FOOTBALL: Defense, special teams keep Kennedy undefeated

Rockets block punt, produce four turnovers in 25-7 win over Pearsall

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Kennedy hasn’t been relying on scoring points only in the conventional manner. As the Rockets demonstrated once again Friday night, any of their units can generate scoring.

In a 25-7 victory over Pearsall, Kennedy (3-0) supplemented its offensive output with a kickoff return for touchdown, a field goal and a safety. A blocked punt and a fumble recovery started touchdown drives Friday at Frank Mata Stadium. Another fumble recovery halted the Mavericks’ first scoring threat.

Through three games, the Rockets’ defense has scored 20 points and limited opponents to 27.

“They’ve been sensational at creating opportunities and putting points on the board,” Kennedy coach Richard Cerda said. “It’s been a matter of being positive and having determination.

“We’ve been playing very well defensively. We’ve gotten ourselves into some good situations and taken advantage of every opportunity.”

A blocked punt by Fabian Flores, who returned an interception for a touchdown in the Rockets’ opener, set up Kennedy’s first points. Flores not only blocked it, but recovered the ball on the Pearsall 7.

Although Kennedy wasn’t able to move the ball, it capitalized with a 24-yard field goal from Kevin Garduno with 5:39 remaining in the first quarter.

It was the first of four turnovers, including an interception by Justin Flores, for winless Pearsall.

“We’re so determined,” Kennedy defensive end Tomas Garcia said. “We always work so hard. Thanks to Coach (Cerda), we work hard in practice and it shows on the field.”

With about 10 minutes until halftime, a heavy rain began to fall. Although it had mostly dissipated by the fourth quarter, it affected both teams. Kennedy lost two fumbles in the second half.

By then, the Rockets had a sturdy lead.

Following a short punt by Pearsall, which was a direct result of the rain, senior back Matthew Avalos (239 yards, 31 attempts) carried the ball on four consecutive plays. He picked up the entire 36 yards needed for the score, using second effort to propel himself into the end zone from the Mavericks 4 for a 10-0 lead at the 6:01 mark of the second quarter.

“What drives Matthew is the love of the game,” Cerda said. “Even when we were up 44-7 last week (against Jefferson), Matthew never stops. Now he’s a senior, so he’s more mature. He’s a good kid and he’s making sure everybody has the right attitude.”

Garcia recovered a fumble with a little less than 1:30 until halftime after Pearsall drove to the Kennedy 19. He sacked Mavericks quarterback TJ Navarro and recovered the resulting fumble at the Rockets’ 26 to preserve a 10-point halftime lead.

“We know we have a chance to keep this going,” Garcia said. “There’s always going to be a hard game ahead, but we just have to stay focused and execute.”

Kennedy relied on different players and different plays in the red zone to prepare itself for the district games ahead.

“We had a plan for that,” Cerda said. “We tried to execute it the best we could. The weather played a little part in that. It didn’t quite work out the way we planned it, but there were some things we did ourselves and some that are a credit to their team. But we also did some good things.

“We’ll be fine.”

In the third quarter, the defense added two points to Kennedy’s total. The Rockets’ front line pressured Navarro into a fumble in his own end zone. The safety gave Kennedy a 12-0 lead with 5:37 left in the quarter.

Pearsall scored its only touchdown on the last play of the third quarter when Navarro passed 25 yards to Jason Wolfe.

Matthew Guzman returned the ensuing kickoff 77 yards to restore the margin for the Rockets. It was the team’s first kickoff return for touchdown this year.

“We prove ourselves by going three-and-out,” Rockets defensive tackle Martin Galvan said, “ and getting off the field as fast as we can. We always try to get the ball to the offense in good field position.

“We’re ready for district.”

A fumble recovery by Galvan at the Mavericks 38 two plays later set up Kennedy’s last touchdown. .

Avalos capped the scoring with a three-yard run just under six minutes from the end. It was the senior back’s fifth touchdown of the season.

“I’m really pleased with where we’re at right now,” Cerda said.

Kennedy begins District 29-4A play next Friday with a 7 p.m. game at Uvalde (1-2). Cerda believes the Rockets are capable of qualifying for the postseason and possibly can contend for the title.

“It’s going to be a tough district, but I think we have a good shot,” Cerda said. “There are just two things we need to be concerned about: We have to be consistent and stay healthy.

“They’re great kids, and they can contend for a playoff spot. I’m excited for them to do that and I’m excited for our district opener in Uvalde.”

FOOTBALL ROUNDUP: Buttons shock Highlands with two second-half touchdowns (Sept. 20, 2013)

Brackenridge overcomes scoreless first half to win in overtime

Highlands (2-2) romped to an 18-point lead by the early stages of the second quarter, but the rain seemed to slow down the Owls. For the second-consecutive year, Central Catholic’s defense shut them out after halftime. That was the jump start the Buttons (2-2) needed to secure a 28-25 victory Friday at Bob Benson Stadium.

Central Catholic quarterback Joseph Nava passed for a touchdown and ran for another to seal the win. His 15-yard scoring run with 4:40 remaining was the clincher.

The Buttons blanked Southside last week for their first win and its defense has not been scored upon in four of the last six quarters. Despite the early scoring flurry, Highlands finished with just 211 total yards.

Central Catholic limited the Owls’ prolific passer, Jordan DeLuna, to 119 yards and nine completions in 22 attempts.

The Highlands senior, nonetheless, ran for a two-yard touchdown and passed six yards to Darian Todd that gave Owls a 25-7 advantage with 7:34 until halftime. The first score from DeLuna, who has thrown for 787 yards, followed a three-yard ice-breaking touchdown from the Owls’ Elijah Garces. John Cervantes threw to Octaviano Camacho for the two-point conversion.

Trailing15-0, Nava (9 of 20, 116 yards) completed a 31-yard touchdown pass to Michael Gonzales in the waning seconds of the first quarter. Nava rushed for 113 yards on 27 tries. Along with Jacob Rodriguez (98 yards, 22 carries), he gave the Buttons a 1-2 punch that helped them account for 212 rushing yards.

Highlands answered with a 35-yard field goal from Americo Ayala, whose field goal was the margin of victory in its season-opening win over Floresville. Central Catholic closed within 25-14 at halftime on a 16-yard pass from Nava to senior Ray Cortez (4 receptions, 43 yards).

Nava hurled a 15-yard touchdown pass to Will Barr (3 receptions, 37 yards) with 3:31 left in the third quarter to put Central Catholic within four points.

Jaime Nava’s second interception of the game, with 1:15 to play, crushed Highlands’ victory hopes.

Owls senior receiver Xavier Long made four catches for 87.

Brackenridge 20, Del Rio 14 (OT)

The Eagles (2-2) trailed 14-0 after a quarter in the non-district game at the Wheatley Heights Sports Complex.

Del Rio (1-3) took the lead with 9:20 remaining in the first quarter when Gus Sandoval completed a 59-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Bradshaw. Ramon Richards (151 passing yards, 79 rushing yards) brought Brackenridge within 14-6, scoring from a yard out with 1:06 until halftime.

Neither team scored again until the fourth quarter and, of course, the Rams didn’t score after Emilio Villarreal’s touchdown with 4:54 to play in the opening quarter.

Junior back Trey Mathis (78 yards,16 attempts) ran for a dramatic four-yard score with 3:29 left in regulation. Mathis also ran for the two-point conversion that made it 14-14.

Richards finished the comeback, running for a 20-yard touchdown in the first overtime. Brackenridge outgained Del Rio 316-268 in total yards. Eagles sophomore Josh Leal made three receptions for 72 yards.

Edison 40, Sam Houston 12

The Golden Bears (2-2) took control of the non-district contest late in the first half to win their second-consecutive game after opening the season with back-to-back losses.

Edison senior back Andres Aguilar (115 yards, 25 carries) scored three consecutive touchdowns to lead the assault. Aguilar scored on runs of 23 and 22 yards in the last three minutes of the first half. He added a five-yard scoring run with 8:38 to play in the third quarter.

The Bears’ final touchdown was provided  Juan Ramos on a one-yard run with 6:05 remaining. It capped a run of 27 unanswered points.

Sam Houston (1-3) absorbed its second-straight loss.

The Hurricanes fell behind 14-0 on the first two of Aguilar’s five touchdowns. He broke away for a 64-yard pass reception from Jonathan Hernandez (79 passing yards, 49 rushing yards) and a 23-yard scoring run. Aguilar caught two passes for 79 yards.

Sam Houston rallied behind senior back Erin Mack (111 yards, 16 carries). Mack scored on runs of 12 and eight yards to bring the Hurricanes within 13-12 with 5:02 until the half.

Edison played turnover-free while the Hurricanes threw three interceptions.

Judson 49, East Central 7

The Rockets (3-1) scored 49 unanswered points after Hornets quarterback Jeremy Jones ran for a one-yard touchdown with 8:45 remaining in the first quarter. The blitz included four touchdowns in about six minutes  and it began within half a minute.

Andre Wilson (4 receptions, 121 yards) hauled in the first of three-consecutive touchdown passes to start the streak. The catches covered 35, 19 and 46 yards. Judson quarterback RayJohn Austin-Ramsey (15 of 20, 302 yards) added two more touchdown passes to the Rockets’ lead before halftime.

East Central (2-2) lost for the second-consecutive week after winning its first two games under first-year coach Clint Hartman.

The Hornets compiled 254 total yards, but were plagued by four turnovers. Jones completed seven of 19 passes for 140 yards. Wanya Ward caught four passes for 82 yards. Javion Polk made two receptions for 56 yards.

Judson amassed 520 total yards.

Brennan 48, Southwest 0

Host Southwest (2-2) limited the Bears (4-0) to one touchdown in the first quarter Friday, but the flood of points began shortly thereafter and never really abated.

Makai Green (81 yards, 9 carries) scored on a 31-yard run just 46 seconds into the second quarter. Brennan scored 27 points in the period, with help from both a fumble return and an interception return.

Da’Shawn Key completed five of six passes for 82 yards and two touchdowns. The Dragons held Brennan’s explosive offense to 211 yards, but couldn’t visibly reduce its scoring average.

Southwest mustered just 93 yards while being shut out for the first time in more than five seasons.

Junior back Reilly Riggs led Southwest with 41 rushing yards. The Dragons completed three of seven passes for 44 yards.

Floresville 34, Lanier 12

The Tigers (2-1) scored 37 unanswered points and ran up 377 total yards Friday in Floresville.

Lanier (0-4) scored its first touchdown with 14 seconds remaining in the third quarter on a six-yard pass from quarterback Nick Garcia (9 of 25, 71 yards) to Jesus Martinez. Garcia also threw a four-yard scoring pass to Steven Horton late in the fourth quarter.

Joshua Esquivel carried the ball 12 times and led the Voks with 67 rushing yards. Senior receiver Rodrigo Garcia made five receptions for 49 yards.

Gilbert Ortiz led Floresville’s 253-yard rushing attack. Ortiz carried 17 times for 101 yards and two touchdowns, including the first of the game on a nine-yard run with 8:46 left in the first quarter.

Koby Wilkerson completed eight of nine passes for the Tigers, covering 123 yards. He also ran for a touchdown.

FOOTBALL: Week 4 schedule (Sept. 26-28)

Games of Sept. 26-28

Thursday’s games

FOOTBALL

District 28-4A

Highlands (2-2, 0-0) vs. Burbank (1-3, 0-0) at SAISD Sports Complex, 7 p.m.

Friday’s games

FOOTBALL

District 28-4A

Brackenridge (2-2, 0-0) vs. Jefferson (0-4, 0-0) at SAISD Sports Complex, 7:30 p.m.

District 29-4A

Harlandale (3-0, 0-0) at Medina Valley (2-1, 0-0), 7 p.m.

Kennedy (3-0, 0-0) at Uvalde (1-2, 0-0), 7 p.m.

McCollum (2-1, 0-0) at Floresville (2-1, 0-0), 7 p.m.

Southside (0-3, 0-0) vs. Memorial (2-1, 0-0) at Frank Mata Stadium, 7 p.m.

TAPPS District 3-II

Austin Hyde Park Baptist (3-0, 0-0) at TMI (30, 0-0), 7:30 p.m.

San Marcos Academy (0-3, 0-0) at Austin Regents (3-0, 0-0), 7:30 p.m.

Holy Cross (1-2, 0-0) at San Antonio Christian (1-2, 0-0), 7 p.m.

Non-district

Central Catholic (2-2) at South San (1-3), 7:30 p.m.

East Central (2-2) at New Braunfels (0-4), 7:30 p.m.

New Braunfels Canyon (3-1) at Southwest (2-2), 7:30 p.m.

Sam Houston (1-3) at Navarro (4-0), 7:30 p.m.

Saturday’s games

FOOTBALL

District 28-4A

Brennan (4-0, 0-0) vs. Edison (2-2, 0-0) at SAISD Sports Complex, 7 p.m.

MID-WEEK VOLLEYBALL REPORT: Highlands racks up fourth-straight 28-4A victory

Holy Cross, Providence record district wins

TEAMS INCLUDED:Brackenridge, Burbank, East Central, Edison, Fox Tech, Harlandale, Highlands, Holy Cross, Jefferson, Kennedy, Lanier, McCollum, Providence, Sam Houston, Southside, Young Women’s Leadership Academy.

Highlands (12-17, 5-1) took care of business Tuesday at Young Women’s Leadership Academy (2-22, 0-5) and will head into a break in District 28-4A competition solidly in second place. The Owls won 25-11, 25-15, 25-17.

Analisa Garza led the Owls with 21 assists. Jazmine Jackson recorded eight kills. Emily Pearce made 12 digs. Jenna Thompson notched four aces.

YWLA statistics weren’t available.

Although the Owls won’t face district competition Friday, they will have anything but a day off. Highlands will travel to San Marcos (20-8) for a non-district match.

Holy Cross

Mallory Ozuna helped the Knights (21-7, 2-1) rebound from a tough loss earlier in the week and blast San Marcos Baptist 25-16, 25-3, 25-17 Thursday in San Marcos. Ozuna dissected the ////’ defense with nine service aces in the TAPPS District 3-4A match.

The senior also dealt 31 assists. Victoria Gonzalez also had an outstanding match with 11 kills. Julia Ibarra added 10 digs.

Holy Cross dropped a heartbreaker to Austin Dominic Savio 19-25, 26-24, 25-21, 22-25, 15-13 Tuesday at Holy Cross in a contest featuring two of the best in 3-4A.

Ozuna distributed an eye-popping 38 assists. Ibarra made 23 digs. Henrianna Ibarra plastered 13 kills. Ariel Alvarado and Victoria Gonzalez each served four aces. Anna Zuniga made two blocks.

Providence d. Corpus Christi John Paul II

The Provets (8-14, 1-2) won their first TAPPS District 2-5A match Tuesday in Corpus Christi. Scores and other details about the match were unavailable.

Harlandale d. Kennedy

The Indians (16-7, 2-0) remained undefeated in District 29-4A and won their fifth-consecutive match, winning 25-15, 25-12, 25-7 over Kennedy (5-14, 0-2) Tuesday at Edgewood Gym.

Freshman Kianna Sandoval led Harlandale with 10 kills. Catherine Silva finished with 10 assists and three service aces. Cera Cerda had five kills and four aces. Katie Neira made six kills and Yolanda Garcia contibuted four. Kelly Landin and Sierra Sandoval each was credited with four digs.

Ashley Garza made four digs and Omni Garcia added four assists for the Rockets.

Jefferson d. Edison

The Mustangs (16-7, 4-1) took sole possession of third place in District 29-4A with a hard-earned 25-16, 25-21, 22-25, 25-21 home win Tuesday over Edison (7-20, 3-2).

Senior Courtney Garcia led the Mustangs with 21 digs and 14 assists. Gabby Vasquez made nine kills. Marissa Vargas finished with five blocks. Selena Garcia had 11 assists and served two aces.

Karen Guerrero led the Golden Bears with 13 kills and 29 digs. Marissa Cortinas distributed 25 assists. Kalani Woods made a match-best six blocks..

Sam Houston d. Pearsall

The Hurricanes (16-8) downed Pearsall (7-14) 25-15, 25-13, 25-20 Tuesday in a non-district match in Pearsall. Sam Houston statistics were not available.

East Central d. Wagner

The Hornets (12-13) ended a three-match losing streak Tuesday with a 25-22, 25-15, 25-11 victory at Wagner (12-13) in a non-district match.

Brittany Campos led East Central with 14 digs. Nichole West finished with a team-high six kills. Danny Alvarez produced seven assists. Kaylin Mills recorded four kills and three aces.

Brackenridge d. Lanier

Senior Renee Osife led the Eagles (7-21, 3-2) with four aces, five kills, 10 digs and 16 assists in a 25-14, 25-13, 25-17 District 28-4A victory over the host team Tuesday at Lanier (5-16, 2-4).

Priscilla Martinez also stood out for Brackenridge with six aces and nine digs. Jolicia Shelton-Brown provided six kills and seven digs. Kathy Sifuentes had a team-high 12 assists. Darlene Jackson connected for nne kills and two blocks. Jacklynn Navarez added six digs. Ana DeLeon contributed four kills.

LeeAnna Martinez had five kills and five blocks for Lanier. Sarah Chavez dealt 11 assists. Elisa DeHoyos finished with five digs.

Burbank d. Fox Tech

The Bulldogs (6-16, 1-4) battled through the second game and recorded a three-game sweep of Fox Tech (9-24, 1-5) Tuesday at Burbank.

Burbank received 12 kills from Antwanisha Riddle and 22 assists from Alejandra Martinez in securing a 25-17, 27-25, 25-15 victory. Rebekah Valma dealt 14 assists. Jenna Villaneuva put down six blocks. Bianca Aguirre served two aces.

The Buffaloes were led by Valerie Villarreal with 26 digs and Elisabeth Crane with nine kills, six digs and two aces. Ruby Chapa dished 16 assists and made five digs. Adelind-Iris Sifuentes made five kills. Ruby Zavala notched four kills and two blocks. Defensive standouts were Brianna Campos (8 digs) and Carla Ponce (5 digs).

FOOTBALL ROUNDUP: South San defense keeps Burbank in check for first 2013 win (Sept. 19, 2013)

Lee passing attack bombs winless Jefferson early

South San’s defense limited Burbank to 48 total yards and no offensive touchdowns in a 20-7 win over the Bulldogs Thursday at the SAISD Sports Complex.

Christian Morales scored two touchdowns and rushed for 100 yards to lead the Bobcats (1-3). Burbank (1-3) scored its only touchdown on an 88-yard kickoff return from Marcos Luna late in the first quarter.

South San took a 7-0 lead on a one-yard run from sophomore quarterback Isaiah Gutierrez (9 of 14, 129 passing yards) with 1:37 remaining in the opening quarter. Luna took the ensuing kickoff back to tie it 7-7 as the quarter ended.

Morales, who also led the Bobcats with 84 reception yards on three catches, put South San in the lead for good with 5:05 until halftime. The senior ran three yards for the score.

A bruising runner, Morales also added a 12-yard rushing touchdown late in the third quarter.

Defensively, the Bobcats limited the Bulldogs to 13 yads on 22 carries. Burbank senior quarterback Jeremy Sanchez completed two of nine passes for 35 yards. Luna had a 25-yard reception and an interception.

South San’s Juan Zamarripa made four receptions totaling 33 yards.

Lee 42, Jefferson 16

The Volunteers (3-1) scored the first five touchdowns Thursday at Heroes Stadium. All of them originated with passes from junior quarterback Freedom Salas (9 of 19, 165 yards).

Speedy Chris Adams (81 yards, 4 receptions) was the target on four of those scoring passes, opening the scoring with a 44-yard reception less than three minutes into the game.

Jefferson (0-4) scored its first points with 3:01 until halftime. Marco Cruz nailed a 27-yard field goal, pulling the Mustangs within 19-3.

The Mustangs scored twice in the fourth quarter.

Jesse Flores (178 yards, 32 carries) ran four yards with 10:26 to play. Jefferson closed to 35-9. Twelve seconds later, Lee’s Anthony Green broke a 70-yard touchdown run.

Weston Redding (15 of 29, 233 yards), son of Jefferson coach Doyle Redding, completed a 17-yard pass to D’Andre Melton for the game’s final score. The senior made six catches for 112 yards in his first varsity action. Henry Bocko caught three passes for 68 yards.

Jefferson finished with 450 total yards to Lee’s 358.

FOOTBALL: Week 3 results (complete)

Thursday’s results

Non-district

Lee (3-1) 42, Jefferson (0-4) 16

South San (1-3) 20, Burbank (1-3) 7

Friday’s results

Non-district

Kennedy (3-0) 25, Pearsall (0-4) 7

Edison (2-2) 40, Sam Houston (1-3) 12

Brackenridge (2-2) 20, Del Rio (1-3) 14 (OT)

Brennan (4-0) 48, Southwest (2-2) 0.

Central Catholic (2-2) 28, Highlands (2-2) 25

Judson (3-1) 49, East Central (2-2) 7

Lanier (0-3) at Floresville (1-1), late

FOOTBALL: Week 3 previews (Friday’s games)

FRIDAY

Brennan (3-0) at Southwest (2-1), 7:30 p.m.

Southwest utilized 12 ballcarriers in a 31-7 win over Lee last Friday.  That could be helpful as the Dragons’ offense will need to be diverse to challenge Brennan, No. 3 in the TexasHSFootball.com statewide Class 4A poll. Maybe not quite that diverse, but as East Central discovered in a 49-21 loss to the Bears last Thursday, vanilla doesn’t work.

The Dragons’ defense has seemed to make alarming progress since allowing 42 points in its season-opener against Laredo United. Against Lee, it allowed a previously productive offense just 131 total yards and took a shutout into the fourth quarter.

How much progress the unit truly has made will be measured Friday. Brennan is averaging 49.7 points a game behind fourth-year starting quarterback Da’Shawn Key. The Bears have no shortage of other weapons.

Southwest’s 28-5A rival East Central was not able to sustain drives against Brennan’s stingy defense, which limited the Hornets to 23 rushing yards and 104 total yards.

Southwest leaned a little more heavily on senior Brian Donnell to complement featured back Reilly Riggs. Expect that to continue. Junior quarterback Bowen Crisp likely will be called upon to throw a bit more. 2012 score: Brennan 41, Southwest 21.

Del Rio (1-2) vs. Brackenridge (1-2) at Wheatley Heights Sports Complex, 7:30 p.m.

After absorbing two consecutive losses, Brackenridge is anxious to get back to the form it showed in its opening win over Sam Houston.

The No. 1 priority will be maintaining possession. The Eagles committed three turnovers against Victoria East in a 42-35 loss last Saturday. Those mistakes hurt Brackenridge’s high-powered offense just enough to give the turnover-free Titans an edge.

Quarterback Ramon Richards rolled up 350 yards of total offense, including 205 passing yards. The Eagles have developed other targets to complement Rominique Anthony, especially Marco Marble. Trey Mathis is coming along as a featured back. Brack can move the ball on anyone, as long as it avoids turnovers.

The series, if it can truly be called that, had its second meeting last year. The first was in 1928.

Del Rio averaged less than three yards per play and lost three fumbles in a 37-0 loss to Clemens last Friday. The Rams rushed for 36 yards and had 105 total yards. That could be just the prescription Brackenridge’s defense needs after giving up 428 yards to Victoria East. However, a week earlier in a 17-7 win over Carlsbad (N.M.), Del Rio put up 354 total yards. Based on that game, the Rams will want to establish its running attack behind Emilio Villarreal.

Like Brackenridge, Del Rio has played a tough early schedule, but is expected to contend for the 29-5A title. Nonetheless, the Eagles bounced back from the loss to the Titans with a convincing win last year and are capable of doing the same. 2012 score: Brackenridge 61, Del Rio 28.

Judson (2-1) at East Central (2-1), 7:30 p.m.

The rankings reveal much about this game. East Central is No. 23 in the TexasHSFootball.com statewide Class 5A rankings, for the second-straight week. Judson is No. 24.

East Central became the first team to score on Brennan in a 49-21 loss, but the Bears exposed holes in the Hornets’ passing attack. EC wasn’t able to get first downs when it needed them out of its spread offense against Judson. Even though Johnathan Jackson is expected back to bolster the ground game, the Hornets will need a better game out of quarterback Jeremy Jones against the Rockets.

Judson drew a lot of attention with its season-opening 25-19 win over perennial state powerhouse Austin Lake Travis. The Rockets were derailed 51-34 by Steele, but got back on target with a solid 28-6 win over Churchill last Friday.

Even against Steele, the Rockets’ offense cranked out 609 total yards, so don’t be surprised if this turns into a shootout. Judson quarterback Rayjohn Austin-Ramsey has thrown for 697 yards and is one of three Rockets rushers with more than 120 yards in three games.

Judson has 10 turnovers to its opponents’ six. Winning the turnover battle could be a key for EC. The Rockets have won the last 12 games in the matchup. The Hornets’ most-recent victory was in 1981. 2012 score: haven’t played since 2010.

Highlands (2-1) at Central Catholic (1-2), 7:30 p.m.

This probably will never be a rivalry, but this promises to be a second-consecutive classic game in the fledgling series.

Both teams are coming off statement wins e of the most intriguing matchups of the weekend.

A year ago, Central Catholic scored the game’s only second-half touchdown and kept Highlands scoreless over the last 24:30 to earn the win. The Buttons’ defense is coming off a 28-0 win at Southside, but will be challenged to keep Owls  quarterback Jordan DeLuna under wraps in his third year as a starter.

The senior passed for 172 yards and three touchdowns against a McCollum defense that had only allowed five points in its first two games. Despite Highlands’ 21-7 victory, the Owls have had difficulty establishing a consistent running attack.

Central Catholic not only limited Southside to 224 total yards last Friday, the Buttons also produced their best offensive night thus far. Joseph Nava has been a dangerous playmaker for Central Catholic and Will Barr is a deep threat.

This game could easily go down to the wire. Neither team seems to have a clear-cut advantage, offensively or defensively. 2012 score: Central Catholic 20, Highlands 14.

Lanier (0-3) at Floresville (1-1), 7:30 p.m.

Lanier faces its fourth-consecutive tough non-district test, but the Voks have shown good improvement through the first three.

Offensively, the Voks have been solid behind quarterback Nick Garcia, back Stephen Veliz and receiver Jacob Munoz. Their defense has been pitted against three potent offenses and has been a bit overpowered. Pleasanton gained 509 total yards last Friday.

Floresville will try to control the ball behind back Gilbert Ortiz (113.5 yards a game). The Tigers were blanked in the second half of their Week 0 loss to Highlands, but quarterback Koby Wilkerson threw two second-half touchdown passes, including the game winner as Floresville beat Brackenridge 26-21 Sept. 6.

The Voks will need to be at their best to compete with a battle-tested Floresville team. 2012 score: Floresville 36, Lanier 25.

Pearsall (0-3) vs. Kennedy (2-0) at Frank Mata Stadium, 7 p.m.

Kennedy came out of its bye week like gangbusters, beating Jefferson 43-13. The Rockets return home to Mata Stadium a heavy-favorite against a Pearsall team that has been victimized for the first wins of the season  by Memorial, Burbank and Edison in consecutive weeks.

The Rockets opened up their offense against Jefferson while rotating quarterbacks Blade Alvarado, Eric Lira and Matthew Rangel. Matthew Avalos ran for 147 yards. Receivers Matthew Guzman and Isaiah Garcia have put up good numbers.

The defense has allowed 215.5 yards a game and has scored on three interception returns. The Rockets will be aiming for a shutout after coming close against Crystal City in Week 0, allowing just 190 total yards.

Quarterback T.J. Navarro is Pearsall’s leading rusher and passer.  2012 score: Kennedy 20, Pearsall 7.

Sam Houston (1-2) vs. Edison (1-2) at SAISD Sports Complex, 7:30 p.m.

Both teams have had their highs and lows this year, and will be looking to establish more consistency Friday.

Edison blanked Pearsall 41-0 last Friday after playing Carrizo Springs close a week earlier. The Golden Bears broke through to the win column behind four touchdown passes from quarterback Jonathan Hernandez and a defense that limited Pearsall to 220 total yards.

The Golden Bears only mustered 185 offensive yards, but showed room to grow with Hernandez connecting with David Sanchez and Francisco Gomez on long pass plays. Andres Aguilar remains a reliable, every-down back.

With the district opener against Brennan looming, the Golden Bears will need to continue to grow on offense. The Hurricanes’ offense can help prepare Edison’s defense for what’s ahead.

Devine defeated Sam Houston 35-21 last Saturday. The Warhorses simply outexecuted the Hurricanes throughout most of the game. Sam Houston’s defense did a better job of preventing Devine from controlling the ball and the clock in the second half, but the visitors still finished with 485 total yards.

Sam Houston got a spark on its last series with senior Jvoni Badie-Jones at quarterback. He gives the Hurricanes more of a run threat to balance out lefty Raymonte Prime’s passing ability. The hunch here is that they’ll share snaps.

The Hurricanes’ line will need to block consistently to keep back Erin Mack effective and allow the offense to establish its big-play possibilities. If that happens for the Hurricanes, it will be hard for Edison to keep pace.

The series stretches back to 1964, with the Hurricanes holding a 26-18 edge. The teams have split their last five games. If the pattern holds, it’s Sam Houston’s turn to win. 2012 score: Edison 47, Sam Houston 21.

FOOTBALL: Week 3 previews

THURSDAY

Jefferson (0-3) vs. Lee (2-1) at Heroes Stadium, 7 p.m.

The road is getting longer for Jefferson in the pursuit of its first 2013 victory. The Mustangs now must face an angry Lee team, still smarting from its 31-7 loss to Southwest last Friday.

When the series began in the early 1960s, these were two of the most powerful teams in San Antonio. It resumed last year after a 13-year break. Jefferson hasn’t defeated the Volunteers since 1989 and trails 29-5 overall.

Jefferson lost 43-13 last Friday to a Kennedy team coming off a bye week. Although the Rockets didn’t put up huge yardage numbers, they didn’t help the Mustangs’ points-against average. Jefferson has allowed 43.7 points a game while scoring an average of 13.3.

So, they were right about at those averages last week. But Jefferson will need to do better to have a chance to win against its Class 5A opponent.

The Volunteers blasted Holmes 44-13 and squeaked by Marshall 17-16 in their first two games. The Dragons’ defense limited Lee to just 136 total yards and 23 rushing yards. Southwest also kept quarterback Freedom Salas 45 yards under his average at 130 passing yards and an interception  out of the spread offense.

Jefferson scored on an 85-yard kickoff return from Phillip Hudspeth and a 50-yard run from Jesse Flores against Kennedy, while mustering a respectable 240 yards. Flores finished with 114 yards on 11 attempts.

The offense is showing week-to-week improvement, but still surrendered three interceptions against the Rockets. Jefferson was winless in non-district season last year and still made the playoffs. So, the Mustangs may not be overly concerned about their record, but continued improvement is important. 2012 score: Lee 49, Jefferson 35.

South San (0-3) vs. Burbank (1-2) at SAISD Sports Complex, 7 p.m.

South San won its first game in 2012 against Burbank, and the opportunity for a first victory of the season exists again.

The Bobcats will need to put a 42-13 loss to Victoria West behind them. South San played McCollum tough in a 14-5 loss during Week 1, so the Victoria West result came as something of a surprise.

The Warriors limited South San to 101 total yards (for the second-straight week) while romping to 42 first-half points, culminating with a blocked punt return. Victoria West totaled just 203 yards against the Bobcat’s improved defense.

Developing a more effective passing attack to keep defenses honest has to be a priority for South San. More production from back Christian Morales, who has been solid, also will be a key if the Bobcats are to pull this one out.

South San has won the last eight games in the series, dating to 1986, but Burbank has a chance to end that streak. The Bulldogs are two weeks removed from a 34-6 win over Pearsall.

Like South San, though, Burbank needs to put last Friday’s 48-6 loss to Harlandale in the rear-view mirror. (for comparison’s sake, Harlandale defeated South San 31-13 in the Bobcats’ opener.)

The big plays the Bulldogs produced in the first two weeks were absent against the Indians. Burbank’s only touchdown was the product of a fumble recovery.

Burbank also will need to gets its passing attack back on track, after completing just one of 13 throws against Harlandale. Quarterback Jeremy Sanchez continued to be a running threat, though. 2012 score: South San 35, Burbank 14.

 

MORE TO COME

TUESDAY VOLLEYBALL ROUNDUP: Highlands racks up fourth-straight 28-4A victory (complete)

Harlandale defeats Kennedy for fifth win in a row

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

Highlands (12-17, 5-1) took care of business Tuesday at Young Women’s Leadership Academy (2-22, 0-5) and will head into a break in District 28-4A competition solidly in second place. The Owls won 25-11, 25-15, 25-17.

Analisa Garza led the Owls with 21 assists. Jazmine Jackson recorded eight kills. Emily Pearce made 12 digs. Jenna Thompson notched four aces.

YWLA statistics weren’t available.

Although the Owls won’t face district competition Friday, they will have anything but a day off. Highlands will travel to San Marcos (20-8) for a non-district match.

Harlandale d. Kennedy

The Indians (16-7, 2-0) remained undefeated in District 29-4A and won their fifth-consecutive match, winning 25-15, 25-12, 25-7 over Kennedy (5-14, 0-2) Tuesday at Edgewood Gym.

Freshman Kianna Sandoval led Harlandale with 10 kills. Catherine Silva finished with 10 assists and three service aces. Cera Cerda had five kills and four aces. Katie Neira made six kills and Yolanda Garcia contibuted four. Kelly Landin and Sierra Sandoval each was credited with four digs.

Ashley Garza made four digs and Omni Garcia added four assists for the Rockets.

Jefferson d. Edison

The Mustangs (16-7, 4-1) took sole possession of third place in District 29-4A with a hard-earned 25-16, 25-21, 22-25, 25-21 home win Tuesday over Edison (7-20, 3-2).

Senior Courtney Garcia led the Mustangs with 21 digs and 14 assists. Gabby Vasquez made nine kills. Marissa Vargas finished with five blocks. Selena Garcia had 11 assists and served two aces.

Karen Guerrero led the Golden Bears with 13 kills and 29 digs. Marissa Cortinas distributed 25 assists. Kalani Woods made a match-best six blocks..

Sam Houston d. Pearsall

The Hurricanes (16-8) downed Pearsall (7-14) 25-15, 25-13, 25-20 Tuesday in a non-district match in Pearsall. Sam Houston statistics were not available.

East Central d. Wagner

The Hornets (12-13) ended a three-match losing streak Tuesday with a 25-22, 25-15, 25-11 victory at Wagner (12-13) in a non-district match.

Brittany Campos led East Central with 14 digs. Nichole West finished with a team-high six kills. Danny Alvarez produced seven assists. Kaylin Mills recorded four kills and three aces.

Brackenridge d. Lanier

Senior Renee Osife led he Eagles (7-21, 3-2) with four aces, five kills, 10 digs and 16 assists in a 25-14, 25-13, 25-17 District 28-4A victory over the host team Tuesday at Lanier (5-16, 2-4).

Priscilla Martinez also stood out for Brackenridge with six aces and nine digs. Jolicia Shelton-Brown provided six kills and seven digs. Kathy Sifuentes had a team-high 12 assists. Darlene Jackson connected for nne kills and two blocks. Jacklynn Navarez added six digs. Ana DeLeon contributed four kills.

LeeAnna Martinez had five kills and five blocks for Lanier. Sarah Chavez dealt 11 assists. Elisa DeHoyos finished with five digs.

Burbank d. Fox Tech

The Bulldogs (6-16, 1-4)battled through the second game and recorded a three-game sweep of Fox Tech (9-24, 1-5) Tuesday at Burbank.

Burbank received 12 kills from Antwanisha Riddle and 22 assists from Alejandra Martinez in securing a 25-17, 27-25, 25-15 victory. Rebekah Valma dealt 14 assists. Jenna Villaneuva put down six blocks. Bianca Aguirre served two aces.

The Buffaloes were led by Valerie Villarreal with 26 digs and Elisabeth Crane with nine kills, six digs and two aces. Ruby Chapa dished 16 assists and made five digs. Adelind-Iris Sifuentes made five kills. Ruby Zavala notched four kills and two blocks. Defensive standouts were Brianna Campos (8 digs) and Carla Ponce (5 digs).

Austin Dominic Savio d. Holy Cross

The Knights (20-7, 1-1) lost a heartbreaker to Austin Dominic Savio 19-25, 26-24, 25-21, 22-25, 15-13 Tuesday at Holy Cross in a contest featuring two of the best in TAPPS District 3-4A.

Mallory Ozuna distributed an eye-popping 38 assists. Julia Ibarra made 23 digs. Henrianna Ibarra plastered 13 kills. Ariel Alvarado and Victoria Gonzalez each served four aces. Anna Zuniga made two blocks.

WEEKEND VOLLEYBALL ROUNDUP: With Garcia as inspiration, McCollum successfully embarks on 29-4A schedule

Harlandale also opens 29-4A with victory, beating Uvalde in three games

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

http://www.mysanantonio.com/community/southside/news/article/Volleyball-roundup-4819234.php

Teams included: Brackenridge, Burbank, Edison, Fox Tech, Harlandale, Highlands, Holy Cross, Jefferson, Lanier, McCollum. South San, Southside.

By Mike Considine

Resiliency is a quality that isn’t often discussed, but can be crucial to a team’s success. McCollum is a key example.

The Cowboys (5-16, 1-0) began their season with just two players with any varsity experience. A third, libero Alex Garcia, hoped to return from a terrible car accident last spring. The majority of the roster, though, was young and unproven.

After taking its lumps through a brutal non-district schedule, McCollum started to prove itself last week. The Cowboys defeated Burbank (5-16) Sept. 10 and Southside (4-16, 0-1) Friday, two teams comparable to themselves, in three and four games, respectively.

“I kept trying to tell the girls something positive to take out of each of the opponents we faced,” McCollum coach Rose Ann Martinez said, referring to the early-season schedule. “I kept telling them, ‘It’s just going to help us in district.”

McCollum won its final tuneup before the district season 25-16, 25-19, 25-21. The momentum carried over to the match against Southside. Both matches were played at McCollum.

“Playing Burbank right before district gave us a lift,” Martinez said. “Playing Southside was good, too, because I think we had more energy.”

The Cowboys defeated the rival Cardinals 25-14, 25-15, 21-25, 25-20.

Neyda Sanchez led McCollum with 14 kills. Jasmine Cordova, who has filled Garcia’s lineup spot, made 23 digs. Sophomore setter Savannah Borjas distributed 20 assists. Emily Solis served three aces.

“In the third game, I changed the lineup a little and that always changes the (dynamics),” Martinez said. “I’m glad we came back in the fourth game and ran with it. It’s been fun, those past two matches.”

Alyssa Gallardo led the Cardinals with 19 assists and 18 digs. Cristina Guerra put down 11 kills. Ariana Cisneros served three aces. Amber Munoz produced 1.5 blocks.

“This team really believes, every day, that we’re going to win,” Martinez said, “even when we were 1-7, they believed.”

Although she is physically unable to play during her senior season, Garcia has remained very much a part of the Cowboys.

Garcia suffered brain damage from the car accident and was in a coma for 10 days. Her recovery has been miraculous. She was practicing with the team early in the season, but was unable to continue because of her condition.

Nonetheless, Garcia is attending all of McCollum’s home games.

“When she was trying to play, she was having (severe) headaches every day and she was still in therapy three times a week,” Martinez said. “The doctors decided that she shouldn’t play. She was suffering from anxiety, because she was so anxious to get out there and play.”

McCollum will play host to Uvalde Tuesday and travel to archrival Harlandale Friday. Both matches will start at 6 p.m.

“In my opinion, Harlandale probably will be district champions,” Martinez said. “They have everybody returning and they’re just too tall. It’s funny how we’re 1 ½ miles apart, and they have all the height.

“Fortunately, we’ve seen height all season. I hope that’ll help us.”

Harlandale d. Uvalde

The Indians began its 29-4A season in impressive fashion, defeating Uvalde () 25-21, 25-11, 25-23 Friday at Harlandale.

Freshman setter Alicia Garcia  led the Indians with 16 assists, 11 digs and three aces. Senior Katie Neira blasted 11 kills, made seven digs and had two blocks. Catherine Silva finished with eight digs and seven assists.

Other top Harlandale hitters were Madeline Mendez (2 blocks) with seven kills, Erika Arrredondo with five, Yolanda Garcia (3 blocks) with four kills and Jackie Espinosa with four kills. Other defensive contributors were Sierra Sandoval (18 digs), Cera Cerda (12 digs) and Kelly Landin (5 digs).

Highlands d. Brackenridge

The Owls (11-17, 4-1) maintained second place in District 28-4A Friday with a close 26-24, 25-22, 25-20 win over fifth-place Brackenridge (6-21, 2-2) at the Eagles’ gym.

Analisa Garcia was credited with 20 assists and Jessica Alvarez made 15 digs to keep Highlands on a roll with three consecutive wins since losing their district opener to first-place Brennan (22-3, 5-0).

Jazmine Jackson recorded eight kills for the Owls. Melody Guzman served three aces. Bryten Mitchan had three blocks.

For Brackenridge, senior Renee Osife finished with 28 assists and eight digs. Jolicia Shelton-Brown contributed 12 kills and five digs. Front-court players Darlene Jackson (5 kills, 3 blocks), Miranda Flores (5 digs) and Keimoria Wiseman (2 blocks) also made their presence felt. On defense, Kathy Sifuentes supplied nine digs, Priscilla Martinez had seven and Dominique Ramirez had five.

Jefferson d. Fox Tech

Jefferson (15-7, 3-1) bounced back from a loss to Brennan Sept. 10 to down the Buffaloes (9-23, 1-4) 25-14, 25-17, 25-10 Friday at Fox Tech.

Mustangs statistics were unavailable.

Fox Tech received 15 assusts and six digs from Ruby Chapa. Valerie Villarreal made 18 digs. Elisabeth Crane recorded eight kills and seven digs. Ruby Zavala also made eight kills. Elizabeth Narezo and Brianna Campos finished with five digs apiece.

Edison d. Lanier

Lanier (5-15, 2-3) won the first game 25-20 Friday at Edison, but the Golden Bears (7-19, 3-1) showed their resolve with the come-from-behind victory. Edison completed the win 25-16, 25-19, 25-13 and remained tied Jefferson for second in 28-4A.

Karen Guerrero (13 digs) and Paula Moreno led the Golden Bears with 12 kills each. Marissa Cortinas had a fantastic match with 29 assists and eight digs. Lauren Gutierrez dealt 12 assists. Juanita Gomez made 12 digs.

Amy Marcos and Kalani Woods (2 blocks) added nine kills apiece for Edison. Elizza Torres and Destiny McCarty each had four kills. Joanna Benavidez contributed five digs.

For the Voks, LeeAnna Martinez (7) and Yulisa Beltran (2) were blocking standouts. Martinez also knocked down five kills. Sarah Chavez chipped in with 13 digs and 10 assists. Emily Hueta gave Lanier 10 digs.

South San d. St. Anthony

The Bobcats (12-7) made short work of a difficult opponent Friday at St. Anthony (13-9). South San defeated the Yellowjackets 25-14, 27-25, 25-19.

No individual statistics were available for South San.

FOOTBALL: Week 3 schedule (Sept. 19-21)

WEEK 3 SCHEDULE

(Sept. 19-21)

Thursday’s games

FOOTBALL

Non-district

Jefferson (0-3) vs. Lee (2-1) at Heroes Stadium, 7 p.m.

South San (0-3) vs. Burbank (1-2) at SAISD Sports Complex, 7 p.m.

Friday’s games

FOOTBALL

Non-district

Brennan (3-0) at Southwest (2-1), 7:30 p.m.

Del Rio (1-2) vs. Brackenridge (1-2) at Wheatley Heights Sports Complex, 7:30 p.m.

Sam Houston (1-2) vs. Edison (1-2) at SAISD Sports Complex, 7:30 p.m.

Highlands (2-1) at Central Catholic (1-2), 7:30 p.m.

Judson (2-1) at East Central (2-1), 7:30 p.m.

Lanier (0-3) at Floresville (1-1), 7:30 p.m.

Pearsall (0-3) vs. Kennedy (2-0) at Frank Mata Stadium, 7 p.m.

FOOTBALL ROUNDUP: Devine kicks Sam Houston when its momentum is up, grabs 35-21 win (Sept. 14)

Victoria East pulls out nailbiter against Brackenridge

HERE’S A LINK TO THIS STORY ON THE SOUTHSIDE REPORTER WEBSITE: http://www.mysanantonio.com/community/southside/news/article/Devine-turns-onside-kicks-into-winning-strategy-4819107.php

Onside kick recoveries can be momentum builders, especially when they are quickly converted into touchdowns.

Devine (2-1) showed a remarkable propensity for onside kicks. The Warhorses never kicked deep in their non-district game against Sam Houston (1-2) Saturday at Wheatley Heights Sports Complex.

Their special teams practice prepared them well. After scoring a quick touchdown to open the second quarter, Devine recovered the ensuing onside kick and soon had scored 12 points in 14 seconds. The avalanche buried Sam Houston. The Warhorses compiled 21 unanswered points in the quarter on the way to a 35-21 win.

“I love it,” Devine junior quarterback Hunter DuBose said of his team’s diverse offense. “It’s a high-powered offense. We have a lot of weapons. We can move the ball really well. It makes it really easy (to play quarterback).”

The Hurricanes had taken a 7-6 lead near the end of the first quarter. The back-to-back touchdowns effectively sent them reeling.

“They got the ball twice in a row and they got touchdowns out of both (possessions),” Sam Houston coach Gary Green said. “We got the ball to the (Devine) 5-yard line and got nothing.

“That was a big momentum swing, but you always expect Devine to be really aggressive. What I was looking at was that our kids were just as aggressive. That’s a great team, and we were playing a lot of sophomores, without a lot of experience in this type of atmosphere. But they didn’t back down from the challenge.”

Sam Houston took the lead with a 24-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Raymonte Prime to Taveon Jones. The ball was tipped by Dewane Brown at about the Devine 3 and went behind him at a diagonal angle, where Jones caught in the air for the score.

Brown added the extra point to make it 7-6. Devine had scored earlier on a 27-yard pass to Cody Trivino from DuBose.

The turning-point touchdowns began with a 68-yard drive off the Hurricanes’ kickoff. Joe Guerrero (88 yards, 6 carries) scored on a seven-yard reverse with 11:20 until halftime.

The onside kick traveled more than the required 10 yards, but wasn’t touched by a Sam Houston player before Devine covered it. A 33-yard pass from Eric Trogden to Wyatt Sheff and Sheff’s subsequent touchdown were the only plays the Warhorses needed to score from the Sam Houston 35.

Pat Mares caught a 13-yard touchdown pass from DuBose and ran for the two-point conversion 30 seconds before halftime to increase the Warhorses’ lead to 28-7.

Sam Houston senior Tomaria Stringfellow picked up the second-half kickoff, yet another onside kick from Devine, on a bounce. He powered his way out of a crowd and was off on a 62-yard return that put the Hurricanes within two touchdowns.

Isaac Silva punched in a one-yard touchdown at the end of the ensuing drive for Devine. The Warhorses held the 35-13 lead until 4:15 remained in the game.

That’s when Hurricanes senior back Erin Mack (110 yards, 20 carries) scored on a seven-yard run, capping Sam Houston’s only sustained drive of the evening. Mack also ran for the two-point conversion.

Devine finished with 270 rushing yards and 215 passing yards. The Hurricanes finished with 215 total yards.

Victoria East 42, Brackenridge 35

Brackenridge (1-2) and the Titans (1-2) matched touchdowns until the fourth quarter at the SAISD Complex, when Victoria East pulled away to win a tight battle with the Eagles for the second consecutive year.

Lanken Williams (112 yards, 20 attempts) scored on a 23-yard run and Jonathan Ortega (165 yards, 17 attempts) ran 44 yards for a score to give East a  42-28 advantage with 8:23 remaining.

Junior Trey Mathis (71 yards, 8 carries) caught a six-yard touchdown pass from Ramon Richards (13 of 23, 205 yards) with 4:16 to play. However, the Eagles weren’t able to force overtime.

Senior receiver Romonique Anthony (65 yards, 3 receptions) got the scoring started for Brack with a 41-yard touchdown run less than two minutes into the game.

. Richards passed 16 yards to Anthony Hernandez for a 14-7 lead at the end of a quarter. He threw eight yards to Josh Leal to give Brack a 21-14 halftime advantage. A five-yard run from Richards (135 yards, 22 carries) tied it 28-28 with 2:48 left in the third.

Brackenridge outgained the Titans 451-428 in total yards.