a snap at quarterback until then.
“My coaches prepared me great,” Herrera said. “Now I’m just building on it. All the guys played well tonight. That gave me confidence.”
The senior quarterback scored on a 12-yard run with 42 seconds left in the first quarter at the end of a 13-play, 98-yard drive. On the second play after the first of two interceptions from Cardinals freshman Johnny Herrera, the senior dashed around the left side and broke an 88-yard run.
On the Cardinals’ next possession, Herrera ran 13 yards for a touchdown that made it 19-0 at halftime. A 39-yard carry by Collier set up the score.
“Brandon’s doing a good job of executing,” Lock said. ”We got an offensive lineman back (from injury), and that helped, too. Everybody’s been doing their share.
“We’re just trying to get better every week.”
The Cardinals limited Medina Valley to 37 rushing yards and 240 total yards. Southside amassed 548 yards, including 487 on the ground.
Southside senior receiver David Garza caught four passes for 52 yards.