SATURDAY FOOTBALL ROUNDUP: Holy Cross sets up title showdown with win over Cornerstone

Highlands remains postseason candidate by defeating Edison

TEAMS INCLUDED: Edison, Highlands, Holy Cross.

Holy Cross (6-3, 5-1) has a shot to defend its TAPPS District 3-II title, thanks to its 61-0 thumping of Cornerstone Christian (2-7, 0-6) Saturday night and San Antonio Christian’s upset victory over Austin Regents 24 hours earlier.

The Knights have locked in a playoff berth, thanks to the commanding win at Harlandale Memorial Stadium. Holy Cross had a 27-point lead in the shutout when the first quarter ended.

Junior back Greg Scott (214 yards, 11 attempts) scored three times in that timeframe, on  runs of one, six and 42 yards. Quarterback Cisco Flores (102 yards, 5 carries) added a 15-yard scoring run. The Knights ran for 408 yards.

By halftime, Holy Cross led 41-0. Jacob Rodriguez ran two yards for a touchdown and jack-of-all-trades Greg Kelly returned a punt 72 yards for another score in the second quarter. Kelly later scored on a 24-yard interception return.

David Sanchez (124 yards, 3 receptions)  scored on a 56-yard pass play from Flores (6 of 12, 171 yards) in the third quarter. As time expired, Rudy Gonzalez tallied an 11-yard touchdown run.

Holy Cross limited Cornerstone to 14 rushing yards and 36 total yards.

The Knights will play at undefeated district leader Austin Hyde Park Baptist (9-0, 6-0) at 7:30 p.m. Friday. If they win, the teams will share first place.

Highlands 35, Edison 7

Highlands may have lulled its recent District 28-4A opponents into a false sense of security by staying mostly landlocked. The Owls (4-5, 2-3) came out firing against Edison (3-6, 1-4) Saturday at the SAISD Sports Complex.

Junior quarterback John Cervantes threw for 296 yards and three touchdowns, without an interception. He completed 16 of 27 attempts.

Edison senior Andres Aguilar, who returned from an injury, scored the game’s first touchdown on a one-yard run 31 seconds from the end of the first quarter. The Owls’ defense limited to Aguilar to 38 yards in his return to action.

Highlands scored the next five touchdowns unabated.

Backs De-Morriay Richardson (61 yards, 11 carries) and Quindon Boston (119 yards, 17 carries) contributed scoring runs in the second quarter, as the Owls claimed a 14-7 halftime lead. Richardson scored again after intermission, on a 71-yard pass play from Cervantes.

It was the first of three second-half passing touchdowns for Highlands. Xavier Long (152 yards, 9 receptions) scored on a 63-yard pass play almost three minutes into the fourth quarter. Tavon Johnson also hooked up with Cervantes for a touchdown, a 23-yarder with 45 seconds remaining.

Edison receiver Marcello Zavala caught eight passes for 81 yards.

Highlands moved into a fourth-place tie with Burbank (3-6, 2-3), with an important test against Brackenridge looming 7:30 next Friday at the SAISD Sports Complex. If they win, the Owls will still need a little help from Lanier. to qualify. The Voks will play Burbank, which defeated Highlands in their head-to-head meeting.

The Owls’ win over Edison, however, will become important if the season ends with a three-way tie for fourth.

Edison’s playoff hopes were jeopardized by the loss, but remain alive, as the Golden Bears hold the tiebreaker advantage over Burbank. They will finish their season at 8 p.m. Saturday against Jefferson (0-8, 0-5) – which lost -3 to district champion Brennan – in the Tommy Bowl at the University of the Incarnate Word.

FRIDAY FOOTBALL ROUNDUP: Brack, Southwest book playoff reservations

Southside comeback vs. McCollum results in first 2013 win

TEAMS INCLUDED:Brackenridge, Central Catholic, Holy Cross, Kennedy, Lanier, McCollum, Southside, Southwest.

 

Nathaniel Scott and Jon Cruz provided the big plays Southwest (5-4, 4-1) needed to counter three Corpus Christi King field goals in 14-9 playoff-clinching win Friday in Corpus Christi.

The pair combined for more than 330 rushing yards, including two touchdowns of more than 60 yards for the Dragons. King (2-6, 1-3) led 3-0 after a quarter and was within 7-6 at halftime in the District 28-5A game.

Scott gave Southwest the lead with a 66-yard run with 6:39 until halftime. Cruz broke a 64-yard touchdown dash little more than three minutes into the second half. Justin Aminzadeh completed the scoring for King with 10:01 left in the game with his longest field goal, a 37-yarder.

Southwest limited the Mustangs to 131 total yards while churning out 351 rushing yards. Dragons quarterback Bowen Crisp completed four of five throws for 31 yards.

Brackenridge 23, Lanier 14

The Eagles (6-3, 4-1) qualified for the playoffs and took sole possession of second place in District 28-4A Friday, but have lost their best weapon for an undetermined amount of time.

The Oklahoma State commit left the game on Brackenridge’s second possession because of a head injury. Eagles coach Willie Hall told the Express-News that he was hoping Richards would be able to return for the playoffs.

Despite the adversity, Brackenridge scored twice in the first quarter at the SAISD Sports Complex.

Receiver Marco Marble recovered a teammate’s fumble and scored on a two-yard run with 4:18 left in the quarter. Then sophomore quarterback Antonio Lopez, who gained experience when Richards was injured earlier in the season, connected with explosive Romanique Anthony (136 yards, 4 receptions) for an 82-yard touchdown.

Lopez competed seven of 13 passes for 171 yards.

Early in the second quarter, Olajuwon Reese returned a punt 78 yards to make it Brackenridge 20, Lanier 0. However, the third-place Voks (4-5, 3-2) soon made a game of it.

Lanier junior running back Joe Orta (111 yards, 19 attempts) scored twice in little more than three minutes. Orta reached the end zone on runs of 12 and 17 yards to bring the Voks within a touchdown at halftime.

Brackenridge’s Jesus Millan provided the only points in the second half with a 20-yard field goal just 1:30 before the end.

Lanier’s defense limited the Eagles to 56 rushing yards. The Voks entered the game tied with Brack for second place in 28-4A. Despite the loss, the Voks qualified for the postseason.

Nicholas Garcia passed for 97 yards for Lanier. Julian Castillo added 58 rushing yards. Jacob Munoz had 46 yards on three receptions.

Southside 10, McCollum 7

Southside went from zero to exuberance in the fourth quarter Friday at Harlandale Memorial Stadium. The Cardinals (1-8, 1-5) hadn’t scored entering the final period, but launched a frantic comeback to overtake the host Cowboys (3-6, 1-5). The teams now are tied for sixth with Memorial (3-6, 1-5).

Jesus Espinosa got Southside on the scoreboard with a 25-yard field goal at the 5:57 mark. The Cardinals won in dramatic fashion, when sophomore quarterback Johnny Trevino scored on a one-yard run just five seconds from the end.

McCollum took a 7-0 lead on a 67-yard breakaway run from sophomore back Mike Ramirez (113 yards, 16 carries) with 4:47 left in the opening quarter. The Cowboys played without junior Ralph Leal, a second-year starter, who was injured a week earlier against Kennedy.

Junior Nicolas Guerra completed three of four passes for 75 yards. Ramirez made two catches for 44 yards.

Senior Omar Guadarrama led the Cardinals with 64 rushing yards on 16 attempts. Trevino threw for 47 yards and ran for 44.

Southside ended a nine-game losing streak.

Floresville 7, Kennedy 0

Tigers quarterback Kody Wilkerson ran 69 yards for a touchdown 26 seconds into the District 29-4A game and both teams pitched a shutout thereafter Friday in Floresville.

Floresville (7-1, 5-1) maintained a share of first place with the win. Kennedy (6-3, 3-3) is in fifth place and needs to win its final game and get some help to make the playoffs. If the Rockets win against rival Memorial in the Salsa Bowl next Friday, Harlandale would need to lose to McCollum in the Frontier Bowl for Kennedy to grab the district’s fourth playoff spot.

The area’s leading rusher, Rockets senior Matthew Avalos, accounted for 113 rushing yards on 22 carries. Kennedy’s deepest penetration was to the Floresville 20 in the third quarter, following a fumble recovery.

Kennedy sophomore Eric Lira passed for 83 yards. Jeremy Del Toro caught two passes for 36 yards.

Floresville gained 219 total yards, including 169 on the ground. The Rockets mustered 196 yards.

Antonian 40, Central Catholic 14

The Apaches (8-1, 4-0) took a giant step toward a TAPPS District 2-I Friday at Antonian with the win over the Buttons (4-5, 2-2), who saw a two-game winning streak end.

Antonian had a 20-0 lead when Central Catholic scored its first touchdown. Buttons junior quarterback Joseph Nava (79 yards, 19 carries) rambled 18 yards for the score that brought Central Catholic within 13 points at halftime. Nava also completed six of 13 passes for 129 yards.

Apaches back Daniel Rosenfeld ran for 309 yards and five touchdowns. Those included three runs of more than 55 yards.

Rosenfeld scored on runs of 74 and seven yards after halftime to hike Antonian’s lead to 34-7. With 5:33 to play, Nava completed a 35-yard throw to senior Will Barr (4 receptions, 71 yards) for a 35-yard touchdown.

Jacob Rodriguez contributed 88 rushing yards on 23 carries for Central Catholic. Antonian outgained the Buttons 384-270 in total yards.

FOOTBALL: Week 9 previews (Saturday’s games)

SATURDAY

Cornerstone Christian (2-6, 0-5) vs. Holy Cross (5-3, 4-1) at Harlandale Memorial Stadium, 7 p.m.

Austin Regents gave the Knights an early Christmas present Friday night. San Antonio Christian upset Regents, giving Holy Cross a chance to take second- place in TAPPS District 3-II heading into the final week of the season.

That should help keep the Knights focused in a contest against the district’s newest member.

Cornerstone Christian took a step up in competition this year, when it replaced Austin Dominic Savio in the district. The Warriors have struggled with the transition. They seem comparable to Victoria St. Joseph, whom Holy Cross defeated 35-0 last Friday.

The Warriors’ top performer has been back Elijah Salazar, who has rushed for 563 yards. Cornerstone has had difficulty mounting a consistent passing game.

Holy Cross’ 1-2 punch on the ground from Greg Scott and Cisco Flores, coupled with Flores’ passing ability should be a challenge for Cornerstone.

There should be ample opportunity for the Knights to work on whatever they need to in order to prepare for their showdown next Friday with district-leading Austin Hyde Park Baptist (9-0, 6-0) for a chance to defend their title. 2012 score: Holy Cross and Cornerstone Christian didn’t play last year.

Highlands (3-5, 1-3) vs. Edison (3-5, 1-3) at SAISD Sports Complex, 7 p.m.

The winner of this District 28-4A clash will be tied for fourth place with idle Burbank (2-3). The loser is going to need some help from other district teams if it’s going to make the playoffs in the final week of the season.

Highlands had the look of a lock to return to the postseason when the district season began. Then dynamic quarterback Jordan DeLuna went down with an injury. The Owls have adapted with Elijah Garces and junior John Cervantes trading snaps in DeLuna’s place and Quindon Boston stepping up as a featured back, but their big-play capabilities have been limited primarily to long runs.

Edison can relate. The Golden Bears lost standout running back Andres Aguilar to injury. Aguilar was the foundation and enabled quarterback Jonathan Hernandez to take shots downfield when the urge arose, instead of from necessity – which greatly improves your chances for success, and to avoid turnovers.

So there’s an offense over-reliant on the run meeting one that is imbalanced toward passing. Likely, it’ll come down to which defense fares best.

Highlands owns an 18-11 advantage in the series, which was annual between 1976 and 1996, then took a hiatus until last year. The Golden Bears won in 1997. 2012 score: Highlands 34, Edison 14.

Jefferson (0-8, 0-4) vs. Brennan (9-0, 5-0) at Farris Stadium, 7 p.m.

Jefferson’s quest for its first 2013 win may have to wait another week. Saturday’s opponent is playoff-bound Brennan, which will clinch at least a share of the District 28-4A championship with a win.

Not that the Bears need any motivation. They’re ranked No. 4 in the Associated Press state Class 4A rankings.

Jefferson had a bye last week, so it has had two weeks to prepare for Brennan. When the Mustangs last took the field, Oct. 18 in a 41-22 loss to Highlands, they played their best game to date. They were tied 14-14 at halftime.

Their best hope Friday is for a solid game from back Jesse Flores and continued improvement from quarterback Weston Redding. That could set the Mustangs up for their Tommy Bowl finale next Friday against Edison in good shape.

It’s worth noting that last year’s game, in addition to being the first in the series, was a battle for first place. 2012 score: Brennan 14, Jefferson 0.

FOOTBALL: Week 9 previews (Friday’s games)

FRIDAY

Central Catholic (4-4, 2-1) at Antonian (7-1, 3-0), 7:30 p.m.

This could be an opportunity for a signature win for Central Catholic, if the Buttons are equal to the task.

Obviously, signature wins are not supposed to come easily, and TAPPS District 2-I leader Antonian will be a handful – especially on its cozy home field. In Don Byrd’s second year at Central Catholic, it might be time for that kind of accomplishment.

Buttons will need to get running game established early so quarterback Joseph Nava can look downfield to Will Barr and others for potential big plays. Avoiding turnovers, of course, also will be a key.

Central Catholic is on track for the postseason regardless of the outcome. The question at stake is whether it can contend for the district title. 2012 score: Antonian 21, Central Catholic 0.

East Central (3-5, 1-2) at South San (2-6, 0-3), 7:30 p.m.

East Central quarterback Jeremy Jones returned from an injury last Friday in a loss to Steele. The Hornets need to establish their passing game out of the spread offense to complete their playoff push and advance beyond.

The passing game also is key for South San, but the bigger issue is whether Christian Morales is able to  have a big day on the ground. Juan Zamarripa’s development as a possession receiver has helped alleviate some of the pressure on Morales.  

South San must win its last two games to have a chance at the playoffs. The Hornets likely need to win either here or at home against Corpus Christi King, with whom they share fourth place, next week. Their destiny is in their hands.

East Central leads the series 17-8, and has won the last six games. South San last won in 1998. The series goes back to 1966. 2012 score: East Central 28, South San 0.

Harlandale (7-1, 4-1) at Uvalde (5-3, 4-1), 7 p.m.

Harlandale has won its last two games since being tripped up by Kennedy, but hasn’t seemed to regain its previous performance level since the loss of big-play receiver James Mendoza. They’ll need to summon the fires within on the long road trip to Uvalde, because the Coyotes have been pretty feisty this year  – although somewhat inconsistent.

This is a chance for the winner to maintain a share of first place and clinch a playoff berth. The loser likely will get in, too, but will face a very difficult bi-district game.

The Indians need to find a way to generate the long touchdowns they were getting with regularity earlier in the season and a turnover-free night will help. They must control the line of scrimmage and limit Uvalde’s big-play potential. 2012 score: Harlandale 48, Uvalde 13.

Kennedy (6-2, 3-2) at Floresville (6-2, 4-1), 7 p.m.

Not to slight next Friday’s showdown against Memorial in any way, because that promises to be a barnburner, but this is Kennedy’s moment of truth. If it loses, the door to the playoffs isn’t likely to crack open again.

Floresville has been increasingly looking like the best team in District 29-4A, even though the Tigers are currently sharing first with Harlandale and Uvalde.

The Rockets have had a winning record the last three years but not made the playoffs. Undoubtedly Kennedy is tired of that.

Both teams like to control the ball. Kennedy’s defense will need to prevent that, and some of those opportunistic turnovers it’s been forcing this year would come in handy. The offensive line is going to need a big night as well, to open holes for workhorse Matthew Avalos. 2012 score: Floresville 38, Kennedy 14.

Lanier (3-5, 3-1) vs. Brackenridge (5-3, 3-1) at SAISD Sports Complex, 7:30 p.m.

The winner can rest assured it will be in the playoffs this year.

For a Lanier team that missed the postseason a year ago, that would be a major accomplishment. It’s expected of Brackenridge, and a big part of the reason is quarterback Ramon Richards.

In Richards, the Eagles have a potential game-changing playmaker. The Voks have an effective and varied offense, but no one who fits that description – and that might be the difference in this year’s game.

The Voks will need a big game from back Joe Orta and likely one from quarterback Nicholas Garcia to keep pace with the high-flying Eagles.

Brackenridge has a 21-6-1 record in the series and has won the last six meetings. The Voks won back-to-back games in 2005 and 2006. 2012 score: Brackenridge 32, Lanier 20.

LaVernia (7-1, 2-0) vs. Sam Houston (1-7, 0-2) at Wheatley Heights Sports Complex, 7:30 p.m.

La Vernia takes a six-game winning streak into this contest and vanquished Poteet 70-0 last Friday.

The mission for Sam Houston is to end its District 28-3A losing streak that spans two seasons. In order to do that, the Hurricanes will need a big game from Erin Mack, whom Pleasanton was able to control last Friday.

If the Hurricanes can succeed at that task, and give quarterback Raymonte Prime, they will be dangerous – as they were in the district opener against Somerset.2012 score: La Vernia 50, Sam Houston 6.

Medina Valley (5-3, 3-2) vs. Memorial (3-5, 1-4) at Frank Mata Stadium, 7 p.m.

Time is running out on Memorial’s slim playoff hopes and the District 29-4A schedulemaker has done te Minutemen no favors. After a loss to Uvalde last Friday, Memorial draws a Medina Valley team still smarting from its loss to Floresville, which knocked the Panthers out of first place.

Fortunately, Memorial is back at its friendly confines.

Memorial still will need a big game from back Raul Rangel so that quarterback Alfred Ramos has room to operate and find his targets. Floresville was able to shut down Medina Valley’s ground game. Memorial will need to do the same, and get some early points to vocalize the crowd.

Medina Valley has won all three games in the series. 2012 score: Medina Valley 65, Memorial 17.

Southside (0-8, 0-5) vs. McCollum (3-5, 1-4) at Harlandale Memorial Stadium, 7 p.m.

McCollum needs to win this game and the Frontier Bowl, and get some help from its district rivals to make the playoffs. Southside played like a relative equal to Harlandale last Thursday, not a winless team. The energized Cardinals seem capable of garnering their first win here, but they’ll need a strong start.

Complicating matters for the Cowboys is the questionable health of junior quarterback Ralph Vidal, who was injured late in last Friday’s loss to Kennedy. His passing could be a difference maker.

McCollum leads the series 11-2, but its most recent win was 2009, before a three-year gap in the series. 2012 score: Southside 39, McCollum 36.

Southwest (4-4, 2-1) vs. Corpus Christi King (3-5, 1-2) at Cabaniss Stadium, Corpus Christi, 7:30 p.m.

Southwest was upset by Corpus Christi Carroll last week, and they can weather that storm, as long as they don’t lose to another Corpus team this week. Then they’d fall into the lost world of factors they can’t control, as Steele looms next Friday.

King is coming off a big win over South San, but lost to Carroll convincingly a week earlier. The Mustangs clearly are improving and will bring confidence into this home game.

The Dragons should have this, but will need a better performance from their defense some help from backs not named Nathaniel Scott, who went for 289 yards on 39 carries last week – amazing numbers in both departments.2012 score: Southwest 38, Corpus Christi Carroll 26.

VOLLEYBALL: Postseason schedule (complete)

POSTSEASON PAIRINGS

Class 5A

Bi-district round

Southwest (16-24) vs. Clark (25-14), 7 p.m., Monday at Durbon Center, South San

East Central (21-15) vs. Brandeis (24-16), 6 p.m., Tuesday at Durbon Center, South San

Class 4A

Bi-district round

Brackenridge (14-25) at Alamo Heights (36-8), 7 p.m., Tuesday

Corpus Christi Calallen (22-8) at Harlandale (24-11), 6:30 p.m. Tuesday

Highlands (20-20) at Hays (28-14), 6:30 p.m. Tuesday

Jefferson (24-10) vs. Boerne Champion (22-18), 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Blossom Athletic Center

Class 3A

Bi-district round

Sam Houston (20-14) vs. Wimberley (30-8), 8 p.m. Tuesday at New Braunfels

TUESDAY VOLLEYBALL ROUNDUP: East Central sweeps King to prepare for playoffs (complete)

Edison ends season with win over Fox Tech in 28-4A

TEAMS INCLUDED: Burbank, East Central, Edison, Fox Tech, Harlandale, McCollum, Memorial, South San, Southwest, Young Women’s Leadership Academy.

Photos taken by KJ Toso. For more photos or to purchase photos, please visit: kjtoso.photoreflect.com

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Nine area teams are bound for the playoffs. Of that group, surprisingly, just two of the seven that played Tuesday were winners in that final regular season match.

East Central (21-15, 8-2) and Jefferson are the members of that select role call.

Second-place East Central won its District 28-5A  finale 25-20, 25-22, 25-20 at Corpus Christi King (13-19, 2-8). Brandi Campos led the Hornets with 24 digs. Nichole West added 12 kills and 12 digs. Madison Simon contributed nine kills. Dani Alvarez dealt 17 assists and Alex Pena had 11.

In addition to East Central and Jefferson, playoff qualifiers were: Brackenridge, Harlandale, Highlands, Holy Cross, Jefferson, Providence, Sam Houston and Southwest.

East Central will play Brandeis (24-16), which placed third in District 27-5A, in the bi-district round. Match details are to be determined.

Edison d. Fox Tech

The fifth-place Golden Bears (13-25, 9-7) swept Fox Tech (10-33, 2-14) 25-22, 25-14, 25-24 in a District 28-4A match at the Buffaloes’ gym.

For the Buffaloes, senior Elisabeth Crane had 10 kills and four digs in her final match. Ruby Chapa added 16 assists and four digs. Valerie Villarreal led Fox Tech with10 digs. Ruby Zavala chipped in four aces, four kills and five digs.

Edison statistics were not available. The Golden Bears finished one game behind fourth-place Brackenridge.

Floresville d. Harlandale

The Tigers (24-16, 11-3) prevailed 25-13, 25-17, 24-26, 25-18 over Harlandale (24-11, 10-4), knocking the Indians out of first place at the culmination of the season Tuesday in Floresville.

The host team finished in a three-way tie for first in District 29-4A with Medina Valley (22-18, 10-4) and Uvalde (24-11, 10-4). Medina Valley defeated Kennedy (7-24, 2-12) and the Coyotes defeated Southside (6-27, 2-12) Tuesday to lock the tie in place.

Kennedy, Memorial and Southside all shared sixth place in the district. Harlandale dropped to fourth place because of the loss, although it only was one game out of first.

Indians freshman Kianna Sandoval finished with 10 assists, four digs and two aces. Katie Neira added 13 kills and five digs. Senior Sierra Sandoval was Harlandale’s defensive leader with 15 digs. Kelly Landin had seven digs and Sabrina Esparza chipped in five to go with three kills.

Other statistical leaders for Harlandale included Catherine Silva with nine assists and four digs. Erika Arredondo and Cera Cerda each finished with four kills. Madaline Mendez made three blocks.

The Indians will play District 30-4A champion Corpus Christi Calallen (22-8) in the bi-district round. Match details are to be determined.

McCollum d. Memorial

The fifth-place Cowboys (6-25, 2-10) downed Memorial (11-24, 2-10) 25-18, 25-20, 25-17 District 29-4A win at Edgewood Gym Tuesday.

Jasmine Cordova led McCollum with 19 digs and six aces. Neyda Sanchez contributed 10 kills and four blocks. Savannah Borjas distributed 14 assists.

The Minutemen’s Miranda Puente pounded 12 blocks and served two aces. Senior Jatziry Duarte ended her career with 13 digs. Abigail Garcia was credited with six kills.

Burbank d. YWLA

The Bulldogs (9-24, 4-12) finished their season with a 25-12, 25-20, 25-15 win over Young Women’s Leadership Academy (2-33, 0-16) in a District 28-4A match Tuesday at Burbank.

Senior Jenna Villanueva produced 13 kills and five blocks for Burbank. Alejandra Martinez picked up 16 digs. Adrianna Gonzalez led the Bulldogs with four aces. Bekah Valma provided five assists.

For YWLA, Alejandra Ramirez had team highs of 15 digs and two aces. Karease Williams was credited with 11 assists. Sabrina Cantu added two blocks.

Corpus Christi Carroll d. South San

Sixth-place South San (12-18, 0-10) wasn’t able to post its first District 28-5A victory, but it nonetheless finished its season with a strong showing against third-place Carroll (17-15, 5-5). The Tigers edged the Bobcats 17-25, 25-12, 25-13, 19-25, 15-11 Tuesday at the Durbon Center.

Senior Kimberly Tobias led the Bobcats with 15 digs. Rebekah Rodriguez put down seven kills. Lauren Estrada served five aces. Jaclyn Ozuna dished 11 assists. Giselle Mata made two blocks.

Steele d. Southwest

Southwest (16-24, 5-5) took a game from the District 28-5A champion Knights (26-15, 10-0), but the host  team escaped with its perfect district record intact. Steele won 25-15, 25-15, 23-25, 25-22 Tuesday in Cibolo.

The Dragons, who tied for third, were led by 12 digs from Zoe Marin and 11 from Brandy Martinez. Aashlyn Sulaica tallied eight kills and Kamerie Vidales added seven. Angie Aguilar contributed 14 assists. Felicia Maldonado supplied two blocks.

Southwest’s next match may be a third-place tiebreaker with Corpus Christi Carroll. Match details are to be determined. If the tie is broken by a coin flip, the Dragons will play either District 27-5A champion O’Connor (34-11) or runner-up Clark (25-14).

VOLLEYBALL: Jefferson upends Highlands in final 28-4A match

Owls retain second place in district despite loss

PLEASE FOLLOW THIS LINK TO THE WEEKLY VOLLEYBALL ROUNDUP ON THE SOUTHSIDE REPORTER WEBSITE:

http://www.mysanantonio.com/community/southside/news/article/Seven-area-volleyball-teams-headed-to-playoffs-4954323.php

Jefferson’s loud student section, as well as a sizable crowd on the Highlands side of the gym, supplied a playoff atmosphere Tuesday in the District 28-4A season finale for both teams. The host Mustangs followed suit, delivering an impressive four-game victory.

Taking control midway through the first game and seldom yielding it, Jefferson (24-10, 12-4) defeated Highlands 25-15, 25-19, 23-25, 25-11 over the second-place Owls (20-20, 13-3). The win enabled the Mustangs to hold third place in the district. A loss would have left them vulnerable to a tie and subsequent third-place playoff game this week.

“I love my crowd,” Jefferson senior Courtney Garcia said. “I’m so happy they came out to this (match). They (encourage) us when we’re low with their enthusiasm. We play harder because of them. We realize that we can do it.”

A loss to Highlands Sept. 27, still lingered in the Mustangs’ minds. Highlands prevailed in four games at the Owls’ gym.

“They got to us the first time,” said Garcia, who finished with 20 assists. “We were not going to let them get to us again. We came in focused. We gave it our all. It was all about the simple, little things.

“We weren’t going to lose in our house. I’m so proud of my girls.”

As it turned out, though, district champion Brennan defeated Brackenridge (14-25, 10-6) 25-6, 25-9, 25-8, so those potential concerns ended up being moot.

A year ago, when the teams met at the end of the district season, fifth place was at stake. Tuesday,  Jefferson coach Theresa Ralston marveled at how far each has come.

“For both of us to be in the playoffs,” Ralston said, “it’s pretty nice to see that hard work does pay off. Both of us had worked very hard in the offseason, so this is a little payoff.”

Highlands was plagued by errors, forced and unforced, throughout the match. However, the Owls broke the Mustangs’ momentum in Game 3.

Juniors Emily Pearce (19 digs) and Jenna Thompson lifted Highlands to the win. Pearce made four kills and Thompson had three blocks in the game. The Owls also set Jazmine Jackson (10 kills) on the outside for five kills in the game.

A tip by Pearce put Highlands at game point, 24-19. Then it got a little overanxious, committing three-consecutive hitting errors and a setting error. Suddenly, Jefferson was within a point.

Thompson righted the ship with a block that closed out the set.

“We still need the entire team,” Highlands coach Jaci Barrientes said. “You’re only as strong as your weakest link, and our weakest link wasn’t that strong today.”

Garcia cited the Game 3 loss as a rallying point for herself and her teammates. The Mustangs asserted themselves from the outset of the final game, which was never close after a kill from Garcia made it 4-1.

“We were not going to let it go to five games,” she said. “We were going to end it now.”

An ace from junior Gabby Vasquez and a Highlands error, followed by a kill from Krystin Garcia (11 kills) stretched Jefferson’s lead to 9-2. Courtney Garcia pounded a kill from the middle attack and Vasquez served another of her four aces to extend what turned out to be an 11-point service run.

“(Serving) really brought us momentum,” Ralston said. “We had a couple of runs that gave us the momentum to go forward. Those serving runs were important.

“The thing that was interesting is that we had more service errors than we’ve had in the past few matches. We had a couple of foot faults and some that went into the net. I’m surprised we had as many errors as we had, but we had a lot of aces in this match. With all the points we got serving-wise, it kept propelling us.”

Garcia made four kills in the decisive game.

Trailing 16-2, Highlands never got closer than 13 points the rest of the way. Setter Analisa Garza (24 assists) had a rare kill and an ace, combined with a kill from senior Melody Guzman, to close the gap a bit. Eventually, though, the Owls made errors that put Jefferson at match point and then accounted for the final point.

“We wanted to take it like that,” Ralston said of the playoff atmosphere. “We knew Highlands would come to play. We wanted to use this as preparation for the next level.”

Ralston also wanted to see playoff-caliber intensity from her team.

“Our focus was not what it needed to be against Highlands the first time,” Ralston said. “I think, this time, they had the appropriate fear. We maintained an appropriate fear for them and the kids played well.”

Highlands took a 5-2 lead in Game 1 on an almost unintentional kill from Jackson. Jefferson ran off the next five points, including a go-ahead kill from Vasquez. The Owls recovered to tie it 10-10, but their errors and the occasional well-placed Jefferson kill allowed the Mustangs to pull away.

“We were definitely going to protect our house,” Ralston said. “It was a good win.”

A soft kill from Genesis Garcia stretched the Mustangs’ lead to 19-14. Smart hits around Highlands block attempts helped fuel Jefferson.

“We’ve been practicing that,” Courtney Garcia said. “We knew, coming in, what they’d do. They have a very good outside hitter (Jackson), and we needed to keep the ball away from her. We needed to go around their block or go through their block, anything we could do to get the win.”

A block from Jefferson’s Melanie Sheppard made it 22-14. A jump-serve ace from Vasquez put the Mustangs at game point and Sheppard struck in the middle attack for the final point.

Vasquez contributed a kill and a block as the Mustangs jumped out to a 5-1 lead in Game 2. Highlands tied it 6-6 on a kill from Jackson, in the midst of a four-point run. The Owls took the lead on an ace from Jenna Thompson and built it to 10-7 on a block from Pearce.

Jefferson tied the score twice before getting traction. A kill and an ace from Krystin Garcia helped give the Mustangs the lead to stay. Senior Melanie Ybarra, who led the Mustangs with 15 digs, served three aces and Highlands had an error as the lead grew to 23-16.

“The biggest thing is that we just didn’t have everybody come to play,” Barrientes said. “We had two people who stepped up last time, but didn’t tonight. We didn’t make adjustments the way we needed to. (Jefferson) made adjustments on the court.”

Sheppard made a kill off a slide to put the Mustangs at game point, 24-16. Highlands rallied to within five, however, with Jackson putting down a kill at the end of a long point, despite spectacular digs by Vasquez and Ybarra. However, Genesis Garcia provided Jefferson with a 2-0 lead on her third kill of the game.

“Throughout the course of the season,” Ralston said, “we have pointed out that when teams get down and frustrated, they tend to try to overpower the ball. We’ve talked about being smarter. Using all of our tools to the best of our ability.

“We played the game. We let the game come to us.”

Jefferson ended the Owls’ five-match winning streak.

“This can be a positive thing,” Barrientes said. “They taught us a little bit. It was a mental thing.”

The loss didn’t affect Highlands’ second-place district finish and won’t affect it’s postseason possibilities. The Owls will play at Hays (28-14, 10-4), which placed third in District 27-5A, at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

“Now we need to get back to the drawing board,” Barrientes said, “and get ready for the playoffs.”

Jefferson will face 27-4A runner-up Boerne Champion (21-18, 11-2) at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Blossom Athletic Center.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge,” Ralston said. “They’re going to be a lot taller and a lot quicker than we’re used to. We’re really going to have to play our ‘A’ game.”

WEEKEND VOLLEYBALL REPORT: Harlandale battles to crazy four-way tie for 29-4A lead with one match left

Jefferson, Brackenridge reserve playoff spots with 28-4A wins

PLEASE FOLLOW THIS LINK TO THE WEEKLY VOLLEYBALL ROUNDUP ON THE SOUTHSIDE REPORTER WEBSITE:

http://www.mysanantonio.com/community/southside/news/article/Roundup-of-volleyball-games-for-South-Side-schools-4933546.php

TEAMS INCLUDED: Brackenridge, Burbank, East Central, Edison, Harlandale, Highlands, Jefferson, Kennedy, Lanier, McCollum, Sam Houston, South San, Southside, Young Women’s Leadership Academy.

The craziness in in District 29-4A has reached fever pitch.

Harlandale (24-10, 10-3) defeated Southside (6-26, 2-11) 25-16, 25-13, 25-17 Friday and emerged from the match as part of a four-way tie for first place. The victory also clinched a playoff spot for the Indians.

Floresville (23-16, 10-3), Medina Valley (22-17, 10-3) and Uvalde (21-18, 10-3) are the other co-leaders. Each of those schools finishes its district season Tuesday.

Harlandale defeated Medina Valley 25-22, 25-13, 25-17 Oct. 22. The Panthers went on to defeat Floresville Friday, forcing the tie.

Against Southside at Harlandale, the Indians.were led by Sabrina Esparza (8 kills, 7 digs) and Catherine Silva (10 assists, 5 digs). Sierra Sandoval produced a team-high 12 digs. Katie Neira finished with nine kills and three aces.

Erika Arredondo contributed four kills and three blocks. Alicia Garcia added seven assists. Madaline Mendez made four kills.

Southside received seven digs from Amber Munoz and eight assists from Ariana Cisneros. Ashley Sanchez made four kills and served two aces.

Interestingly, the Cardinals are part of a three-way tie for sixth place with Kennedy (7-23, 2-11) and Memorial (11-25, 2-11).

Harlandale is one of nine area playoff qualifiers. The others are: Brackenridge, East Central, Highlands, Holy Cross (27-10, 6-3), Jefferson, Providence (12-20, 4-8), Sam Houston and Southwest (16-23, 5-4).

Jefferson  d. YWLA

The Mustangs (23-10, 11-4) maintained third place in District 28-4A with a 25-10, 25-14, 25-6 win over Young Women’s Leadership Academy (2-32, 0-15) Friday at Lanier.

Jefferson was led by Selena Garcia with 20 assists. Melanie Sheppard produced seven kills. Melanie Ybarra made eight digs. Gabby Vasquez added four aces.

For YWLA, Alejandra Ramirez hustled for 20 digs. Karease Williams dealt 11 assists. Sabrina Cantu made five kills. Ashley Trevino served two aces.

Brackenridge d. Burbank

The Eagles (14-24,10-5) qualified for the playoffs and held fourth place in 28-4A by defeating rival Burbank (8-24, 3-12) 25-14, 25-13, 25-18 last Friday.

At Brackenridge, the host team received 16 assists and three aces from Kathy Sifuentes. Miranda Flores dished 20 assists and served two aces. Darlene Jackson contributed six kills, seven digs and two aces. Ana DeLeon finished with four kills. Skyler Reyna served three aces. Dominique Ramirez made five digs.

Burbank statistics were unavailable

East Central d. South San

The second-place Hornets (20-15, 7-2) bounced back from a loss to District 28-5A leader Steele to defeat South San (12-18, 0-9) 25-18, 25-14,  25-19 Friday at East Central.

Senior Madison Simon led East Central with five kills, nine digs and 3.5 blocks. Alex Pena provided seven assists and five digs. Dani Alvarez made six digs and Nichole West added five. Christie Crosper made five kills. Lindsey Lubianski had four kills and 2.5 blocks. Kaylin Mills also supplied four kills.

East Central was led by ith 16 kills, 13 digs and 1.5 blocks. Brandi Campos led the Hornets with 41 digs. Dani Alvarez provided 26 assists and 

South San statistics were unavailable.

Highlands d. Lanier

The second-place Owls (20-19,13-2) assured itself of a second-place finish in District 28-4A with 25-20, 25-20, 25-10 win over Lanier Friday at Highlands.

The match completed the Voks’ season. Lanier finished 9-23 overall and 6-10 in district matches.

For Highlands, Emily Pearce turned in an outstanding overall match. The junior right-side hitter contributed 18 digs, six kills, three aces and two blocks. Jazmine Jackson pounded 14 kills and made two blocks. Jenna Thompson added six kills and five digs. Jessica Alvarez dealt 14 assists. Melody Guzman made four kills.

Lanier senior Carina Valencia, who had missed the entire season because of an injury, returned to produce 12 digs and four service aces. Roseanna Perez collected seven kills. Sarah Chavez distributed 11 assists. Yulisa Beltran, who also returned from an injury, made two blocks.

Somerset d. Sam Houston

Fourth-place Sam Houston (20-13, 4-5) lost both of the District 28-3A matches it played last week, but had enough cushion between itself and the two teams below it in the standings to qualify for the playoffs for the first time in seven years.

Second-place Somerset (21-8, 7-2) won 25-18, 25-16, 25-12 at Sam Houston last Friday. Pleasanton (20-11, 5-3) broke a third-place tie with the Hurricanes by winning 25-15, 25-13, 25-16 Oct. 22.

Karisma Mitchell led the Hurricanes against Somerset with eight kills and two blocks. Tashonna Williams generated 10 digs. Rita Davis dealt nine assists. Kanika Evans was credited with two aces.

McCollum d. Kennedy

The Cowboys (6-25, 2-10) lost Game 1 to Kennedy Friday, but recovered to put the District 29-4A match away in four games. McCollum won 22-25, 25-14, 25-11, 22-18 at Edgewood Gym.

Setter Savannah Borjas led McCollum with 14 assists. Valeria Medina and Neyda Sanchez each hammered eight kills. Jasmine Cordova picked up nine digs. Abby Garza served three aces and Emily Solis added two.

For the Rockets, Ashley Garza made four kills. Clara Lopez made five digs. Omni Garcia, Angel Huron and Taylor Martinez all finished with four digs. Huron also made two blocks.

VOLLEYBALL: Two wins over Corpus teams set Southwest up for postseason

Softball players help Dragons move up to third in 28-5A

PLEASE FOLLOW THIS LINK TO THE WEEKLY VOLLEYBALL ROUNDUP ON THE SOUTHSIDE REPORTER WEBSITE:

http://www.mysanantonio.com/community/southside/news/article/Roundup-of-volleyball-games-for-South-Side-schools-4933546.php

Corpus Christi week suggests, possibly, some time at the beach.

It wasn’t quite one of those for Southwest’s volleyball team, but it is a week the players and coaches can always look back on fondly. The Dragons (16-23, 5-4) defeated two Corpus Christi schools last week to qualify for the postseason and steer  themselves onto the right course for the playoffs.

“These two wins have been huge,” Southwest coach Erin Morgal said. “Not only for playoffs, but it has boosted the morale of our team 100 percent. Beating the two Corpus schools gives us a huge boost in our confidence moving forward. Beating one Corpus team at home is huge, but getting to beat both of them in the same week was enormous..”

Southwest, which finished the week in third place in District 28-5A, won 25-23, 14-25, 25-16, 25-20 over Corpus Christi King (13-18, 2-7) last Friday. On Oct. 22, the Dragons and Corpus Christi Carroll () were tied for third before they recorded a 14-25, 25-21, 25-19, 25-14 victory. Both matches were at Southwest.

The King win made Southwest one of nine area teams that will compete in the postseason. Other qualifiers  are: Brackenridge (14-24, 10-5), East Central (19-15, 6-2), Harlandale (23-10, 9-3), Highlands (19-19, 12-2), Holy Cross (27-10, 6-3), Jefferson (23-10, 11-4), Providence (12-20, 4-8) and Sam Houston (20-12, 4-4).

Senior Kamerie Vidales led the Dragons with 25 kills against King. Setter Angie Aguilar (career-high 29 assists) and libero Zoe Marin (24 digs) also turned in noteworthy efforts. Yasmin Garcia served two aces.

Zoe and Angie had great games,” Morgal said. “Zoe has been stepping her game up and has been getting better every match this season. She’s becoming more confident as a libero and her teammates see her effort and it makes them want to give it their all every time they are out there too.

Angie rose to the occasion on Friday. After not seeing a lot of court time against Carroll on Tuesday, she stepped her game up and was distributing the ball very well. When it came to crunch time she knew where the ball needed to go, and she put it there. It’s going to be exciting to watch her try and push herself to break that (assists) record in the years moving forward.

In the Carroll match, the Tigers bolted to a 16-8 lead. Southwest closed to 19-11 with a kill from senior middle blocker Kassandra Cruz  in the first game. Cassie Valent got a sideout that put the Tigers at game point and Annisa Trevino finished it with a crosscourt kill.

“We definitely got off to a slow start,” Southwest senior defensive specialist/setter Elizabeth Phillips said. “I think, because their bus broke down and they got here later, it took us a little longer to get going. We didn’t have that (spark) when we were warming up. But we came out and did a good job after the first game.”

Game 2 developed point-by-point until Cruz put down a block and Carroll was charged with a net violation, giving Southwest a 9-7 advantage. Two kills from Valent in a three-point span swung the momentum back to the Tigers, which established a 14-11.

Southwest’s solid defense, however, led to Carroll errors and helped the Dragons catch up to tie it 18-18. After another tie, the Dragons took control, thanks to a long point which was extended by a dig from Phillips. Freshman Aashlyn Sulaica (11 kills) finished that point with a kill and Felisha Maldonado added another in the three-point run.

“Normally, we rely on our seniors,” Morgal said, “but it’s nice to know that the younger kids are able to rise to that role. That’s good to know, looking forward. That’s exciting.”

Senior middle blocker Kamarie Vidales ended the set with a kill and the teams were tied at a game apiece. Vidales also put the finishing touches on the match with consecutive kills for the last two points in Game 3.

Morgal pointed to effective hitting on the outside from Sulaica, junior Megan Hernandez, freshman Lindsey Calderon and Maldonado among others, which added up to a varied Southwest attack.

“That took pressure of Kamerie,” she said. “She could start swinging a little more freely. She had nine kills in 15 attempts, so her hitting percentage went up.”

Each of those players is new to the Dragons varsity.

“We have a lot of first-year (varsity) players and they’ve been learning since the beginning of the year,” Morgal said. “They’ve been working and improving. Now, we’re a confident team. Things are coming around.”

Hernandez, who went from junior varsity to a starting role, supplied two consecutive kills that lifted   Southwest to a 12-11 lead in Game 3. The junior then put the Dragons at game point (24-19) with third kill of the game.

In the decisive Game 4, Hernandez produced kills that increased Southwest’s lead to 6-1, 13-3 and 20-10. The latter resulted from a pancake dig by Phillips.

“She’s been bringing focus to the position,” Morgal said. “I never worry about her effort or execution. It’s great to see Megan step up and be one of the big people for us. It’s been great.”

Hernandez and Phillips are among four players who also compete for the Dragons’ three-time defending champion softball team. Phillips is the Dragons’ starting center fielder. Hernandez at second base and  Brandy Martinez at shortstop form the double play combination. Vidales probably needs no introduction. She’s not only Southwest’s ace pitcher, but one of the best in the region.

“If I didn’t come out (for volleyball), I don’t know what I’d do,” Phillips said. “They’re very different sports, but playing volleyball puts us in good position for softball.”

“Softball is definitely my passion, but I love volleyball.”

The most distinctive trait about the group is that they’re key players in both sports. Vidales has been the Dragons’ kill leader. Phillips contributed 23 digs in a recent match. The group’s diamond experience clearly translates well to the volleyball court.

“We share a lot of players,” Morgal said. “Miranda Medina last year was one of our top outside hitters. What I like about them is that, although they play softball too, when they’re here they give their all to volleyball. I never have to worry about (their commitment).”

Southwest took command of the last two games with extended service runs.

The Dragons ran off eight unanswered points which broke a 12-12 tie in Game 3.  The stretch included two kills from Sulaica and one from Vidales. It was reinforced by a pair of back-to-back aces from libero Zoe Marin (17 digs) that made it 20-15.

Southwest never trailed in Game 4 after the first point. A six-point spurt that included two kills and a block from Vidales, as well as a block from Calderon, manufactured a 14-3 advantage. Carroll’s comeback efforts were frustrated by a long rally that ended with a four-hits call against the Tigers and gave Southwest a 22-13 lead. “Coming into this match, since we lost at Carroll,” the third-year Southwest coach said, “we needed to win. I don’t want to come in fourth. I’m not going to be OK with just going to the playoffs. We need to come in second or third, or first.

“Last year we were fourth. This year, we have a pretty good shot at third. We’re going in the right direction.” 

Southwest finishes the district season against first-place Steele (25-15, 9-0) at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Cibolo.

“I just want my girls to play their best the can,” Morgal said. “I’ve told them from the beginning of the season that it’s not about winning and losing, it’s about playing the best you can and inspiring your teammates to do the same.

“We got close to taking a set from them the first time around and let it slip through our fingers. If we come out and play that way against Steele this time around, I don’t think that will be the case.”

FOOTBALL: Kennedy celebrations include Rockets’ third-straight win (complete)

McCollom comes up just short in 29-4A defensive struggle

PLEASE FOLLOW THIS LINK TO THE McCOLLUM-KENNEDY STORY ON THE SOUTHSIDE REPORTER WEBSITE:

http://www.mysanantonio.com/community/southside/news/article/Rockets-defeat-the-Cowboys-4933544.php

Three weeks ago, Kennedy’s chances to make the playoffs this year were on thin ice. Now the Rockets are tied for fourth place in District 29-4A with just two games remaining.

Friday, on a night in which Kennedy Kennedy, as the school celebrated both homecoming and the 50th anniversary of its founding. The Rockets (6-2, 3-2) treated fans to a defensive struggle that seemed appropriate for the Rockets’ first team in 1963 team.

When the dust settled, Kennedy prevailed 14-10 over McCollum (3-5, 1-4) at Frank Mata Stadium.

“The kids are playing well,” Kennedy coach Richard Cerda said. “They’re great kids. After we lost the first two (district) games, they’ve taken it upon themselves to prove they’re a good team. They’ve taken us on this three-game run.”

The outcome wasn’t decided, and Kennedy’s third-consecutive win wasn’t assured, until it stopped the Cowboys at its own 48-yard line 29 seconds from the end. The victory boosted the Rockets into a fourth-place tie with Medina Valley (5-3, 3-2), which handed Kennedy its last loss 34-26 Oct. 4.

“We just started getting our offense going,” Avalos said. “We started slow, but we picked it up in the second half. McCollum played well, but we weren’t going to leave this field without a win. This is our home.”

McCollum, which is tied for sixth in the district after losing its second consecutive game, closed within 14-10 with 4:44 remaining on a 30-yard field goal from Guillermo Carrillo after its drive bogged down at the Rockets 10. Kennedy had scored the winning touchdown on the previous possession.

“We knew they were playing really well,” McCollum coach Juan Hinajosa said, “still, we did our part. We knew it was going to be a battle.”

The 29-4A teams combined for three pass completions in just 17 attempts.

“The credit goes to our defense,” Cerda said. “We’re a complete team. Our kids picked us up when we made some mistakes. We played tough defense.”

Avalos (167 yards, 21 carries) ran six times for 44 yards on a 58-yard drive that spanned the last two quarters. Quarterback Eric Lira scored on a four-yard run with 9:17 to play.

Lira threw to tight end Isaiah Garcia for the two-point conversion that provided Kennedy a 14-7 lead.

“We knew about the 50 years celebration,” Rockets senior back-middle linebacker Matthew Avalos said. “We just came out to play. We won, and that’s all that matters. They’re a good team, but we came away with the win.”

The Cowboys outgained the Rockets 69-5 in total yardage in the third quarter and had a promising drive underway when it ended. McCollum drove from its own 28 to the Kennedy 42 when a fourth-down pass fell incomplete.

“(Avalos) is a really tough runner,” Hinajosa said. “I don’t want to take anything away from Kennedy, but we had a third-and-long, where we thought we should have gotten an interference call. I thought that was really the turning point.

“I thought we had a nice drive going, and that put our defense back on the field. But (Kennedy) did a really good job.”

McCollum’s defense limited Kennedy to just one yard and forced two fumbles in the second quarter.

The Cowboys capitalized on the first Rockets fumble with a quarterback sneak from Ralph Vidal (121 yards, 21 attempts) for a 7-6 halftime lead. Gavin Boyce recovered the loose ball on the Rockets 6 after a bad snap.

Vidal wasn’t able to finish the game because of a knee injury he suffered on McCollum’s final play. His status was not known after the game.

“We’ve got hitters,” Avalos said. “Everybody on the field can make a play. Everybody wants to be great.

“Every time the offense makes a mistake, the defense has its back.”

The Rockets also lost a fumble on their next possession. Luis Casteneda covered the ball inside the final minute of the first half, but time ran out as McCollum tried to pad its lead.

“They’re a great group of kids,” Hinajosa said. “There’s been a transition in the program and some things have changed, but they’re still anxious to play and they still believe in what we’re doing. They’re typical McCollum kids. They keep fighting and playing hard all the way to the end. You saw that tonight.”

Kennedy opened the scoring with 3:37 left in the first quarter on a 10-yard run from Nicholas Gonzalez, immediately following a 57-yard burst from Avalos.

“It’s like every game,” Avalos said. “I tell the coach I’m going to step up, no matter whether I’m playing offense or defense. It’s all about the team.”

The Rockets will try to keep their streak going 7 p.m. Friday at Floresville (6-2, 4-1), which is part of a three-way tie for first place with Harlandale (7-1, 4-1) and Uvalde (5-3, 4-1) – who play each other Friday. It will be a chance for Kennedy to make another climb in the standings.

“What we ask of them on offense and defense,” Cerda said, “is to give us an opportunity to make plays. I just wanted them to take every play one at a time. We have a great line, but the kids have to execute. We did that today.”

McCollum will play host to Southside (0-8, 0-5) Friday in a 7 p.m. game at Harlandale Memorial Stadium.

FOOTBALL: Area playoff picture (thru Nov. 2)

Football playoff picture

These are the area teams that have a chance to qualify for the playoffs (in alphabetical order):

Through Nov. 2

ALREADY QUALIFIED: Brackenridge (6-3, 4-1), Holy Cross (6-3, 5-1), Lanier (3-6, 3-2), Southwest (5-4, 3-1).

LIKELY QUALIFIERS: Central Catholic (4-5, 2-2), East Central (4-5, 2-2), Harlandale (7-2, 4-2).

POSSIBLE QUALIFIERS: Burbank (3-6, 2-3), Edison (3-6, 1-4), Highlands (4-5, 2-3), Kennedy (6-3, 3-3).

VOLLEYBALL: Area playoff qualifiers (updated Oct. 29)

Volleyball playoff qualifiers

ALREADY QUALIFIED: Brackenridge (14-25, 10-6), East Central (21-15, 8-2), Harlandale (24-11, 10-4), Highlands (20-20, 13-3), Holy Cross (27-10, 6-3), Jefferson (24-10, 12-4), Providence (12-20, 4-8), Sam Houston (20-14, 4-6), Southwest (16-24, 5-5).

VOLLEYBALL: This week’s results (Oct. 27-Nov. 2, 2013)

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

Matches of Oct. 27-Nov. 2

Tuesday’s results

District 28-5A

Corpus Christi Carroll (17-15, 5-5) 3, South San (12-19, 0-10) 2 (17-25, 25-12, 25-13, 19-25, 15-11)

East Central (21-15, 8-23, Corpus Christi King (13-19, 2-8) 0 (25-20, 25-22, 25-20)

Steele (26-15, 10-0) 3, Southwest (16-24, 5-5) 1 (25-15, 25-15, 23-25, 25-22)

District 28-4A

Brennan (34-3, 16-0) 3, Brackenridge (14-25, 10-6) (25-6, 25-9, 25-8)

Edison (12-25, 9-7) 3,Fox Tech (10-33, 2-14) 0 (25-22, 25-14, 26-24)

Jefferson (24-10, 12-4) 3, Highlands (20-20, 13-3) 1 (25-15, 25-19, 23-25, 25-11)

Burbank (9-24, 4-12) 3, Young Women’s Leadership Academy (2-33, 0-16)(25-12, 25-20, 25-15)

District 29-4A

Floresville (24-16, 11-3) 3, Harlandale (24-11, 10-4) 1 (25-13, 25-17, 24-26, 25-18)

Medina Valley (23-17, 11-3) 3, Kennedy (7-24, 2-12) 0 (25-12, 25-5, 25-12)

McCollum (12-22, 7-7) 3, Memorial (11-26, 2-12) 0 (25-18, 25-20, 25-17)

Uvalde (22-18, 11-3) 3, Southside (6-27, 2-12) 0 (25-11, 25-15, 25-10)

District 28-3A

LaVernia (24-16, 10-0) 3, Sam Houston (20-14, 4-6) 0 (25-19, 25-14, 25-15)

Somerset (22-8 ???, 8-2) 3, Pleasanton (21-12, 6-4)0 (25-14, 25-17, 25-11)

Poteet (2-22 ???, 1-8) 3, Hawkins (4-21 ???, 0-9) 1 (25-17, 13-25, 25-9, 25-12)

Friday’s matches

TAPPS CLASS 5A

Second round

Houston St. Agnes (31-7) 3, Providence (12-21) 0 (25-9, 25-9, 25-8)

TAPPS CLASS 4A

Second round

Houston Lutheran South Academy (28-9-1) 3, Holy Cross (28-12) 2 (15-25, 25-6, 22-25, 25-18, 15-12)

FOOTBALL: Week 9 results (complete)

NOTE: teams we cover are in boldface

WEEK 9 SCHEDULE

(Oct. 31-Nov. 2)

Friday’s games

FOOTBALL

District 28-5A

Steele (8-1, 4-0) 45, Corpus Christi Carroll (3-6, 2-2) 3

East Central (4-5, 2-2) 50, South San (2-7, 0-4) 0

Southwest (5-4, 3-1) 14, Corpus Christi King (3-6, 1-3) 9

District 28-4A

Brackenridge (6-3, 4-1) 23, Lanier (4-5, 3-2) 14

District 29-4A

Uvalde (6-3, 5-1) 34, Harlandale (7-2, 4-2) 21

Floresville (7-2, 5-1) 7, Kennedy (6-3, 3-3) 0

Medina Valley (6-3, 4-2) 35, Memorial (3-6, 1-5) 7

Southside (1-8, 1-5) 10, McCollum (3-6, 1-5) 7

District 28-3A

LaVernia (8-1, 3-0) 39,  Sam Houston (1-8, 0-3) 0

Pleasanton (9-1, 3-1) 22, Somerset (6-2, 2-1) 15

TAPPS District 2-I

Antonian (8-1, 4-0) 40, Central Catholic (4-5, 2-2) 14

TAPPS District 3-II

TMI (6-3, 3-3) 43, San Marcos Academy (1-8, 1-5) 14

Austin Hyde Park Baptist (9-0, 6-0) 31, Victoria St. Joseph (1-8, 1-5) 0

San Antonio Christian (5-4, 4-2) 45, Austin Regents (7-2, 4-2) 42

Saturday’s games

FOOTBALL

District 28-4A

Brennan (10-0, 6-0) 58, Jefferson (0-9, 0-5) 3

Highlands (4-5, 2-3) 35, Edison (3-6, 1-4) 7

TAPPS District 2-I

Austin St. Michael’s (6-2, 4-0) 49, St. Anthony (2-7, 0-4) 3

Brownsville St. Joseph (5-4, 2-2) 73, Corpus Christi John Paul II (0-9, 0-4) 14

TAPPS District 3-II

Holy Cross (6-3, 5-1) 61, Cornerstone Christian (2-7, 0-6) 0