FOOTBALL ROUNDUP: Memorial claims first win since 2010, defeating Pearsall

Highlands beats Floresville with late field goal

East Central, McCollum coaches win debut games

Teams included: Brackenridge, Burbank, East Central, Harlandale, Highlands, Jefferson, Kennedy, Lanier, McCollum, Memorial. Sam Houston, South San.

Memorial not only won its first on-field victory since 2010 Friday at Pearsall, it did so in decisive fashion.

The Minutemen (1-0) led the entire way to claim a 31-14 victory over the Mavericks. It was the first road victory for Memorial in, possibly, a decade.

“We never let (the lead) go, but it was interesting,” second-year Memorial coach Alex Guerra said. “With the history of the school and the program, you want the kids to be excited but you need to keep them grounded. Being able to keep them focused on the sideline is crucial.”

The previous on-field win for the program was Sept. 16, 2010 at Frank Mata Stadium over Austin Eastside Memorial.

“You’d have to go way back,” Guerra said. “It was a little bit before my time. I imagine it’s been a while.

“It’s been a long time coming, and the kids have been working very hard. We stress the little things every day, and everything fell into place.”

The seeds of the win were planted during the offseason.

“These kids have a lot of character,” Guerra said. “Last year, when our season ended on a Friday, by Monday they were back in the weight room – and they never left. We have our core group of guys, and they’ve worked very hard. They knew we’d have to get physically stronger to compete.

“Pearsall is a physically tough team. Coach (David) Silva has those guys going. Our kids stood up to the challenge.”

The Minutemen took an early lead on a long pass from junior quarterback Alfred Ramos to David Manzano.

“It was a botched play and a quarterback scramble,” Guerra said. “The defensive backs seemed to come off their coverage, because Alfred can run. He kind of stood up and found David wide open. David had stayed on his route.”

Ramos later broke a 65-yard touchdown run.

“He’s deceptively fast,” Guerra said. “I like to say he has football speed. If you throw him in a track meet, I don’t think you’d win a100-yard dash with him. But, on a football field, he’s hard to contain.”

Pearsall (0-1) eventually closed within 14-7.

“They moved the ball very well,” Guerra said. “We probably had two or three fourth-and-goal series inside the red zone. It was one of those days, but our defense stood up. It was difficult because a lot of our kids play both ways.”

Memorial sophomore Raymond Garcia returned one of his two interceptions Friday 100 yards for a key touchdown.

“He had some great blocks along the way,” Guerra said. “He was very excited. I’ve been him from Day 1, telling him he was going to have to grow up fast. He told me afterward, ‘Coach, I think I’ve grown up.’ I said, You grew up a little more today.’ ”

The Minutemen increased their lead to three touchdowns and added a field goal before Pearsall scored a late touchdown. Gabriel Robles was successful from 35 yards.

“We got that input from special teams, so that was good,” Guerra said. “Our kicker doesn’t do anything else. He just kicks and punts. He was champing at the bit to get a shot. He got a shot and he nailed it.”

The Memorial coach pointed out that his Edgewood district rival Kennedy also won. The Rockets defeated Crystal City 27-7 Friday in their opening game.

“I don’t know how long its been since both Edgewood schools won their first game,” Guerra said. “They’ve handled their business. It’s been a while for us.”

Memorial takes the field again next Friday with a 7 p.m. game at Mata Stadium against  Fredericksburg, hoping to sustain the forward momentum.

“Now we have to get ready for Fredericksburg Friday,” Guerra said. “We need to get healthy. If we do and we have a good game plan, I think we have a chance.”

Highlands 17, Floresville 14

Senior Americo Ayala kicked a 32-yard field goal as time expired, giving the Owls a season-opening victory Friday in Floresville.

Highlands (1-0) didn’t take the lead until Ayala made the kick, although they tied it twice. Floresville jumped ahead with a touchdown from Gilbert Ortiz on a four-yard run at the 8:14 mark of the second quarter.

The Owls first 2013 score came on a 40-yard pass play from veteran quarterback Jordan DeLuna (20 of 36, 184 yards) to Sabian Santos (3 receptions, 54 yards).

Highlands answered again after the Tigers scored on a 35-yard pass from Koby Wilkerson to Zach Frantz that put the Owls behind 14-7 entering the fourth quarter. Elijah Garces re-tied it on a five-yard run with 6:46 remaining.

Qunidon Boston led Highlands in rushing with 55 yards on seven attempts. Tavon Johnson caught six passes for 52 yards.

Brackenridge 63, Sam Houston 0

The Eagles (1-0) announced their presence in a definitive way, routing neighborhood rival Sam Houston in the first high school football game to be played at the Wheatley Heights Sports Complex.

Any concerns about Brackenridge’s ability to replace the backs and ends it lost to graduation rapidly were put to rest. The Eagles rolled to 29 points in the first quarter, scoring on each of their four possessions.

Brackenridge gained 430 total yards while limiting the Hurricanes to 95.

Standout Eagles quarterback Ramon Richards (4 of 9, 91 yards) threw 34 yards to Jonathan King for the first touchdown. Richards also scored on runs of 15 and one yard in the quarter. He finished with 108 yards on 12 carries.

Junior Trey Mathis (68 yards, 6 carries) capped the first-quarter scoring with a 22-yard sprint. Brack ran for 330 yards on 39 tries.

Richards added a 43-yard touchdown run in the second quarter and threw a 28-yard scoring pass to speedy senior Rominique Anthony (3 receptions, 57 yards) 1:28 before halftime. The latter increased the Eagles’ lead to 42-0.

Brandon Toston (71 yards, 10 carries) ran for a pair of second-half touchdowns. Tyrus Mathis (55 yards, 7 carries) also recorded a touchdown run.

For Sam Houston, Jvoni Badie-Jones ran nine times for 36 yards. Erin Mack caught three passes for 29 yards.

East Central 21, Jay 14

The Hornets (1-0) pulled out a victory in East Central alum Clint Hartman’s first game as its coach.

A 30-yard touchdown run from Javion Polk (145 yards, 21 carries) provided the winning margin. East Central preserved the win by stopping the Mustangs (0-1) at the EC 30 on their final drive.

Rice University commit Jeremy Jones (10 of 14, 205 yards) ushered in the new era of Hornets football with an 81-yard scoring pass to junior Wanya Ward (153 yards, 3 receptions) midway through the first quarter. Jones also accounted for the second touchdown in the defense-dominated game. The senior ran 13 yards with 6:13 left in the third quarter.

New Mexico State recruit Johnathon Jackson (112 yards, 12 attempts) ran for the key two-point conversion, giving East Central a 14-0 lead. Jay tied it, strangely enough, with back-to-back fumble returns. Luis Trujillo’s 60-yard return with 5:04 remaining made it 14-14 while Jones was sitting out because of an injury.

Jay sophomore Moses Reynolds made an impressive debut as quarterback, completing 18 of 36 passes for 240 yards.

Like Hartman, Jay coach Gary Gutierrez is an East Central alum.

McCollum 35, Jefferson 0

In the night’s other stunner, in terms of margin of victory, the Cowboys (1-0) trounced Jefferson (0-1) in Juan Hinojosa’s coaching debut with McCollum.

McCollum scored twice in each of the first two quarters to win the non-district game at Harlandale Memorial Stadium. Sophomore running back Mike Ramirez (94 yards, 10 carries) accounted for the first two Cowboys touchdowns with runs of one and 42 yards.

Cowboys junior quarterback Ralph Vidal increased the lead to 21-0 with a 15-yard run. Vidal (8 of 13, 124 yards) also connected with Robert Salas with a 25-yard touchdown pass in the second half.

Stevie Diaz added the other McCollum score with a 27-yard touchdown run 25 seconds before halftime. Diaz finished with 44 rushing yards and 37 receiving yards on two catches. Jeff Valdez made three receptions for 33 yards.

Jefferson mustered 53 total yards while McCollum amassed 352.

Harlandale 31, South San 13

Senior quarterback Brandon Ramon engineered a season-opening victory for Harlandale, throwing for 215 yards and three touchdowns Friday at South San Stadium.

South San took the early lead, scoring on a 14-yard run from Christian Morales (50 yards, 10 carries). The 6-0 advantage lasted only until Harlandale ended the ensuing possession. Ramon threw 55 yards to Eddie Pedroza (70 yards, 3 receptions) to give the Indians a 7-6 lead.

Ramon also threw a pair of touchdown passes to James Mendoza (48 yards, 3 receptions), following a 77-yard touchdown from senior back Nick Martinez (150 yards, 15 carries). A 26-yard catch by Mendoza gave Harlandale a 21-6 halftime lead.

In the fourth quarter, Rueben Garcia kicked a 24-yard field goal for Harlandale and the Bobcats got on the board again when Justin Acosta scored from four yards away as time ran out.

Ian Martinez made four receptions for 50 yards and Nick Perez caught two passes for 47 yards for the Indians.

For South San, Darren Tinajero ran for 49 yards and passed for 38.

Kennedy 27, Crystal City 7

Senior Matthew Avalos ran 17 times for 166 yards and a touchdown as the Rockets romped at Frank Mata Stadium.

Avalos got things started for Kennedy with a 12-yard scoring run less than four minutes into the game. Fabian Flores returned an interception 13 yards to give the Rockets a 13-0 lead after a quarter.

Tomas Garcia also scored on an interception for Kennedy.

Isaiah Garcia (2 catches, 46 yards) notched the Rockets’ final touchdown with a 30-yard pass play from Blade Alvarado.

Somerset 39, Lanier 6

Major college prospect Koy Detmer Jr. completed 20 of 25 passes for 366 yards and five touchdowns, leading Somerset (1-0) to victory over the Voks (0-1) at the SAISD Complex.

Justin Guerra and Rocky Reyna each accumulated 170 reception yards for the Bulldogs.

Lanier gained 257 total yards, led by 128 passing yards and a touchdown from Nick Garcia. Garcia connected with Rodrigo Garcia (82 yards, 7 receptions) on a 29-yard touchdown with 6:22 remaining in the game.

Stephen Veliz ran 12 times for the Voks, gaining 80 yards.

Hays 61, Burbank 7

The Rebels (1-0) scored six first-half touchdowns on the way to a decisive victory over the Bulldogs (0-1) Friday in Buda.

Burbank senior Jeremy Sanchez completed four of nine passes for 149 yards in his first start at quarterback. He teamed up with Marcos Luna (2 receptions, 98 yards) for an 87-yard touchdown with 10:15 left in the third quarter.

Tru Bradford caught two passes for 51 yards for the Bulldogs. Hays limited Burbank to five rushing yards.

FOOTBALL: Devine abandons tradition in win over Southside

In past seasons, Devine was known for a grind-it-out running game – and the Warhorses were darned good at it. Joseph Sadler carried them to the Class 3A quarterfinals two years ago, setting a Texas single-season scoring record in the process.

Sadler is long gone, though, and the Warhorses (1-0) didn’t resemble their former selves Friday at Southside. In its 10th year under coach Chad Quisenberry, the ground-oriented program began the season with 236 passing yards in a 49-20 decision over the Cardinals.

“We knew their quarterback could throw,” Southside coach Paul Haberer said of Devine starter Hunter DuBose. “He has a pretty good arm. We didn’t know that they’d throw that much, but we knew they were capable. He did a good job.

“We blew a couple of coverages, but that will just get us better.”

Devine couldn’t move the ball in its first offensive series, after stopping the Cardinals (0-1) at its 30. On the Warhorses’ second try, after a 16-yard punt, DuBose (9 of 15, 147 yards) completed two passes to Chad Trevino (3 receptions, 90 yards) to fuel a drive that running back Pat Mares ended by scoring on a 24-yard sweep.

Following the first of Southside sophomore quarterback Johnny Trevino’s four interception, Devine reverted to the ground game, and Ricky Rios ran 31 yards for a touchdown. The Warhorses had a 14-0 cushion with 45 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

“We got better from last week to this week,” Haberer said. “Devine’s a class program. That’s why we schedule them the first week of the season. Now we know what we need to work on, what we need to get better at and what we’re capable of doing.”

The Warhorses added a third touchdown before the Cardinals were able to put points on the board.

A 67-yard scoring drive early in the second quarter was characterized by quarterback Eric Trogdon, who alternated with DuBose, completing two throws that covered all but 11 of those yards. Trogdon (4 of 6, 89 yards) scored on a five-yard carry.

Southside recovered the ensuing onside kick and found itself just 36 yards from the end zone.

On the first play of the series, Trevino (20 carries, 113 yards) displayed the deft ballhandling that made him a first-down threat each time he elected to keep the ball. The 6-foot-2 sophomore dashed 16 yards to the red zone.

He carried four times for 30 yards on the drive, completing it with a five-yard run 4:45 before halftime.

“Johnny has a great upside,” Haberer said. “He has a lot of great kids around him. Everybody will jump in and help him mature. We’ll get it going.”

Devine clearly fed off its growing momentum, while Southside’s was short-lived.

On the kickoff following Trevino’s score, Mares launched himself into a seam up the middle of the field. He ran 90 yards to increase Devine’s lead to 27-7.

An interception by Rios returned the ball to the Warhorses and another big play quickly developed. Trevino streaked down the left sideline on a fly route and was gone for a 69-yard touchdown.

A Devine penalty on the kickoff provided the Cardinals with a short field, and their quarterback was about to produce the finest moments of his first start.

Trevino ran for a yard, then completed five consecutive passes. The last was a perfect strike to a leaping Jake Ramos from the 10-yard line. The Cardinals were within 35-14 and halftime was 31 seconds away.

Neither team scored in the third quarter, so the next touchdown loomed large.

Devine seized the opportunity, yet again. An eight-yard pass from DuBose to Mares with 9:31 to play effectively sealed Southside’s fate.

“He’s a good, little back,” Haberer said. “When he caught that little slip screen, we had nobody home. He’s exciting.”

Last year, the Cardinals started two sophomore backs. Neither was in uniform Friday.

Aaron Porras sat out because of a knee injury. Cisco Flores has transferred to Holy Cross, where he’s the starting quarterback.

In their absence, Jimmy Rodriguez ran for 65 yards on 11 attempts. He gained an important five yards, following a 48-yard scamper from Trevino, leaving Southside at the Devine 1. Rodriguez also picked the game’s last 24 yards on three-consecutive carries.

“He can run,” Haberer said. “Those were his first varsity carries and he was running hard.”

Trevino’s second touchdown, on a six-yard run, closed the Cardinals within 42-20 with 2:21 remaining. However, Devine responded one last time. The Warhorses covered 51 yards on11 running plays, culminating with Joe Guerrrero’s 19-yard touchdown 43 seconds from the end.

The Cardinals will play at Southside Stadium next week, in the second of three-straight home games to start the season. Next Friday’s opponent is Sam Houston, which lost 63-0 to Brackenridge Friday.

“If we hang onto the ball,” Haberer said, “and don’t make big mistakes on defense, we’ll be all right.”

FOOTBALL: Week 0 previews

FRIDAY

Brackenridge (0-0) vs. Sam Houston (0-0) at Wheatley Heights Sports Complex, 7:30 p.m.

Watch for big plays from electrifying Oklahoma State recruit Ramon Richards and Brack as well as the Hurricanes after a year of growth. Trey Mathis and Romonique Anthony will help keep the Eagles’ offense potent, while dynamic Devante Lewis and the defense make Brack the favorite. But Sam Houston should be much more potent as an experienced team. With Wheatley Heights making its high school football and a huge turnout from the community expected, the fun quotient should be extremely high for this one. 2012 score: Brackenridge 33, Sam Houston 6.

Burbank (0-0) at Hays (0-0), 7:30 p.m.

A very tough opening game for what should be an improved Burbank team. The Rebels were an area finalist last year and now are under the direction of former Roosevelt coach Neal LaHue. Six-foot-7 Hayden Cagle could start at quarterback. The defense seems to be especially loaded. 2012 score: Hays 57, Burbank 20.

Crystal City (0-0) vs. Kennedy (0-0) at Frank Mata Stadium, 7:30 p.m.

The Rockets will rely on fullback/linebacker Matt Avalos in their season debut. A key for Kennedy will be the performance of sophomore Eric Lira in his first start, but the Rockets return 15 starters from last season and should be ready for a big night on their home field. Crystal City also will be experienced, but the Javelinas are trying to rebound from a winless season. 2012 score: Kennedy 46, Crystal City 12.

Devine (0-0) at Southside (0-0), 7:30 p.m.

Southside will try to control the tempo behind a defense that returns eight starters and is led by linebacker Diego Avila. Junior running back Aaron Porres will get the bulk of the carries and should be ready for a workhorse role. Either Brandon Herrera or Jonathan Trevino will get his first start under center. Most of the key Warhorses from their powerhouse team of two years ago have graduated, but Devine nonetheless is favored to win District 29-3A. Two-way starter Pat Mares is a player to watch for the Warhorses. 2012 score: Devine 45, Southside 6.

Harlandale (0-0) at South San (0-0), 7:30 p.m.

Harlandale is gearing up for a big year behind quarterback Brandon Ramon and running back Nick Martinez. Speedy James Mendoza will help stretch the Bobcats’ defense for Ramon. The Indians’ defense also should be formidable with eight returning starters. South San should be a stronger team in its second year under Marcus Booker, but the improvement may not be as visible tonight against a seasoned Indians team. The top two receivers, Thomas Fonseca and Juan Zamarripa, should be the Bobcats to watch offensively. 2012 score: Harlandale 31, South San 6.

Highlands (0-0) at Floresville (0-0), 7:30 p.m.

Highlands will be led by third-year quarterback Jordan DeLuna and will hope to build on a 2012 playoff season. Transfer Elijah Garces will bolster the defense and Quindon Boston will see increased carries out of the backfield. Floresville will pin its hopes on District 29-4A co-MVP running back Hector Villegas and a huge offensive line in Jeff Luna’s debut as coach. 2012 score: Floresville 17, Highlands 0.

Jay (0-0) at East Central (0-0), 7:30 p.m.

The excitement around East Central’s first game under alumni coach Clint Hartman will be palpable. With a wide-open passing game built around 6-7 Rice recruit Jeremy Jones the Hornets will have a different approach than during their successful run under Robert Walker. The ground game still should be strong, though, with  New Mexico State commit Johnathan Jackson returning. The Hornets plan to start 11 seniors on defense. They’ll want to set the tone for an outstanding season against a solid Jay team with EC alum Gary Gutierrez at the helm for his first game. The Mustangs will be young at the skill postions, but have a promising sophomore quarterback in Moses Reynolds. 2012 score: East Central 31, Jay 10.

Jefferson (0-0) vs. McCollum (0-0) at Harlandale Memorial Stadium, 7 p.m.

Defenses could dominate as two offenses try to find themselves. McCollum returns quarterback Ralph Vidal, which should help the process as the Cowboys learn first-year coach Juan Hinojosa’s offense. Jefferson will seek to get off to a fast start after struggling out of the gate in 2012. The Mustangs return five defensive starters from a team that was 5-1 in District 28-4A. Jefferson coach Doyle Redding’s son, Weston, or Brian Sebus will get his first start at quarterback. Don’t be surprised if this turns out to be another thriller. 2012 score: McCollum 22, Jefferson 21.

Memorial (0-0) at Pearsall (0-0), 7 p.m.

The Minutemen begin their second season under Albert Guerra with their big three offensive weapons – Alfred Ramos, Manases Cano and Raul Rangel – all in place. Sixteen starters return in all and Guerra was pleased with their offseason work. Memorial should be competitive again against a Pearsall team that went 3-7 last year and is breaking in a new coach, David Silva. 2012 score: Pearsall 48, Memorial 34.

Somerset (0-0) vs. Lanier (0-0) at SAISD Sports Complex, 7:30 p.m.

Lanier should be a much better offensive team with quarterback Nick Garcia returning for his second season as a starter. The tandem of Steven Veliz and Matthew Carson should assure the Voks of a good ground game while Rodrigo Garcia will be a reliable target downfield. Somerset will be a tough test. The Bulldogs are favored to win District 28-3A. Junior quarterback Koy Detmer should solidify his status a major-college prospect in his second year as a starter. He was the district offensive MVP and threw for more than 2,000 yards last year. 2012 score: Somerset 42, Lanier 21.

FOOTBALL: Flores leads Holy Cross to 21-14 victory in Holy Bowl

Edison, Southwest struggle in season debuts

Teams included: Central Catholic, Edison, Holy Cross, Southwest.

Southside transfer Cisco Flores ran for two touchdowns and passed for another, leading Holy Cross to a 21-14 win over Central Catholic in the 2013 Holy Bowl.

The junior broke a 59-yard touchdown run with 11:49 until halftime Thursday to put the Knights (1-0) in the lead. They never trailed, despite having to fend off a second-half Buttons comeback for second-consecutive year.

Central Catholic (0-1) tied it with 8:35 remaining in the third quarter on a 10-yard pass from Josh Godfrey (16 of 25, 166 yards) to Will Barr.

Flores provided a 13-7 lead with a one-yard run late in the third quarter. Flores completed 15 of 22 passes for 183 yards. The converted running back also ran for 126 yards on 18 carries. Back Greg Scott led the Knights with 150 rushing yards on 29 attempts.

With 7:22 left in the game, Flores threw what proved to be a clinching 27-yard scoring pass to multi-purpose standout Greg Kelly (10 receptions, 134 yards). The senior made an interception, kicked an extra point and averaged 32 yards per punt.

Holy Cross added a very-important two points on a pass from Flores to Steve Villela. It meant Central Catholic would need to score twice and be successful on a two-point conversion themselves to steal a victory.

The Buttons reduced their deficit to seven with 2:40 remaining when Michael Gonzales hauled in a seven-yard touchdown pass from Godfrey. But the Knights were able to run out the clock.

Central Catholic junior running back Joseph Nava (119 yards, 18 carries). Gonzales and Ray Cortez each caught four passes for 42 yards.

Holy Cross recorded its third consecutive win in the series, but Central Catholic still leads with a 35-11 all-time record.

Laredo United 42, Southwest 14

The host Longhorns (1-0) passed for 244 yards as they scored the first 42 points Thursday at Laredo’s Bill Johnson Student Activity Center.

Southwest (0-1) scored fourth-quarter touchdowns on runs of 16 yards by Tyrone Middleton and one-yard by Josh Huron.

The Longhorns outgained the Dragons 402-202 in total yards. United quarterback Derek Esparza (12 of 23, 208 yards) passed for four touchdowns and ran for another.

Huron led Southwest with 38 rushing yards on 12 carries. Brian Donnell rushed for 32 yards on nine tries. Standout back Erin Mack kicked two extra points for Southwest, but did not carry the ball.

Cody Johnson made three catches for 18 yards as the Dragons passed for 32 yards.

Pleasanton 40, Edison 7

The Golden Bears (0-1) scored first, but Pleasanton (1-0) reeled off the next 40 points Thursday at the SAISD Complex.

Senior Andres Aguilar ran 15 times for 104 yards and the Edison’s only touchdown. Aguilar scored on a -yard run in the quarter. He also had 23 reception yards.

Edison quarterback Jonathon Hernandez ran for 68 yards and passed for 47.

Pleasanton scored four of its five touchdowns on the ground and featured two 100-plus-yard rushers. Quarterback Jacob Arevalo ran for 189 yards on 13 attempts and back Grant Jackson gained 158 on 16 attempts. The Eagles ran for 494 yards.

FOOTBALL: Week 0 results (updated Aug. 30)

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

Thursday’s games

FOOTBALL

Non-district

Holy Cross (1-0) 21, Central Catholic (0-1) 14

Laredo United (1-0) 42, Southwest (0-1) 14

Pleasanton (1-0) 40, Edison (0-1) 7

Friday’s games

FOOTBALL

Non-district

Brackenridge (1-0) 63, Sam Houston (0-1) 0

Hays (1-0) 61, Burbank (0-1) 7

Kennedy (1-0) 27, Crystal City (0-1) 7

Devine (1-0) 49, Southside (0-1) 20

Harlandale (1-0) 31, South San (0-1) 13

Highlands (1-0) 17, Floresville (0-1) 14

East Central (1-0) 21, Jay (0-1) 14

McCollum (1-0) 35, Jefferson (0-1) 0

Memorial (1-0) 31, Pearsall (0-1) 14

Somerset (1-0) 39, Lanier (0-1) 6

FOOTBALL: Week 0 previews

THURSDAY

Pleasanton (0-0) vs. Edison (0-0) at SAISD Sports Complex, 7 p.m.

There will be a lot of new faces in the starting lineup for Edison, but Golden Bears coach Albert Torres always finds a way to get the best out of his teams. Pleasanton looks to be stronger defensively than offensively. Expect a tight game, and less scoring than last year. 2012 score: Pleasanton 45, Edison 34.

Southwest (0-0) vs. Laredo United (0-0) at Laredo Athletic Complex, 7:30 p.m.

This shapes up as an interesting matchup between two potentially explosive offenses. Each is looking to take a step forward this year. United should test Southwest’s defense. 2012 score: Southwest 56, Laredo United 33.

Central Catholic (0-0) vs. Holy Cross (0-0) at Harlandale Memorial Stadium, 7 p.m.

See separate story for Holy Bowl preview.

FOOTBALL: Holy Cross favored in Holy Bowl over intriguing Central Catholic

The variable Holy Bowl fans will gain some insight into in tonight’s Holy Cross-Central Catholic game is how much difference a year can make.

It’s a given that Central Catholic will be a more competitive team this season than they were in 2012, the Buttons’ first year under Don Byrd. They should be a stronger offensive team, but the measure of their improvement will be based on how prepared a defense that returns just one starter – albeit an outstanding one (Mike Gaston) – is for this first big test at 7 p.m. tonight at Harlandale Memorial Stadium.

The key variable for Holy Cross will be junior quarterback transfer Cisco Flores, who ran for 995 yards as a Southside back last year. Early reports indicate that Flores is fitting in quite well, but this will be his first start as a signal caller.

The Knights lost their leading passer, rusher and receiver to graduation. Replacing all that yardage will be a challenge, although they have the talent in place.

The performance of the running-back-by-committee – Greg Scott, Jacob Rodriguez and Rudy Gonzalez – could be a big key tonight.

“They’re very athletic,” Byrd said. “Their new quarterback, the times I’ve seen him, is playing great and doing a great job of running their offense. Ihe has stepped in like he’s been playing there all along. Their running back is outstanding and their free safety (Greg Kelly) is certainly a Division I prospect.

“They’ll have some very talented athletes on the field. We’ll have to play well.”

Central Catholic returns quarterback Josh Godfrey and running back Joseph Nava to lead the offense. The resulting stability should lead to more production.

“I think they’ll be much-improved,” Holy Cross coach Mike Harrison said. “I watched them against Sam Houston, and I see they’ve gotten more comfortable with the offense and Coach Byrd’s system. They definitely seem to be more aggressive. I expect them to come after us from the get-go.

“We have to match that early intensity. With so many new offensive starters, there’s some (concern) there. We expect a good battle. We expect Central Catholic to be much, much improved.”

One thing’s for certain: Both teams see this game as a gateway to greater success this season. Holy Cross won 37-32 last year in a game marked by a furious comeback by the Buttons in the second half.

This year’s renewal of the longstanding rivalry promises to be just as exciting and intense.

VOLLEYBALL: Defense enables South San to defeat Edison’s heavy hitters

South San’s biggest strength gave it the edge it needed to pull out a 25-19, 25-16, 25-21 non-district win at Edison Tuesday.

“They played very, very well last night,” South San coach Fernando Molina said. “They’ve been on an upswing since the (South San) tournament. The last match of the tournament, they played very well. Last night, they were clicking on all cylinders. It was a very positive sign. They communicated very well with each other.”

The Bobcats (7-4) were able to negate Edison’s height advantage.

South San finished third in its own tournament over the weekend. The match Molina referred to was the third-place game, which the Bobcats won 21-25, 25-17, 25-21 over Holy Cross.

“Our defense was outstanding,” Molina said of the Edison match. “We dug balls and we blocked their girls. We had some long defensive stands and long runs.”

The Bobcats also had sophomore setter Erica Jimenez (14 assists) and senior outside hitter Rebekah Rodriguez in sync as their statistical leaders.

“We have great senior leadership,” Molina said. “We have very good communication as a team. They worked hard in the offseason. They were here all summer. They were in a summer volleyball league, they went to open gyms. They really worked very hard.

“They really put in the time, and it’s paying off now. Their hard work and dedication on the court, you can see it.”

Junior Angel Salazar and basketball veteran Kim Tobias each made six digs. Junior Giselle Mata also helped in the setting department, recording six assists.

“They’re already the best defensive team I’ve coached,” Molina said, “and I’ve had state-ranked teams that ranked as high as fourth. Their defense is top notch.

“A lot of it is just effort. It’s effort and enthusiasm. A lot of people say hustle beats talent, but I always tell them that talent will win. But they have talent, and now they’re hustling. They’re hard to stop.”

For the Golden Bears, Karen Guerrero stood out with 12 digs, nine kills and two aces. Kalani Woods also was outstanding, with 6.5 blocks. Marissa Cortinas distributed 12 assists.

“Edison had a big-old block and they could swing on the ball,” Molina said. “But we were able to dig their blocks. We pick it up, shoot it to the opposite pin and put it down on the floor.”

VOLLEYBALL: Brackenridge beats Buffaloes in District 28-4A opener

Sam Houston wins close non-district match against Providence

 

Teams included: Brackenridge, Burbank, East Central, Edison, Fox Tech, Harlandale, Highlands, Holy Cross, Jefferson, Lanier, Providence, South San, Young Women’s Leadership Academy.

 

Fox Tech served tough and made Brackenridge (5-9, 1-0) battle for points Tuesday at the Buffaloes gym. However, the Eagles were equal to the task and pulled out a 31-29, 25-20, 16-25, 25-18 in the first game of the District 28-4A season for both teams.

Unfortunately, Brackenridge statistics are unavailable.

Fox Tech (7-10, 0-1) was led by six aces and eight assists from Ruby Zavala as well as 30 digs and two aces from Ruby Chapa. Elizabeth Narezo (14 digs, 7 kills), Adalind-Iris Sifuentes (10 digs, 6 kills) and Carla Ponce all recorded two aces.

Defensive leaders for the Buffaloes included Valerie Villarreal (8 digs), Brianna Campos (8 digs) and Deanna Rodriguez (5 digs).

District 28-5A roundup

Highlands (3-13, 1-0) and Jefferson (6-5, 1-0) also were winners on the district’s opening night

At Burbank, Highlands outlasted its hosts for a three-game win after the Bulldogs (3-10, 0-1) finished the first game within 25-22. The Owls won the next two, 25-9 and 25-14.

Highlands received six kills apiece from Jenna Thompson (6 aces), Bryten Mitchan and Jasmine Jackson. Analisa Garcia contributed 20 assists and Jessica Alvarez made 13 digs.

Burbank was led by Jenna Villanueva with 15 digs, three kills and three blocks. Antwanisha Riddle supplemented her three aces with three blocks.

Jefferson won for the sixth time in seven matches, overcoming a strong outing from Lanier (2-11, 0-1) 25-21, 25-17, 20-25, 25-17. Gabby Vasquez supplied 26 digs, seven kills and two aces. Selena Garcia also served a pair of aces. Courtney Garcia dealt eight assists. Melanie Sheppard slammed down three blocks.

The Voks got 10 kills from LeeAnna Martinez, 21 assists from Brenda Urbina and 28 digs from Emily Huerta. Anna Escobedo chipped in with two aces.

Also in district competition, favorite Brennan (13-2, 1-0) defeated Young Women’s Leadership Academy  (1-13, 0-1). 25-4, 25-6, 25-5. Alejandra Ramirez made six digs and Melanie Sanchez added four for YWLA.

South San d. Edison

The Bobcats (7-4) had setter Erica Jimenez (14 assists) and hitter Rebekah Rodriguez in sync in a 25-19, 25-16, 25-21 non-district win at Edison Tuesday.

Angel Salazar and basketball veteran Kim Tobias each made six digs. Giselle Mata also helped in the setting department, recording six assists.

For the Golden Bears, Karen Guerrero stood out with 12 digs, nine kills and two aces. Kalani Woods also was outstanding, with 6.5 blocks. Marissa Cortinas distributed 12 assists.

Sam Houston d. Providence

The Hurricanes (13-4) ran into a rather relentless storm themselves in this non-district match Tuesday at Providence.

The Provets (5-8) stormed to a 25-19 win in Game 1. Sam Houston answered by winning the second and third games, respectively, 25-19 and 27-25. Providence, however, didn’t wilt. It rallied to force a decisive fifth game with a 25-20 win. Sam Houston closed out the evening with a 15-12 decision in rally scoring.

Sophomore Rita Davis produced 14 assists, 12 kills and four digs for Sam Houston. Tiaria Mackey served five aces for the Hurricanes. Karisma Mitchell boomed four blocks.

Providence senior Logan Glick led the way with 24 assists and 14 kills. Mital Patel made 22 digs. Hannah Sasser served three aces.

Harlandale d. Lee

The Indians (9-6) received a wealth of contributions as they subdued Lee (7-11) 25-19, 25-19, 20-25, 25-20 in a non-district match at Harlandale.

Katie Neira delivered yet another superior performance with 18 kills and five digs. Sierra Sandoval added 20 assists. Catherine Silva made 11 assists and seven digs.

Up front, Madeline Mendez made six kills and Jackie Espinoza added five. Erika Arredondo (3) and Mendez (2) led in blocks. Kianna Sandoval contributed six digs. Alicia Garcia distributed six assists.

Holy Cross d. Uvalde

The visiting Coyotes proved a tough opponent, but Holy Cross (8-5) continued to build on its success this season. The Knights prevailed 25-19, 25-21, 25-21 over Uvalde (10-7).

Senior Mallory Ozuna showed her all-around skills for the Knights with 10 assists, eight digs and eight kills. Julia Ibarra provided 21 assists.

Clemens d. East Central

Clemens (13-3) maintained the momentum Tuesday in Schertz that led to a South San Tournament victory three days earlier, while the Hornets (6-8) got back on track after a rough weekend.

East Central showed its mettle by battling back from the brink of a sweep. The Buffaloes edged the Hornets 25-22, 25-21, 17-25, 11-25, 15-9.

Defensive dynamo Brandy Campos turned in 27 digs. Madison Simon also had a standout match with 14 kills. Denny Alvarez was credited with 20 assists. Lindsey Lubianski notched four blocks.

VOLLEYBALL: Jefferson takes its performance to new level at South San Tourney

South San edges Holy Cross to take third in own tourney

HERE’S THE LINK FOR THIS STORY ON THE SOUTHSIDE REPORTER WEBSITE:
http://www.mysanantonio.com/community/southside/news/article/South-San-tournament-showcases-talent-4762734.php

Between dawn last Friday and daybreak last Saturday, Jefferson had some time to reflect on what it had achieved in the first day of the South San Tournament and what was possible during the second.
The Mustangs (5-5) found the confidence and consistency they needed to grab second place in the two-day tournament. Jefferson rolled into the championship with three consecutive strong performances behind it.
“It was an exciting tournament for us this weekend,” Jefferson coach Theresa Ralston said. “The girls really had fun and played really hard. I think they grew as a team.”
Jefferson ended Day 1 of competition with a three-game win over St. Anthony. Although the Mustangs had gotten off to a solid start this year, they had lost three of their previous four matches coming into the tournament. During the weekend, they played more consistently than they had to date.
The Mustangs fought to a 25-22, 25-21 win over Jay in its and South San 25-23, 25-17 to reach the championship match. There, Clemens (11-3) prevailed 25-8, 25-18.
“Clemens was good,” Ralston said. “They were tall and athletic, and they were smart. I don’t know if we were just tired or not.
“The first game, we lost 25-8. We’d been so high emotionally. We won our fifth game in a row when we beat South San. Then we had two hours to sit, and we got out of our game.”
The Mustangs coach was glad her team made a much better showing in Game 2. After Clemens had taken control in the first game, Ralston challenged Jefferson to find the inner strength to compete through its fatigue.
“We limited their runs by how well we played,” Ralston said. “I was pleased that we got better in Game 2 and with how well we played.”
South San (6-4) finished third in its own tournament. Against Jefferson, the Bobcats took the early lead in Game 1.
“We were down in the first game, but we were able to come back,” Ralston said. “The key for us was conistent play, and we benefitted from our energy. We had a lot of enthusiasm, on the court and coming from the bench. We were communicating and playing with confidence.”
South San didn’t exactly fade away in Game 2, but the Mustangs kept their edge.
“I just told the kids to remain calm,” Ralston said. “I knew (South San) was going to come back at us full force, with all their effort. We had to get ready to endure. We had to remain calm and consistent.”
The Bobcats rebounded from the semifinal loss to Jefferson to outlast Holy Cross (7-5) 21-25, 25-17, 25-21 for third place. The Knights had lost 25-19, 25-17 to Clemens in the other semifinal.
Jefferson is trying to build on a 12-16 2012 season in which they finished 8-8 in District 28-4A . That they missed the postseason, undoubtedly, is fueling the fires of the many returning Mustangs.
“We have experience,” Ralston said. “We lost three or four seniors from last year, but we have seven seniors this year. I also have a couple of juniors who got experience last year as sophomores. It’s been working out. We’re starting to jell now.”
The Mustangs were represented by three selections on the all-tournament team. Senior libero Melanie Ybarra, senior setter/right-side hitter Courtney Garcia and junior outside hitter/left back Gabby Vasquez were chosen.
“I think the biggest thing is our senior leadership,” Ralston said. “We have really strong hitters and a couple of bigs in the middle. Melanie helps us pick up the spikes that are coming at us. We have a desire to win.”
Middle blockers Melanie Sheppard (a 5-foot-9 senior) and Marissa Vargas (a 5-5 junior who’s quick and an outstanding leaper) rose to the occasion for the Mustangs. Senior Selena Garcia, who shares setting duties with Courtney Garcia, and senior outside hitter Krystin Garcia also stepped forward in the tournament.
“I think we’re starting to find some role players,” Ralston said, “whom we can count on to step on the court in any given situation. That’s a positive for any team.”
Jefferson began the tournament with wins over Wagner and Fox Tech. They raised their intensity in the third game of Day 1, in order to defeat a mentally tough St. Anthony team.
“That was a really exciting match,” Ralston said. “We lost the first game, won the second and then won 25-21. That match was back-and-forth the whole way. I knew it’d be tough to win that match.”
The resulting victory ended up propelling the Mustangs to a new performance level.
“This year, I keep telling my kids, it’s going to be a special year for us,” Ralston said. “They’ve been working really hard. They’ve taken ownership of every aspect of the game.
“(The seniors) are contributing and leading. They’re taking ownership of their season. It’s been nice.”
Among other area teams at South San, Sam Houston (12-4) and Southside (4-10) each claimed a pair of victories Saturday.
Sam Houston downed Fox Tech (7-9) 25-15, 25-20 and then the Hurricanes rallied to win a three-game match against Lytle 22-25, 25-10, 25-17.
Southside edged Fox Tech 25-18, 25-22. The Cardinals also made a show of strength in Game 2 to pull out a tough match against Eagle Pass Winn 21-25, 25-9, 25-22.
Floresville Tournament
Southwest (8-10) concluded the Floresville Tournament by splitting two of its last four matches.
The Dragons defeated Edison (4-12) 25-7, 25-13 Saturday and fended off Eagle Pass 26-24, 25-17. Southwest lost to Laredo United and Medina Valley, in a 25-21, 18-25, 25-16 decision.
Southwest notched three wins Friday during the tournmament’s first day. The Dragons defeated Burbank 25-12, 25-15, Eagle Pass in rally scoring 25-14, 30-29 and the Floresville junior varsity 25-10, 25-9. Stevens defeated Southwest 22-25, 25-15, 25-18 win over the Dragons.
Harlandale (8-6) picked up a victory over Eagle Pass by identical scores of 25-19, 25-19. The Indians also lost a tough one to Laredo United 23-25, 25-17, 25-9 and fell to Taft.
The Indians had defeated Laredo United Friday, but had to play the Longhorns shortly after the Taft match ended.
“We played a good match against Taft,” Harlandale coach Sylvia Cardenas said. “We stayed with them until the end. But then we went to a back gym and played United right away. We didn’t have any (energy) left.”
In Friday’s matches, Floresville defeated the Indians 25-23, 25-18 in their first match. However, Harlandale was undefeated the rest of the day, winning 25-14, 25-11 over Pearsall, 25-8, 25-13 over the Highlands JV and 25-21, 14-25, 25-15 over Laredo United.
The Indians won the Harlandale ISD Tournament the previous weekend.
“We have an experienced group. It’s the same group as last year,” Cardenas said. “We play with a lot of heart. We’ve been doing really well, but we didn’t do as well this weekend as I expected. We need to do a lot of work on our endurance.”
Highlands (3-13) downed Burbank (3-9) 25-18, 25-10 Saturday in a battle of District 28-4A rivals.

VOLLEYBALL Jefferson surges into second place in South San Tourney

South San edges Holy Cross to take third in own tourney

HERE’S THE LINK FOR THIS STORY ON THE SOUTHSIDE REPORTER WEBSITE:

http://www.mysanantonio.com/community/southside/news/article/South-San-tournament-showcases-talent-4762734.php

Jefferson rode a wave of momentu m into the championship match Saturday at the South San Tournament.

The Mustangs (5-5) defeated Jay 25-22, 25-21 and South San 25-23, 25-17 to reach the championship match. There, Clemens (11-3) prevailed 8-25, 25-18.

“It was an exciting tournament for us this weekend,” Jefferson coach Theresa Ralston said. “The girls really had fun and played really hard. I think they grew as a team.”

The Mustangs were represented by three selections on the all-tournament team. Senior libero Melanie Ybarra, senior setter/right-side hitter Courtney Garcia and junior outside hitter/left back Gabby Vasquez were chosen.

South San (6-4) rebounded from the semifinal loss to Jefferson to outlast Holy Cross (7-5) 21-25, 25-17, 25-21. The Knights lost 25-19, 25-17 to Clemens in the other semifinal.

Among other area entries, Sam Houston (12-4) and Southside (4-10) each claimed a pair of victories Saturday.

Sam Houston downed Fox Tech (7-9) 25-15, 25-20 and then the Hurricanes rallied to win a three-game match against Lytle 22-25, 25-10, 25-17.

Southside edged Fox Tech 25-18, 25-22. The Cardinals also made a show of strength in Game 2 to pull out a tough match against Eagle Pass Winn 21-25, 25-9, 25-22.

Floresville Tournament

Southwest (8-10) concluded the Floresville Tournament by splitting two of its last four matches.

The Dragons defeated Edison (4-12) 25-7, 25-13 Saturday and fended off Eagle Pass 26-24, 25-17. Southwest lost to Laredo United and Medina Valley, in a 25-21, 18-25, 25-16 decision.

Harlandale (8-6) picked up a victory over Eagle Pass by identical scores of 25-19, 25-19. The Indians also lost a tough one to Laredo United 23-25, 25-17, 25-9 and fell to Taft.

The Indians had defeated Laredo United Friday, but had to play the Longhorns shortly after the Taft match ended.

“We played a good match against Taft,” Harlandale coach Sylvia Cardenas said. “We stayed with them until the end. But then we went to a back gym and played United right away. We didn’t have any (energy) left.”

Highlands (3-13) downed Burbank (3-9) 25-18, 25-10 in a battle of District 28-4A rivals.

Statistics from Saturday’s matches were not available.

 

FOOTBALL: Week 0 results (updated Aug. 29)

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

Thursday’s games

FOOTBALL

Non-district

Holy Cross (1-0) 21, Central Catholic (0-1) 14

Laredo United (1-0) 42, Southwest (0-1) 14

Pleasanton (1-0) 40, Edison (0-1) 7

Friday, Aug. 30

FOOTBALL

Non-district

Brackenridge (0-0) vs. Sam Houston (0-0) at Wheatley Heights Sports Complex, 7:30 p.m.

Burbank (0-0) at Hays (0-0), 7:30 p.m.

Crystal City (0-0) vs. Kennedy (0-0) at Frank Mata Stadium, 7:30 p.m.

Devine (0-0) at Southside (0-0), 7:30 p.m.

Harlandale (0-0) at South San (0-0), 7 p.m.

Highlands (0-0) at Floresville (0-0), 7:30 p.m.

Jay (0-0) at East Central (0-0), 7:30 p.m.

Jefferson (0-0) vs. McCollum (0-0) at Harlandale Memorial Stadium, 7 p.m.

Memorial (0-0) at Pearsall (0-0), 7 p.m.

Somerset (0-0) vs. Lanier (0-0) at SAISD Sports Complex, 7:30 p.m.