WEEKEND FOOTBALL ROUNDUP: Late TD carries South San past Central Catholic to second-straight win

Undefeated Harlandale registers important 29-4A win at Medina Valley

TEAMS INCLUDED:Brackenridge, Central Catholic, East Central, Edison, Harlandale, Holy Cross, Jefferson, Kennedy, McCollum, Sam Houston, South San, Southwest.

South San (2-3) scored with just 26 seconds remaining to snare a 31-24 non-district victory over Central Catholic (2-3) Friday at South San Stadium.

The Bobcats recorded the last two touchdowns for the come from behind victory. It was South San’s second-consecutive win. The Bobcats had not won back-to-back games in more than five years.

Central Catholic took a 17-10 lead with 7:40 left in the third quarter, after the teams had traded touchdowns first, then field goals on the way to a halftime tie. Dillon Clemence caught a 10-yard pass from Joseph Nava (112 yards total offense) for the go-ahead score.

The Bobcats responded with a one-yard scoring run from Christian Morales (29 carries, 228 yards) near the end of the quarter.

Nava broke some tackles on the way to a 45-yard touchdown run with 11:33 to play. Morales answered again, this time with a 53-yard jaunt little more than three minutes later.

The winning touchdown originated with South San quarterback Darren Tinajero (8 of 9, 61 yards), who threw 15 yards to reliable senior reliever Thomas Fonseca.

Central Catholic’s Jimin Suh (85 yards, 14 carries) scored the game’s first touchdown on a short dash early in the first quarter. South San didn’t score until the second period, when Isaiah Gutierrez dove in from the Buttons 1. Ivis Herrera hit a 26-yard field goal that made it 10-7 Bobcats. The Buttons tied it on Jerry Rodriguez’s 37-yarder.

South San hadn’t won in the series since 2006. Juan Zamarripa made four receptions for 37 yards for the Bobcats.

Harlandale 33, Medina Valley 14

Harlandale senior quarterback Brandon Ramon shook off an early interception to account for 291 yards of total offense and four touchdowns, leading the Indians (4-0, 1-0) to a District 29-4A drivers-seat win Friday at Medina Valley. Harlandale is the only unbeaten south side school.

A quick Panthers touchdown from Bradley Griggs (93 yards, 12 carries), little more than a minute into the game, was met by three unanswered Harlandale scores. Ramon’s first interception of the year set up Medina Valley’s touchdown.

Harlandale struck back a little more than three minutes later when Nick Martinez (88 yards, 28 carries) scored on a four-yard run. Ramon ran for a one-yard score and passed 31 yards to James Mendoza (5 receptions, 136 yards) for a 21-7 lead by the end of the first quarter.

Medina Valley (2-2, 0-1) pulled within seven points when Griggs broke a 45-yard run with 7:13. However, the Indians stole the momentum back just before halftime. Ramon connected with Mendoza for a 20-yard touchdowns 10 seconds before the break.

An interception from Ruben Zavala paved the way for Harlandale’s final score. Ramon ran two yards for the touchdown late in the third quarter. The Indians’ defense limited Medina Valley to 253 yards and nine first downs. The interception was Harlandale’s only turnover, while the Indians forced three.

Offensively, Harlandale amassed 381 total yards. Ramon completed 12 of 23 pass attempts. Ian Martinez caught four passes for 81 yards.

Brackenridge 55, Jefferson 11

The Eagles (3-2, 1-0) avenged their 2012 upset loss to Jefferson in a big way, producing their second-highest-scoring outing of the season. Brackenridge scored 63 points against Sam Houston in its opening game.

Ramon Richards (16 of 26) was the ringmaster for Brack’s offensive 601-yard show, passing for 435 yards and four touchdowns Friday at the SAISD Sports Complex. The senior Oklahoma State commit also ran for 50 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Jefferson (0-4, 0-1) took the lead with 10:22 left in the first quarter on a 37-yard field goal by Marco Cruz. Brackenridge scored the next 55 points.

Three Eagles finished with more than 100 reception yards, led by junior Marco Marble (194 yards, 6 catches). Marble scored on a 49-yard pass from Richards as time expired in the first half.

Senior Rominique Anthony made five receptions for 131 yards, including a 69-yard pass play as time ran out in the opening quarter. Lee Undra Terrell counted an eight-yard touchdown among his four receptions for 106 yards.

Jordan Beasley scored on his only reception, on a 35-yard pass from Richards. Tyrus Mathis led Brack with 65 rushing yards on 13 carries. Trey Mathis and Brandon Toston ran for touchdowns.

Jefferson scored the game’s last touchdown, with 3:48 to play in the third quarter. Jesse Flores (197 yards, 17 carries) did the honors with a 75-yard dash. D’Andre Melton made two receptions for 58 yards.

Brack’s defense limited the Mustangs to 273 yards and forced three turnovers. The Eagles’ win tied the series, which dates to 1932, at 24 win apiece with two ties.

Holy Cross 22, San Antonio Christian 14

The Knights (2-2, 1-0) got off on the right foot in TAPPS District 3-II, notching a key win at San Antonio Christian (1-3, 0-1). The victory snapped a two-game losing streak for Holy Cross.

Holy Cross pulled out the game with two fourth-quarter touchdowns. The Lions led 14-7 entering the quarter, breaking a halftime tie on Turner Goudge’s five-yard scoring pass from Andrew Hawkins (14 of 28, 166 yards) early in the third quarter.

Greg Scott (144 yards, 25 carries) enabled the Knights to tie it with 8:36 remaining when Greg Kelly added the extra-point. Kelly (56 yards, 5 receptions) caught his second touchdown pass of the game with 12 seconds on the clock on a 10-yard pass from junior quarterback Cisco Flores.

Flores (14 of 19, 122 yards) threw to Roger Garza for the two-point conversion that sealed the win. Holy Cross outgained San Antonio Christian 323-222 in total yards.

Uvalde 25, Kennedy 6

The Coyotes (2-2, 1-0) limited previously undefeated Kennedy (3-1, 0-1) to 121 total yards and forced four turnovers in winning the District 29-4A game at Uvalde. . Uvalde took control with two first-quarter touchdowns, on a two-yard run from quarterback Jerry Almaraz (97 yards, 8 carries) and a 71-yard dash from Zach Sanchez.

Almaraz added a 62-yard scoring pass to Trae Garcia in the third quarter before the Rockets counted their first points on a defensive touchdown. Vince Rios scored on a fumble recovery with 4:46 remaining in the game. Kennedy was within 19-6.

Sanchez (161 yards, 18 carries) tacked on another touchdown on a 13-yard run with 28 seconds left.

Quarterback Blade Alvarado threw for 50 yards and ran for 46 for Kennedy. The Coyotes limited the Rockets’ leading rusher Matthew Avalos to 22 yards. Rios caught three passes for 42 yards.

New Braunfels Canyon 36, Southwest 7

It was a successful homecoming for former Southwest coach Matt Elliott. His New Braunfels Canyon Cougars (4-1) scored 36 unanswered points Friday at Southwest (2-3).

The Dragons scored first, on a one-yard run from Brian Donnell early in the first quarter. However, Canyon erupted for 22 second-quarter points and never looked back.

Cougars quarterback Phillip Shelton ran for two second-quarter touchdowns and a two-point conversion. He also hooked up with Trey Scott on a 42-yard pass play five seconds before halftime for a 22-7 advantage.

Gibreel Evans led Canyon with 20 carries for 93 rushing yards.

Southwest quarterback Bowen Crisp completed eight of 15 passes for 46 yards. Cody Johnson made four receptions for 30 yards.

New Braunfels 28, East Central 3

The Unicorns (1-4) claimed their first victory of 2013 Friday at New Braunfels, while East Central (2-3) never quiite got its offense rolling in the non-district game.

The Hornets scored their only points on a 40-yard field goal, one of the area’s longest this year, from Dennis Chavez. The successful kick came with 3:58 until halftime.

New Braunfels already had scored on a 30-yard pass to Austin Obregon(6 receptions, 82 yards) from Parker Bateman (14 of 26, 161 yards) and a two-yard run by Marcus O’Dell (67 yards, 17 carries). Dillon Smith and Bateman rushed for short touchdowns in the second half.

Johnathan Jackson led the Hornets with 86 rushing yards on 12 carries. Javion Polk added 53 yards on 14 rushes. Wanya Ward caught three passes for 41 yards.

Floresville 42, McCollum 7

The Tigers (3-1, 1-0) blitzed McCollum  (2-2, 0-1) Friday in a District 29-4A in Floresville Kyle Bippert scored the first and last touchdowns for Floresville, on a seven-yard pass from Koby Wilkerson (6 of 13, 93 yards) and a 42-yard interception return. Gilbert Ortiz (170 yards, 19 carries) scored the Tigers’ second touchdown on an 87-yard run.

The Cowboys didn’t score until a little more than four minutes into the second half. Mike Ramirez (6 receptions 13, 77 yards) caught a 32-yard touchdown pass from Ralph Vidal (6 of 13, 93 yards). That cut Floresville’s lead to 20-7.

The Tigers scored 22 points in the remaining 7:52 of the third quarter. Floresville gained 282 of its 375 total yards on the ground. McCollum rushed for 48 yards and accumulated 144 total yards.

Navarro 54, Sam Houston 12

The undefeated Panthers (5-0) posted 437 total yards, 352 of it on the ground, while rolling to victory on in Navarro.

The Hurricanes (1-4) were within 12-6 after senior Tomaria Stringfellow scored on a four-yard run with 3:54 remaining in the first quarter. However, Navarro scored the next five touchdowns and Sam Houston lost its third-consecutive game.

Anthony Grant (57 yards, 11 carries) ran for a touchdown and Navarro led 21-6 when the first quarter ended. The Panthers scored three more times in the second quarter, two on runs by Luke Jaroszewski (127 yards, 13 carries) and Grant and one on 55-yard interception return by Desmond Smith, who also scored on a first-quarter reception.

Sam Houston’s last touchdown came on a seven-yard pass from Raymonte Prime (11 of 28, 160 yards) to Dewayne Brown with 10:39 remaining in the fourth quarter. The Hurricanes were limited to 76 rushing yards.

Brennan 62, Edison 0

The Bears (5-0, 1-0) once again showed why they’re the No. 3 Class 4A team in the state, according to TexasHSfootball.com, while Edison (2-3, 0-1) saw its two-game winning streak come to an end Saturday at the SAISD Sports Complex.

Brennan pitched its fourth shutout of the season while limiting the Golden Bears to just 65 total yards (61 rushing, 4 passing).

Edison drove to the Brennan 3 early in the first quarter, thanks to a 43-yard run by senior back Andres Aguilar. However, the subsequent field goal attempt was blocked. The Bears’ Jaelan Collier returned it 86 yards for the game’s first touchdown.

The Bears scored 28 points in the first quarter and led 55-0 at halftime.

Brennan quarterback Da’Shawn Key ran for 129 yards and completed eight of 12 passes for 154 yards. Nathaniel Wells Jr., who scored three-consecutive touchdowns midway through the second quarter, finished with 98 yards on five carries. Makai Green ran six times for 72 yards and two touchdowns.

Aguilar finished with 48 yards on 15 rushing attempts.

 

FOOTBALL: Memorial beats Southside 36-15 for first on-field district win in 7 years

Minutemen win second-straight game as Ramos passes for 200 yards and 3 Tds

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

http://www.mysanantonio.com/community/southside/news/article/Memorial-Minutemen-win-another-one-4857334.php

Confidence and strength are key words for Memorial this season.

They are the ingredients that have bubbled to the surface for Minutemen players this year and helped them achieve things that would have been unthinkable a short time ago. While it’s too early in the season to make too many big pronouncements for a team that claimed its first first district win on the field since 2005 Friday, one thing is clear.

Memorial (3-1, 1-0) isn’t a doormat anymore.

“It’s been very beneficial,” second-year Minutemen coach Alex Guerra said of Memorial’s two non-district wins. “They learned how to win and got confidence. The best thing is that now they expect to win. They’ve come a long way for a team that was 0-10 last year.”

The Minutemen extended their winning streak to two games with a 36-15 District 29-4A victory over Southside (0-4, 0-1) at Frank Mata Stadium. Memorial took the lead 21 seconds into the contest and only briefly relinquished it.

“This means a lot,” Memorial senior receiver Richard Casares said. “It’s my senior year and we finally have a winning team. I’m living a dream.”

Despite the final margin, the homecoming victory wasn’t assured until late in the third quarter.

The Cardinals drove to the Memorial 6. Sophomore quarterback Johnny Trevino (86 yards, 24 carries) ran for 47 yards on the first two plays of the series to the 11-yard line. Memorial’s defense stiffened there, and Southside narrowly missed a 23-yard field goal attempt.

“We were prepared for that at halftime,” Guerra said. “We knew they had a big, strong quarterback and a great line. We knew they’d come right at us. We gave up a few first downs and a few throws, but when the kids really stepped up and played, we were able to get some stops.

“But, it’s a credit to Southside. They knew what to do. They kept attacking our defense. They hit us and hit us and hit us.”

Memorial took over and launched an 80-yard, seven-play drive. Junior quarterback Alfred Ramos (10 of 23, 200 yards) covered 62 yards through the air, with completions to Casares and David Manzano. The latter went 29 yards with 4:58 left in the quarter for a touchdown that increased the Minutemen’s lead to 26-9.

“It’s not just me, it’s our line,” Ramos said of Memorial’s quick-strike capability. “We have quickness. That’s why I have confidence that my receivers can get open. Whoever’s open can make a play. I just have to make my reads.”

The quickness was in stock last season. A good offseason in the weight room, Guerra said, was critical to Memorial’s ability to compete with the teams on its schedule.

“The day after the season ended last year, they jumped into the weight room and didn’t leave,” Guerra said. “Last year, teams had trouble getting around us. But when they went straight at us, they could get away with that. That’s been the biggest difference this year – that our guys are stronger.”

Southside continued to move the ball, trailing by 17, although with a greater sense of urgency. Trevino completed passes to Noah Rangel for 16 yards and David Garza for 12 on the Cardinal’s next possession.

But when Trevino took to the air on a third-consecutive play, Memorial was ready.

“We’ve just got to execute offensively,” Southside coach Paul Haberer said, “and make plays defensively.”

Casares pulled off an interception near midfield. Two plays later, Memorial had scored the clinching touchdown.

“It felt great,” Casares said. “I got a good break on my coverage. (The receiver) made a good cut, but I had the right read. I saw the pass in the air and I got the interception.”

On first down, Ramos threw 25 yards to Ivan DeAnda. Junior back Raul Rangel (84 yards, 15 carries) busted a play up the middle, breaking two or three tackles along the way, to take care of the remaining 27 yards. With 3:20 left in the third quarter, Memorial led 33-9.

Senior kicker Gabriel Robles made a 24-yard field goal on the first snap of the fourth quarter. Southside added a touchdown with just 1:13 to play when sophomore back Timmy Rodriguez (116 yards, 20 carries) scored on a four-yard run to cap his best game of the season.

Memorial only outgained the Cardinals 283-271 total yards.

Haberer rebuilt the program at Southside into a consistent district contender. Therefore, it’s understandable he has an appreciation for what Guerra and his staff have accomplished at Memorial.

“Memorial is doing a great job of executing and playing well,” Haberer said. “They’re leaving it all on the field. That program is really shaping up.”

Southside had an uphill climb from the beginning.

The Cardinals lost a fumble on their first possession. DeAnda scooped it up and ran to the Southside one-yard line. After the Minutemen were assessed a penalty, Ramos scored on a six-yard carry with 11:39 left in the opening quarter.

Ramos also finished with three passing touchdowns.

“With the way the season’s going now,” Ramos said, “we’re winning and I’ve got confidence in the team.”

The Cardinals capitalized on a Memorial miscue to take the lead with 8:13 remaining in the quarter. Jacob Collier recovered an errant punt snap in the end zone for a touchdown and Jesus Espinosa kicked the go-ahead extra point.

Later in the quarter, a short punt from Southside left Memorial 32 yards from the goal line. A first-down pass fell incomplete, but Ramos hooked up with Casares (65 yards, 2 catches) for a 32-yard touchdown on the next play. The Minutemen had a 12-7 lead when the first quarter ended.

Memorial again had problems with its punt team in the second quarter, and Robles punted the ball out of the back of the end zone to prevent a repeat of recent history. However, it gave Southside a safety and put the Cardinals within 12-9 with 5:09 at halftime.

Southside didn’t score again for nearly 30 minutes.

“We’ve got the No. 1 defense in the district,” Casares proclaimed. “We want to keep that going.”

Just 21 seconds before the half, Ramos found DeAnda (55 yards, 4 receptions) with a 13-yard strike for a 10-point advantage.

Memorial will play host to McCollum (2-2, 0-1) Thursday in a 7 p.m. game at Mata Stadium. Once again, the Minutemen will be favored.

“We’ve put ourselves in that position, and we deserve to be in that position,” Guerra said. “I think the guys will play just as hard as the pursued as they have as the pursuer.”

Southside will try to pick up its first win with a 7 p.m. home game Friday against Uvalde (2-2, 1-0).

 

FOOTBALL: Week 4 previews (Friday and Saturday games, Sept. 27 & 28)

FRIDAY

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

Will Brackenridge be able to get the equalizer in a series that dates back to 1932? That’s the question that hangs over this District 28-4A opening-week game.

Jefferson currently holds the edge 24-23-2 in the series and also has a sort of element of surprise on its side.

For the second-consecutive year, Jefferson has gone through the non-district portion of its schedule without a win, but with subtle signs of progress. Last year, the Mustangs used that factor as the springboard to a 10-point win over Brackenridge.

After Jefferson put up 420 total yards in a 42-16 loss to Lee last Thursday, the possibility has to be considered, in light of 2012.

However, the Eagles and quarterback Ramon Richards pose an obstacle for a Mustangs defense that has been challenged throughout a challenging schedule. Jefferson has allowed an average of more than 43 points a game.

Keep in mind, though, that the district season was a turning point for Jefferson last year. It won four 28-4A games in a row, starting with Brackenridge and ending with eventual champion Brennan.

While Brennan is universally acknowledged as the team to beat in the district, Brackenridge is still considered the second-best by most – despite stumbling against Floresville and Victoria East before edging Del Rio 20-14 in overtime last Friday.

The Eagles defense seems to be coming of age, after keeping Del Rio scoreless after the first quarter. Offensively, Trey Mathis is developing into a featured back to complement Richards and the passing threat he poses.

Jefferson quarterback Weston Redding also is showing signs of growing into the job, while Jesse Flores proved to be a more-than-viable weapon out of the backfield with 178 rushing yards against Lee.

Watch out for D’Andre Melton on the receiving end of Redding’s passes and Romonique Anthony (and others) on deep routes when Brack has the ball.

This promises to be an exciting game. A win here could be a huge asset in what appears to be a typically balanced 28-4A playoff race (for spots 2-4 behind Brennan). 2012 score: Jefferson 30, Brackenridge 20.

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

Both teams have made a lot of improvement on defense since the beginning of the year. In fact, after Central Catholic has pitched shutouts in six of the last eight quarters and South San came close to shutting out Burbank, it’s pretty easy to identify defense as the strength of both the Buttons and Bobcats.

Central Catholic has held Southside and Highlands to an average of 217.5 total yards in its last two games. The Buttons’ offense also has been coming along, as shown in the 28-25 comeback win over Highlands last Friday. But the defense has been more of a surprise, since it was basically rebuilt from scratch at the start of the season.

A promising sign against Highlands was a 98-yard rushing performance from Jesse Rodriguez, which lent a little more offensive balance to Central Catholic. Will Barr has emerged as a go-to receiver for quarterback  Joseph Nava.

Those weapons give the Buttons a theoretical edge over a South San offense, which needs another big game from back Christian Morales to utilize the ball-control approach the Bobcats will aim for. Morales ran for 100 yards against Burbank. Sophomore quarterback Isaiah Gutierrez is coming off a 129-yard passing outing in his first extended playing time.

South San was able to avoid the turnovers that had plagued it in previous games. The Buttons also will need to avoid miscues.

Central Catholic has won the last four games in the series and has a 14-8 advantage overall. 2012 score: Central Catholic 32, South San 0.

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

The Hornets have been through the crucible the last two weeks against Brennan and Judson, and have to welcome this trip to New Braunfels. It gives East Central a chance to regain the momentum it had after the first two weeks, in time for the District 28-5A season.

East Central needs to rediscover its identity offensively after being held in check by two overpowering defenses. The Hornets haven’t been quite as prolific as expected out of the spread offense, but some of that is due to an injury to Jonathan Jackson. With backs Jackson and Javion Polk healthy, quarterback Jeremy Jones should have more options to explore as well as a 1-2 punch.

Defensively, the Hornets have been dinged by big plays both on the ground and through the air the last two weeks. They limited Marshall to 161 total yards in Week 1 and have an experienced group that should rise to the challenge this week.

New Braunfels has had similar experiences the last two weeks, losing 49-16 to Johnson last Friday and 41-13 to Madison a week earlier. The Unicorns didn’t score until the fourth quarter against Johnson while Parker Bateman passed 31 times for 140 yards.

East Central won for the first time in this four-game series last year. This won’t be a walkover for the Hornets, but they should make it two wins in a row if they’re able to stretch the Unicorns’ defense and prevent big plays.

This could be exactly the type of matchup the Hornets need with a bye week ahead and District 28-5A play still two weeks away. 2012 score: East Central 24, New Braunfels 21.

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

The Harlandale-Medina Valley football game could end up being as significant in determining the district standings as the volleyball match that precedes it Friday in Castroville.

Although its the District 29-4A opener for both teams, it pits the two best teams in the district against each other and could well set the tone for the rest of the year.

Harlandale, No. 25 in the TexasHSFootball.com statewide Class 4A rankings, wasn’t challenged in its non-district games, so this should be the Indians’ first real test.

Indians senior quarterback Brandon Ramon has thrown for 989 yards and nine touchdowns without an interception. Ramon guides an offense that is averaging 35.7 points a game and his receivers are averaging 20.1 yards a catch, led by James Mendoza and Ian Martinez.

Running back Nick Martinez is averaging more than 109 rushing yards.

Harlandale’s defense is coming off its best game. Two weeks ago against Burbank, the Indians allowed just six points and 164 total yards.

After falling by 17 points to LaVernia in its opener, Medina Valley has prevailed in a pair of close games. The Panthers scored all of their points in the second quarter Sept. 13 in a 21-14 win against rival Hondo. They scored on a 12-yard run by featured back Nathan Stein (71.9 yards a game), a fumble return and a 76-yard pass from quarterback David Olvera (108 passing yards a game) to Joshua Sepulveda.

Medina Valley has a 5-2 lead in the series, but the last three games have been decided by 20 points and the Indians have won two of them. Both teams are coming off an extra week to prepare, so watch out for trick plays that could influence the outcome. 2012 score: Harlandale 51, Medina Valley 41.

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

A year ago, Holy Cross won TAPPS District 3-II and San Antonio Christian finished second, so emotions will be high. And the score likely will be close, especially if their scores against a common opponent are indicative.

Both teams played Class 3A power Navarro, which is undefeated, a week apart before hitting their respective bye weeks.

Holy Cross was the most team to face the Panthers, playing them on the road Sept. 13. The Knights lost 40-20, but gained 340 total yards while Navarro compiled 416. San Antonio Christian lost 42-26 at home Sept. 6. The Lions finished with 303 total yards, while the Panthers rolled up 524.

The Knights will take a two-game losing streak into Friday’s game, having lost 42-19 to Antonian after beating Central Catholic 21-14 in the season-opening Holy Bowl.

A key for Holy Cross against San Antonio Christian could be junior quarterback Cisco Flores’ ability to supplement the rushing attack. Navarro’s defense was able to keep him mostly under containment.

On the plus side, there were and have been a lot of positive developments for Holy Cross. Flores completed about 70 percent of his passes for 192 yards. Back Greg Scott had a breakout game with 138 rushing yards on 21 carries. Senior Greg Kelly has averaged more than 100 receiving yards a game.

San Antonio Christian has a pass-oriented attack led by quarterback Andrew Hawkins, who has thrown for  568 yards and six touchdowns with just one interception. Two receivers are over 100 yards, Turner Goudge (11 catches) and Sam Lorillard (6 catches), while Chris Grubb has five receptions for 90 yards and three touchdowns. The receiving corps averages 18.3 yards a catch.

The Lions’ leading rusher Clayton Christian with just 76 yards.

So, Holy Cross will need to keep the pressure on Hawkins and prevent the deep strikes. It will be the first time the Knights have faced a team that relies heavily on the pass. Their diverse offense should be able to move the ball against the Lions. 2012 score: Holy Cross 25, San Antonio Christian 23.

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

Defense and the running of senior back Matthew Avalos have Kennedy off to a surprising start. The Rockets are headed for their first big test, though, at the end of the long bus ride to Uvalde.

Kennedy has allowed just 27 points defensively and the unit has scored 20 of its own. Uvalde will be the most prolific offensive team they’ve faced.

Avalos ran for 239 yards last week in a 25-7 win over Pearsall and 552 this season. To keep Uvalde’s defense honest, the Rockets won’t need to pass often, but will need to be efficient when they do. So far, Kennedy has succeeded in doing that.

Uvalde seems to always be one of those teams that’s hard to figure, and coming off a bye week likely will make it even more unpredictable. The Coyotes ambushed Highlands 48-21 Sept. 7, but then lost unimpressively to Laredo Johnson 16-6 Sept. 13.

Against Highlands, Uvalde had both Marco Blanco (177) and Zach Sanchez (101) over 100 rushing yards while the team gained 401. Johnson held the Coyotes to 158 and 276 total yards.

Johnson’s workhorse back Augustin Gonzalez hit them for 199 yards, which should give the Rockets hope that Avalos can have a big game in Uvalde. The biggest factor will be for Kennedy to continue to play the run well and force turnovers. 2012 score: Uvalde 20, Kennedy 2.

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

McCollum takes its first trip outside of San Antonio this year to face a Floresville team that has mostly fared well against District 28-4A opponents.

The 29-4A opener for both teams may give an indication as to whether it’s better to launch into district play off a bye week or a cushy victory. The host Tigers defeated Lanier 34-12 last Friday in Floresville.

The Cowboys have had two weeks to make adjustments after falling 21-7 to Highlands, their first loss of the year on Sept. 13. The Owls beat Floresville 17-14 in their season opener Aug. 31.

Prior to the Highlands game,  McCollum’s defense had only allowed five points and 154 total yards in two games. The Owls only mustered 187 total yards but scored on three passes, two of more than 20 yards.

McCollum scored on a 79-yard pass play from Ralph Vidal to back Mike Ramirez, but hasn’t been a consistent running team so far. To win in Floresville, they’ll need to run the ball effectively to prevent the Tigers from controlling the clock with back Gilbert Ortiz (109.3 yards a game).

Tigers quarterback Koby Wilkerson is a passing threat, in that he’s able to keep defenses from keying too much on the run. Highlands gained 317 total yards against Floresville, but the Tigers held Brackenridge’s potent offense to 291. So, to earn a road win, McCollum likely will need to have its best offensive showing to date. 2012 score: Floresville 15, McCollum 12.

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

Southwest needed to do a little soul searching after being shut out by Brennan 48-0 last Friday. Now they have the honor of playing a team that also posted a shutout last week.

New Braunfels Canyon blanked Austin LBJ 20-0 as the Cougars defense allowed just 89 total yards and just 21 rushing yards. That has to concern a Dragons offense that’s based around its running game, yet mustered just 49 yards against state-ranked Brennan. However, it’s important to note that Canyon allowed an average of 20 points a game in its first three contests.

This won’t be a holiday for Southwest, but it won’t be a re-run of what if ran into last week, either.

Dragons quarterback Bowen Crisp has been improving his passing efficiency, and continued improvement will be welcome against the Cougars. Expect the ground game to be back on track behind Brian Donnell and Reilly Riggs.

Defensively, Southwest will need to concern itself with running back Gibreel Evans (121.8 yards a game) and quarterback Phillip Shelton (82 yards a game). Shelton also has run for 251 yards. Canyon scored 47 points Sept. 13 against Roosevelt.

An interesting side note: Canyon is coached by former Southwest coach Matt Elliott. Which, undoubtedly, is why the series resumed last year after an 11-year break. Southwest won the previous game in 1991 and has a 4-2 lead in the series. 2012 score: New Braunfels Canyon 35, Southwest 21.

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

It’s out of the frying pan and into the fire for Sam Houston.

For a beleagured Hurricanes defense that’s given up more than 40 points a game, the last two non-district opponents (Navarro Friday and Gonzales Oct. 4) don’t promise any relief. Navarro is averaging 37.8 points a game offensively.

Edison defeated 40-12 last Friday at the SAISD Sports Complex, although the statistical totals were fairly even. The Voks scored on four plays of 20 or more yards.

Sam Houston gained 258 yards and completed 10 of 19 passes, but surrendered three turnovers while Edison committed none. Erin Mack turned in another solid performance with 111 rushing yards and Devin Harris added 47.

Class 3A Navarro is averaging nearly 350 rushing yards per game, led by senior Luke Jaroszewski (115 yards a game average). 2012 score: Navarro 30, Sam Houston 13.

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

Memorial is used to being the pursuer. In its District 29-4A opener against Southside, the Minutemen will be the pursued.

Translation: Memorial has earned the right to be favored in this game, based on its two non-district wins even though the Cardinals have played a tougher early schedule.

That said, this could very well be a coin flip of a game. Southside certainly has the ability to pull out a victory. The Cardinals have to curb their turnovers and limit the big plays the Minutemen are capable of breaking.

Memorial not only snapped a double-digit winning streak in defeating Pearsall, it also recovered from a 43-point loss to Fredericksburg to knock off Lytle in Lytle. The Minutemen did the trick with a 24 unanswered points after the Pirates had scored the first 14 Sept. 13.

Running back Raul Rangel had his best game of the season with 136 rushing yards. Quarterback Alfred Ramos contributed 242 yards of total offense. Speedy Manases Cano hauled in three passes for 97 yards, including a 55-yard touchdown pass.

Southside was shut out 28-0 by Central Catholic that night. The Cardinals will oppose a Memorial defense that limited Lytle to 225 total yards and was plus-two in the turnover battle.

The Cardinals had averaged 24.5 in their first two games. Against the Buttons, sophomore Timmy Rodriguez ran for 76 yards, but four interceptions short-circuited the offense. However, quarterback Johnny Trevino, another sophomore, can make big plays either running or passing.

All four Central Catholic touchdowns covered 20 yards or more. The Buttons accounted for 354 total yards. Devine and Sam Houston each gained more than 475 in the first two games. 2012 score: Southside 33, Memorial 8.

SATURDAY

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

Brennan, No. 3 in the TexasHSFootball.com statewide Class 4A poll, outscored opponents 197-21 in its four non-district games and now turns its attention to its District 28-4A schedule.

Edison struggled out of the gate this year but made great improvement throughout its non-district schedule. The young Golden Bears now look like a potential playoff team after defeating Sam Houston 40-12 last Friday. They’ve won two games in a row after falling 40-7 to Pleasanton in their opener.

Senior back  Andres Aguilar ran for 115 yards and caught two passes for 79 yards against Sam Houston.  Edison quarterback Jonathan Hernandez ran for 49 yards.

Edison’s defense allowed an average of just 239 yards in the two wins. Now they’re up against a multi-faceted Brennan offense that hasn’t been slowed down by any of its four Class 5A opponents.

Bears quarterback Da’Shawn Key is equally adept at running (331 yards) and passing (441 yards). He leads Brennan in both categories. Makai Green is another reliable ground threat and leads the team in reception yards.

Defensively, Brennan’s Bears have posted shutouts in three of their four games. In a 48-0 win over Southwest last Friday, they gave up just 93 yards.

Last year, the Bears only played their starters in the first half of district games. We’ll see if that policy still holds, now that Brennan has a chance to make a deep run in the Class 4A playoffs.

Brennan won last year in the first-ever meeting between the two schools. 2012 score: Brennan 35, Edison 17.

VOLLEYBALL: Gonzalez leads Holy Cross to non-district win at St. Anthony

Sophomore outside hitter Victoria Gonzalez hammered 19 kills to lead Holy Cross (22-8) to a 25-10, 25-22, 20-25, 25-11 non-district home victory Thursday over St. Anthony (15-11).

Senior Julia Ibarra also had an outstanding match for the Knights, supplying 24 assists and 19 digs. Mallory Ozuna served five aces. Sophomore middle blocker Anna Zuniga added four blocks.

Haley Ochoa led the Yellowjackets with 18 assists, 17 digs and two aces.

Holy Cross also will play at home Friday. The Knights play host to Austin Hyde Park at 7 p.m. in a TAPPS District 3-4A match.

FOOTBALL: Tremendous second-half comeback provides Burbank with historic win

Bulldogs beat Highlands for first time in 35 years with 43-point rally

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

Highlands HS vs Burbank HS

Highlands HS vs Burbank HSHighlands HS vs Burbank HS

It wasn’t just what Burbank accomplished Thursday at the SAISD Sports Complex that gave the game a historic bent. It also was the magnitude of the Bulldogs’ comeback.

Burbank (2-3, 1-0) rallied from a 21-point halftime deficit to claim its first win over Highlands since 1978.    The Bulldogs triumphed 43-21 in the District 28-4A opener for both teams.

“We needed to fix what we were making mistakes on,” Burbank senior quarterback Jeremy Sanchez said of the second half. “We came out with a better mindset. We did what we needed to do out there.”

Highlands (2-3, 0-1), which has a 21-2 record in the series, limited the Bulldogs to 80 total yards and no points in the first half. The Owls compiled a 21-0 lead and scored on four of six possessions before halftime.

However, Highlands had already lost its junior quarterback Jordan DeLuna for the evening. DeLuna, who had thrown for 787 yards in the Owls’ first four games, was injured on a sack by Sanchez early in the second quarter. He apparently incurred a knee strain.

Highlands’ Henry Rodriguez stripped the ball on Burbank’s first second-half possession and recovered the fumble. It was the Bulldogs’ third turnover, but the Owls were unable to capitalze. In fact, Highlands didn’t score after halftime for the second-consecutive week.

Burbank embarked on its comeback when senior receiver Marcos Luna taking inside handoff on a reverse and dashed 50 yards for a touchdown, Luna had been stopped on a reverse to the right side on the previous play, but Highlands was called for a personal foul that kept the drive alive.

With 7:56 left in the third quarter, Burbank trailed 21-6. Things began to spiral downward for Highlands shortly thereafter, largely due to problems on its center exchanges.

The Bulldogs’ Gusme brothers hastened the downfall.

Senior linebacker Damien Gusme recovered a fumble on the Owls 37. It was the first of two turnovers for Highlands, with 4:12 left in the third quarter.

Although Highlands’ defense stopped Burbank at the Owls 14 with 35 seconds left in the quarter, the Bulldogs were moments away from making their next break. Nine seconds into the final period, Devin Gusme recovered a bad snap, catching the ball on a bounce and running four yards to the end zone.

Sanchez passed to Damien Gusme for the two-point conversion, outh of the swinging gate formation which the Owls employed earlier, slashing Highlands’ lead to 21-14.

“They knew this was a good football team we were going to play against,” said second-year Burbank coach Mark Perez, a Highlands graduate. “They rose to the challenge. These are some good men.”

In one minute and 22 seconds, Burbank was in the end zone again. Senior defensive lineman Nathan Villalobos picked off a pass in the right flat and ran 10 yards for the tying score.

Highlands’ Sabian Santos, who had a first-half interception, returned the ensuing kickoff 33 yards. But on the Owls’ first play from scrimmage, Sanchez recovered another errant snap from his defensive end slot at the Highlands 24.

Burbank took the lead to stay on a 24-yard keeper from the Bulldogs quarterback one play later. It was 28-21 less than two minutes into the fourth quarter.

With 7:05 to play, Luna (55 rushing yards, 45 receiving yards) scored on another reverse, this time from seven yards out.

Another bad Highlands snap went into the end zone for a safety that gave Burbank a 37-21 edge. Alberto Regallado returned the free kick seven yards to the Owls 42. The short field led to a five-yard touchdown run from Bulldogs junior Tru Bradford (47 yards, 11 attempts), which capped the scoring at 43 unanswered Burbank points.

“We were just hungry,” said Sanchez, who ran for 97 yards on 25 carries. “We’ve been working hard. We deserved this.”

Highlands, which had a 16-game winning streak in the series, scored at the end of its first possession. Always-reliable kicker Americo Ayala nailed a 31-yard field goal with 8:07 remaining in the first quarter.

An interception by Owls defensive back Elijah Garces led to Highlands’ first touchdown. Garces eventually shifted from fullback to quarterback offensively to help the Owls stem the flood of Burbank points.

DeLuna (7 of 12, 58 yards) threw 17 yards to his favorite target Xavier Long (58 yards, 5 catches), threading the needle with 5:56 left in the quarter.

The Owls added 11 points to their lead in the second quarter, despite DeLuna’s absence.

A 53-yard run from junior back Quindon Boston with 5:42 until halftime gave the Owls a lift when they needed one. Boston (61 yards, 6 carries) broke the play on a slant off left guard and cut to the sideline to outrun the Bulldogs’ defenders.

Highlands increased its lead to 18-0 when junior backup quarterback John Cervantes from the swinging gate ran for the two-point conversion.

With 20 seconds until halftime, Ayala connected on a 21-yard field goal that gave the Owls a 21-point lead.

Back De-Morriay Richardson led the Owls in rushing with 63 yards on five attempts.

FOOTBALL: Week 4 results (through Sept. 28)

Games of Sept. 26-28

Thursday’s games

FOOTBALL

District 28-4A

Burbank (2-3, 1-0) 43, Highlands (2-3, 0-1) 21

Friday’s games

FOOTBALL

District 28-4A

Brackenridge (3-2, 1-0) 55, Jefferson (0-5, 0-1) 11

District 29-4A

Harlandale (4-0, 1-0) 33, Medina Valley (2-2, 0-1) 14

Uvalde (2-2, 1-0) 25, Kennedy (3-1, 0-1) 6

Floresville (3-1, 1-0) 42, McCollum (2-2, 0-1) 7

Memorial (3-1, 1-0) 36, Southside (0-4, 0-1) 15

TAPPS District 3-II

Austin Hyde Park Baptist (4-0, 1-0) 50, TMI (31, 0-1) 0
Victoria St. Joseph (1-3, 1-0) 31, Cornerstone Christian (2-2, 0-1) 9

Austin Regents (4-0, 1-0) 41, San Marcos Academy (0-4, 0-1) 0

Holy Cross ( 2-2, 1-0) 22, San Antonio Christian (1-3, 0-1) 14

Non-district

South San (2-3) 31, Central Catholic (2-3) 24

New Braunfels (1-4) 28, East Central (2-3) 3

New Braunfels Canyon (4-1) 36, Southwest (2-3) 7

Navarro (5-0) 54, Sam Houston (1-4) 12

Saturday’s games

FOOTBALL

District 28-4A

Brennan (5-0, 1-0) 62, Edison (2-3, 0-10

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

THURSDAY

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

Burbank hasn’t won since 1978 in this sporadic series and the Bulldogs won’t be favored this time, but they may be able to keep the District 28-4A game close if they can keep the Owls’ ground game under wraps, as Central Catholic did last Friday in a 28-25 thriller.

The Bulldogs lost 20-7 to South San last Friday in their final non-district test. Burbank also had its struggles offensively, accumulating just 22 rushing yards and 48 total yards.

If rain stays away this week, some of those problems may solve themselves. Although the running game has been an ongoing issue for Highlands, the Owls have the best chance of moving the ball consistently thanks to  quarterback Jordan DeLuna. However, Highlands will need to curb its turnovers (four against Central Catholic) to prevent Burbank from taking advantage of short fields.

Burbank hasn’t sustained drives often in the non-district season, but has shown the ability to make big plays behind quarterback Jeremy Sanchez. Receiver Marcos Luna scored the Bulldogs’ only touchdown against South San on a kickoff return. In fact, the Bulldogs haven’t scored an offensive touchdown in two weeks, so re-establishing some ball movement will be crucial.

Highlands has a 16-game winning streak in the series and has a 21-1 lead overall. 2012 score: Highlands 53, Burbank 9.

 

FRIDAY

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

Will Brackenridge be able to get the equalizer in a series that dates back to 1932? That’s the question that hangs over this District 28-4A opening-week game.

Jefferson currently holds the edge 24-23-2 in the series and also has a sort of element of surprise on its side.

For the second-consecutive year, Jefferson has gone through the non-district portion of its schedule without a win, but with subtle signs of progress. Last year, the Mustangs used that factor as the springboard to a 10-point win over Brackenridge.

After Jefferson put up 420 total yards in a 42-16 loss to Lee last Thursday, the possibility has to be considered, in light of 2012.

However, the Eagles and quarterback Ramon Richards pose an obstacle for a Mustangs defense that has been challenged throughout a challenging schedule. Jefferson has allowed an average of more than 43 points a game.

Keep in mind, though, that the district season was a turning point for Jefferson last year. It won four 28-4A games in a row, starting with Brackenridge and ending with eventual champion Brennan.

While Brennan is universally acknowledged as the team to beat in the district, Brackenridge is still considered the second-best by most – despite stumbling against Floresville and Victoria East before edging Del Rio 20-14 in overtime last Friday.

The Eagles defense seems to be coming of age, after keeping Del Rio scoreless after the first quarter. Offensively, Trey Mathis is developing into a featured back to complement Richards and the passing threat he poses.

Jefferson quarterback Weston Redding also is showing signs of growing into the job, while Jesse Flores proved to be a more-than-viable weapon out of the backfield with 178 rushing yards against Lee.

Watch out for D’Andre Melton on the receiving end of Redding’s passes and Romonique Anthony (and others) on deep routes when Brack has the ball.

This promises to be an exciting game. A win here could be a huge asset in what appears to be a typically balanced 28-4A playoff race (for spots 2-4 behind Brennan). 2012 score: Jefferson 30, Brackenridge 20.

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

Both teams have made a lot of improvement on defense since the beginning of the year. In fact, after Central Catholic has pitched shutouts in six of the last eight quarters and South San came close to shutting out Burbank, it’s pretty easy to identify defense as the strength of both the Buttons and Bobcats.

Central Catholic has held Southside and Highlands to an average of 217.5 total yards in its last two games. The Buttons’ offense also has been coming along, as shown in the 28-25 comeback win over Highlands last Friday. But the defense has been more of a surprise, since it was basically rebuilt from scratch at the start of the season.

A promising sign against Highlands was a 98-yard rushing performance from Jesse Rodriguez, which lent a little more offensive balance to Central Catholic. Will Barr has emerged as a go-to receiver for quarterback  Joseph Nava.

Those weapons give the Buttons a theoretical edge over a South San offense, which needs another big game from back Christian Morales to utilize the ball-control approach the Bobcats will aim for. Morales ran for 100 yards against Burbank. Sophomore quarterback Isaiah Gutierrez is coming off a 129-yard passing outing in his first extended playing time.

South San was able to avoid the turnovers that had plagued it in previous games. The Buttons also will need to avoid miscues.

Central Catholic has won the last four games in the series and has a 14-8 advantage overall. 2012 score: Central Catholic 32, South San 0.

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

The Hornets have been through the crucible the last two weeks against Brennan and Judson, and have to welcome this trip to New Braunfels. It gives East Central a chance to regain the momentum it had after the first two weeks, in time for the District 28-5A season.

East Central needs to rediscover its identity offensively after being held in check by two overpowering defenses. The Hornets haven’t been quite as prolific as expected out of the spread offense, but some of that is due to an injury to Jonathan Jackson. With backs Jackson and Javion Polk healthy, quarterback Jeremy Jones should have more options to explore as well as a 1-2 punch.

Defensively, the Hornets have been dinged by big plays both on the ground and through the air the last two weeks. They limited Marshall to 161 total yards in Week 1 and have an experienced group that should rise to the challenge this week.

New Braunfels has had similar experiences the last two weeks, losing 49-16 to Johnson last Friday and 41-13 to Madison a week earlier. The Unicorns didn’t score until the fourth quarter against Johnson while Parker Bateman passed 31 times for 140 yards.

East Central won for the first time in this four-game series last year. This won’t be a walkover for the Hornets, but they should make it two wins in a row if they’re able to stretch the Unicorns’ defense and prevent big plays.

This could be exactly the type of matchup the Hornets need with a bye week ahead and District 28-5A play still two weeks away. 2012 score: East Central 24, New Braunfels 21.

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

The Harlandale-Medina Valley football game could end up being as significant in determining the district standings as the volleyball match that precedes it Friday in Castroville.

Although its the District 29-4A opener for both teams, it pits the two best teams in the district against each other and could well set the tone for the rest of the year.

Harlandale, No. 25 in the TexasHSFootball.com statewide Class 4A rankings, wasn’t challenged in its non-district games, so this should be the Indians’ first real test.

Indians senior quarterback Brandon Ramon has thrown for 989 yards and nine touchdowns without an interception. Ramon guides an offense that is averaging 35.7 points a game and his receivers are averaging 20.1 yards a catch, led by James Mendoza and Ian Martinez.

Running back Nick Martinez is averaging more than 109 rushing yards.

Harlandale’s defense is coming off its best game. Two weeks ago against Burbank, the Indians allowed just six points and 164 total yards.

After falling by 17 points to LaVernia in its opener, Medina Valley has prevailed in a pair of close games. The Panthers scored all of their points in the second quarter Sept. 13 in a 21-14 win against rival Hondo. They scored on a 12-yard run by featured back Nathan Stein (71.9 yards a game), a fumble return and a 76-yard pass from quarterback David Olvera (108 passing yards a game) to Joshua Sepulveda.

Medina Valley has a 5-2 lead in the series, but the last three games have been decided by 20 points and the Indians have won two of them. Both teams are coming off an extra week to prepare, so watch out for trick plays that could influence the outcome. 2012 score: Harlandale 51, Medina Valley 41.

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

A year ago, Holy Cross won TAPPS District 3-II and San Antonio Christian finished second, so emotions will be high. And the score likely will be close, especially if their scores against a common opponent are indicative.

Both teams played Class 3A power Navarro, which is undefeated, a week apart before hitting their respective bye weeks.

Holy Cross was the most team to face the Panthers, playing them on the road Sept. 13. The Knights lost 40-20, but gained 340 total yards while Navarro compiled 416. San Antonio Christian lost 42-26 at home Sept. 6. The Lions finished with 303 total yards, while the Panthers rolled up 524.

The Knights will take a two-game losing streak into Friday’s game, having lost 42-19 to Antonian after beating Central Catholic 21-14 in the season-opening Holy Bowl.

A key for Holy Cross against San Antonio Christian could be junior quarterback Cisco Flores’ ability to supplement the rushing attack. Navarro’s defense was able to keep him mostly under containment.

On the plus side, there were and have been a lot of positive developments for Holy Cross. Flores completed about 70 percent of his passes for 192 yards. Back Greg Scott had a breakout game with 138 rushing yards on 21 carries. Senior Greg Kelly has averaged more than 100 receiving yards a game.

San Antonio Christian has a pass-oriented attack led by quarterback Andrew Hawkins, who has thrown for  568 yards and six touchdowns with just one interception. Two receivers are over 100 yards, Turner Goudge (11 catches) and Sam Lorillard (6 catches), while Chris Grubb has five receptions for 90 yards and three touchdowns. The receiving corps averages 18.3 yards a catch.

The Lions’ leading rusher Clayton Christian with just 76 yards.

So, Holy Cross will need to keep the pressure on Hawkins and prevent the deep strikes. It will be the first time the Knights have faced a team that relies heavily on the pass. Their diverse offense should be able to move the ball against the Lions. 2012 score: Holy Cross 25, San Antonio Christian 23.

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

Defense and the running of senior back Matthew Avalos have Kennedy off to a surprising start. The Rockets are headed for their first big test, though, at the end of the long bus ride to Uvalde.

Kennedy has allowed just 27 points defensively and the unit has scored 20 of its own. Uvalde will be the most prolific offensive team they’ve faced.

Avalos ran for 239 yards last week in a 25-7 win over Pearsall and 552 this season. To keep Uvalde’s defense honest, the Rockets won’t need to pass often, but will need to be efficient when they do. So far, Kennedy has succeeded in doing that.

Uvalde seems to always be one of those teams that’s hard to figure, and coming off a bye week likely will make it even more unpredictable. The Coyotes ambushed Highlands 48-21 Sept. 7, but then lost unimpressively to Laredo Johnson 16-6 Sept. 13.

Against Highlands, Uvalde had both Marco Blanco (177) and Zach Sanchez (101) over 100 rushing yards while the team gained 401. Johnson held the Coyotes to 158 and 276 total yards. 

Johnson’s workhorse back Augustin Gonzalez hit them for 199 yards, which should give the Rockets hope that Avalos can have a big game in Uvalde. The biggest factor will be for Kennedy to continue to play the run well and force turnovers. 2012 score: Uvalde 20, Kennedy 2.

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

McCollum takes its first trip outside of San Antonio this year to face a Floresville team that has mostly fared well against District 28-4A opponents.

The 29-4A opener for both teams may give an indication as to whether it’s better to launch into district play off a bye week or a cushy victory. The host Tigers defeated Lanier 34-12 last Friday in Floresville.

The Cowboys have had two weeks to make adjustments after falling 21-7 to Highlands, their first loss of the year on Sept. 13. The Owls beat Floresville 17-14 in their season opener Aug. 31.

Prior to the Highlands game,  McCollum’s defense had only allowed five points and 154 total yards in two games. The Owls only mustered 187 total yards but scored on three passes, two of more than 20 yards.

McCollum scored on a 79-yard pass play from Ralph Vidal to back Mike Ramirez, but hasn’t been a consistent running team so far. To win in Floresville, they’ll need to run the ball effectively to prevent the Tigers from controlling the clock with back Gilbert Ortiz (109.3 yards a game).

Tigers quarterback Koby Wilkerson is a passing threat, in that he’s able to keep defenses from keying too much on the run. Highlands gained 317 total yards against Floresville, but the Tigers held Brackenridge’s potent offense to 291. So, to earn a road win, McCollum likely will need to have its best offensive showing to date. 2012 score: Floresville 15, McCollum 12.

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

Southwest needed to do a little soul searching after being shut out by Brennan 48-0 last Friday. Now they have the honor of playing a team that also posted a shutout last week.

New Braunfels Canyon blanked Austin LBJ 20-0 as the Cougars defense allowed just 89 total yards and just 21 rushing yards. That has to concern a Dragons offense that’s based around its running game, yet mustered just 49 yards against state-ranked Brennan. However, it’s important to note that Canyon allowed an average of 20 points a game in its first three contests.

This won’t be a holiday for Southwest, but it won’t be a re-run of what if ran into last week, either.

Dragons quarterback Bowen Crisp has been improving his passing efficiency, and continued improvement will be welcome against the Cougars. Expect the ground game to be back on track behind Brian Donnell and Reilly Riggs.

Defensively, Southwest will need to concern itself with running back Gibreel Evans (121.8 yards a game) and quarterback Phillip Shelton (82 yards a game). Shelton also has run for 251 yards. Canyon scored 47 points Sept. 13 against Roosevelt.

An interesting side note: Canyon is coached by former Southwest coach Matt Elliott. Which, undoubtedly, is why the series resumed last year after an 11-year break. Southwest won the previous game in 1991 and has a 4-2 lead in the series. 2012 score: New Braunfels Canyon 35, Southwest 21.

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

It’s out of the frying pan and into the fire for Sam Houston.

For a beleagured Hurricanes defense that’s given up more than 40 points a game, the last two non-district opponents (Navarro Friday and Gonzales Oct. 4) don’t promise any relief. Navarro is averaging 37.8 points a game offensively.

Edison defeated 40-12 last Friday at the SAISD Sports Complex, although the statistical totals were fairly even. The Voks scored on four plays of 20 or more yards.

Sam Houston gained 258 yards and completed 10 of 19 passes, but surrendered three turnovers while Edison committed none. Erin Mack turned in another solid performance with 111 rushing yards and Devin Harris added 47.

Class 3A Navarro is averaging nearly 350 rushing yards per game, led by senior Luke Jaroszewski (115 yards a game average). 2012 score: Navarro 30, Sam Houston 13.

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

Memorial is used to being the pursuer. In its District 29-4A opener against Southside, the Minutemen will be the pursued.

Translation: Memorial has earned the right to be favored in this game, based on its two non-district wins even though the Cardinals have played a tougher early schedule.

That said, this could very well be a coin flip of a game. Southside certainly has the ability to pull out a victory. The Cardinals have to curb their turnovers and limit the big plays the Minutemen are capable of breaking.

Memorial not only snapped a double-digit winning streak in defeating Pearsall, it also recovered from a 43-point loss to Fredericksburg to knock off Lytle in Lytle. The Minutemen did the trick with a 24 unanswered points after the Pirates had scored the first 14 Sept. 13.

Running back Raul Rangel had his best game of the season with 136 rushing yards. Quarterback Alfred Ramos contributed 242 yards of total offense. Speedy Manases Cano hauled in three passes for 97 yards, including a 55-yard touchdown pass.

Southside was shut out 28-0 by Central Catholic that night. The Cardinals will oppose a Memorial defense that limited Lytle to 225 total yards and was plus-two in the turnover battle.

The Cardinals had averaged 24.5 in their first two games. Against the Buttons, sophomore Timmy Rodriguez ran for 76 yards, but four interceptions short-circuited the offense. However, quarterback Johnny Trevino, another sophomore, can make big plays either running or passing.

All four Central Catholic touchdowns covered 20 yards or more. The Buttons accounted for 354 total yards. Devine and Sam Houston each gained more than 475 in the first two games. 2012 score: Southside 33, Memorial 8.

 

SATURDAY

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

Brennan, No. 3 in the TexasHSFootball.com statewide Class 4A poll, outscored opponents 197-21 in its four non-district games and now turns its attention to its District 28-4A schedule.

Edison struggled out of the gate this year but made great improvement throughout its non-district schedule. The young Golden Bears now look like a potential playoff team after defeating Sam Houston 40-12 last Friday. They’ve won two games in a row after falling 40-7 to Pleasanton in their opener.

Senior back  Andres Aguilar ran for 115 yards and caught two passes for 79 yards against Sam Houston.  Edison quarterback Jonathan Hernandez ran for 49 yards.

Edison’s defense allowed an average of just 239 yards in the two wins. Now they’re up against a multi-faceted Brennan offense that hasn’t been slowed down by any of its four Class 5A opponents.

Bears quarterback Da’Shawn Key is equally adept at running (331 yards) and passing (441 yards). He leads Brennan in both categories. Makai Green is another reliable ground threat and leads the team in reception yards.

Defensively, Brennan’s Bears have posted shutouts in three of their four games. In a 48-0 win over Southwest last Friday, they gave up just 93 yards.

Last year, the Bears only played their starters in the first half of district games. We’ll see if that policy still holds, now that Brennan has a chance to make a deep run in the Class 4A playoffs.

Brennan won last year in the first-ever meeting between the two schools. 2012 score: Brennan 35, Edison 17.

VOLLEYBALL: Brackenridge finally breaks away from Burbank in Game 4 for third-straight win (complete)

Flores’ serving, team’s blocking help Eagles compensate for Osife’s absence

 

Very few volleyball matches unfold without a decent-sized run developing at some point. Usually, there are at least a handful of flurries like that.

Just as it when it seemed Tuesday’s Brackenridge-Burbank would be the exception to the rule of thumb, the visitors launched a run of 10 unanswered points that didn’t leave the host Bulldogs much time to recover. With senior Miranda Flores serving, Brackenridge (6-21, 5-2) built a double-digit lead in Game 4 and polished off a hard-earned 25-16, 18-25, 25-23, 25-13 win that tied the Eagles for second place in District 28-4A with Jefferson (17-8, 5-2).

Flores’ 10-point service run, which included three aces, helped give Brackenridge its third-consecutive district victory since losing Sept. 13 to second-place Highlands (13-18, 6-1). The senior, who filled in for Eagles setter Renee Osife, was asked whether she was trying to serve a specific area of the court during the decisive run, or just stay within her comfort zone.

“It was a little bit of both,” Flores said. “I was trying to serve short because they were playing so deep.”

Despite its record, Burbank (6-18, 1-6) has been playing its best volleyball of the season lately – just like the Eagles. If not for a couple of twists and turns, it might have been the Bulldogs who won in four games Tuesday.

“They’ve been working very hard, and I couldn’t ask anything more from them,” second-year Burbank coach Toni  said. “They don’t give up in (matches) and they work hard all the way through practice. They’re just a great group of kids, and they’re getting rewarded now for their hard work.

“I think we lost a little bit of our intensity in that last game, but they were trying to get it back. It just didn’t happen tonight. Still, I can’t complain about anything. They gave 100 percent, just like they did in the offseason.”

The Bulldogs led their rivals 21-20 in Game 3 after taking winning the second game. Brackenridge never trailed in the fourth game and led after breaking a 3-3 tie with a four-point spurt.

The Eagles battled their way through Game 1 to pull away at the end, as they began to find their way without Osife, who missed the match because her sister was giving birth.

“Fortunately, Miranda stepped up,” first-year Brackenridge coach Chandra Kerley said. “When you’re missing people, it’s up to the other girls to step up. I knew they’d rise to the challenge, because that’s what they’ve done all year.

“Even though they were missing their setter and they had to adjust to that, they stepped it up tonight.”

Burbank essentially followed the same pattern in Game 2 that Brack had in the opening game. Then it  carried the momentum into the third game. The Bulldogs jumped out to a 5-1 lead, but the Eagles gradually caught up and tied the game nine times.

“They’re very scrappy,” Kerley said. “We knew, coming in, that we had to be very focused. We got a number of good opportunities. We just had to put them down.”

Although Brack dominated the net early and controlled it late, Burbank middle blocker Antwanisha Riddle (16 blocks, 15 kills) played a big role in the comeback, which was instigated by increased intensity from the Bulldogs’ back-row defense.

“I think Riddle decided this was her house, and she was going to own it,”  said. “When she makes up her mind on something, she usually gets it done.”

A kill from Burbank’s Adrianna Gutierrez provided a 23-22 edge, but the Bulldogs committed a passing error and the Eagles got yet another tying point. Brack’s Ana DeLeon recorded her third block and Burbank made a hitting error to suddenly swing the victory to the Eagles.

“It was very, very important,” Kerley said of Brack’s blocking. “What I talked to them about was keeping focused. I felt like they wanted this game a lot more than we did. I felt like we just needed to match their intensity, and that’s why we won.”

Jolicia Shelton-Brown (7 kills) delivered the kill that gave the Eagles the lead for good in Game 4. The 4-3 advantage grew to 11-6 with help from a kill by Flores (19 assists, 6 aces). Riddle made two consecutive blocks, one she shared with Bulldogs senior Leticia Gomez, to close the gap to two points.

That’s when a kill from Brack’s Darlene Jackson brought Flores to the serving line. Before Riddle stopped the run with a kill, the Eagles’ lead had reached 20-8.

Another kill from Shelton-Brown returned serve to Brack and the lead reached 13 on a Burbank hitting error. Burbank senior leader Jenna Villanueva pounded a kill.

“Jenna is an intense volleyball player,” Gorman said. “She’s our go-to player. She really is. She’s one of the best leaders in the district.”

Shelton-Brown answered again to put the Eagles at match point.

“We didn’t have that much experience at the beginning of the year,” Flores said. “I think we’re really coming along and making a big (improvement).”

Kathy Sifuentes led Brackenridge with 10 digs.

Kerley coached at Jay from 2007-11 and has coached club volleyball prior to coming to Brackenridge.

“They were a very young team,” Kerley said. “We only had four or five returnees. The rest of them played JV. They had a lot of talent. They just needed the experience.”

The Eagles are scheduled to play host to district-leading Brennan (25-3, 7-0) 7:30 p.m. Friday. The Bears are ranked No. 7 in the Texas Girls Coaches Association statewide Class 4A poll.

Osife is expected to be back in the lineup.

“I think the girls are ready for it,” Kerley said. “I’m glad it’s at home. We’ve been doing well at home.”

Alejandra Martinez supplied a match-best 22 digs for Burbank. Bekah Valma contributed eight assists. Sharriah Martinez served three aces.

“I think they’re getting a lot more consistent,” Gorman said. “They’re starting to
believe in each other, and in their selves.

“As they continue to get better, I think they’re going to surprise a lot of people.”

TUESDAY VOLLEYBALL ROUNDUP: Harlandale set for first-place showdown with Medina Valley

East Central, Southside notch statement victories

TEAMS INCLUDED: East Central, Edison, Harlandale, Highlands, Jefferson, Kennedy, Lanier, McCollum, Memorial, Southside, Young Women’s Leadership Academy.

The logjam at the top of the District 29-4A standings broke up a little bit Tuesday night, and the fallout is that one team will have smooth sailing ahead after Friday evening.

Harlandale (18-7, 4-0) and Medina Valley (16-14, 4-0) remained tied for first in 29-4A Tuesday, but the third co-leader coming out of the weekend no longer has a share of the district lead. Uvalde’s 25-19, 25-19, 26-28, 25-23 upset win at Floresville Tuesday dumped the Jaguars (16-14, 3-1) into third place.

That means temporary custody of first place in 29-4A will be settled at 6 p.m. Friday at Medina Valley. The Panthers defeated McCollum (6-18, 1-3) 25-21, 25-19, 25-15 Tuesday at Medina Valley despite nine kills and two blocks from Neyda Sanchez, 11 assists from Savannah Borjas and 14 digs from Jasmine Cordova.

Harlandale held its ground with a four-game win over Memorial in its home gym. The Indians, who prevailed 25-17, 25-12, 23-25, 25-13, can take sole possession of first place with a victory Friday at Medina Valley.

Katie Neira turned in 16 kills. Freshman Alicia Garcia contributed 17 assists and 13 digs. Kianna Sandoval added 12 assists and five digs.

Other defensive standouts for the Indians included seniors Sierra Sandoval (14 digs, 2 aces) and Cera Cerda (12 digs, 7 kills). Erika Arredondo (9 kills) and Kelly Landin each made four blocks. Jackie Espinoza finished with six kills and five digs. Melanie Mendez had four kills. Clarissa Guerrero notched five digs.

For Memorial, Bridget Gomez connected with Minutemen hitters for 15 assists. Jatziry Duarte made nine digs. Miranda Puente had a team-high five blocks. Abigail Garcia put down five kills.

East Central d. San Marcos

The Hornets (13-13) drew on solid performances from several players to score a mild upset over Sam Marcos (21-9) Tuesday at East Central. The host team won 25-17, 25-14, 22-25, 25-14.

Madison Simon led East Central with seven kills. Kaylin Mills and Chrstie Cosper supplied six kills apiece, while Cosper added 2.5 blocks. Other defensive leaders for the Hornets included Brandy Campos (11 digs) and Nichole West (6 digs). Each also served two aces.

Dual setters Danny Alvarez and Alex Pena distributed 15 and nine assists, respectively.

East Central will play host to Corpus Christi Carroll (11-10) at 7 p.m. Friday in its District 28-5A opener.

Southside d. Kennedy

The Cardinals (5-18, 1-3) picked up their first District 29-4A win of the season and ended an eight-match losing streak with a 25-15, 25-22, 25-19 victory over Kennedy (6-15, 1-3) Tuesday at Edgewood Gym.

Alyssa Gallardo (15 assists, 6 aces, 6 digs) and Cristina Guerra (5 kills, 3 aces, 3 digs, 2 blocks) each   contributed in several categories to lead Southside. Amber Munoz chipped in five kills and seven digs. Ariana Cisneros made a team-best 10 digs. Aimee Wood added five digs. Mayra Sendejo executed two blocks.

Kennedy  was led by Taylor Martinez (11 digs) and Clara Lopez (10 digs) on defense. Alexandra Arzola had four assists. Ashley Garza, Angel Huron and Amalee Ramos all served two aces. Huron also led the Rockets with four kills.

Highlands d. Lanier

The Owls (13-18, 6-1) held second place in 29-4A with a 25-15, 25-15, 25-16 win Tuesday at Lanier (6-16, 3-4).

Highlands was led by Analisa Garza with 30 assists. Jazmine Jackson made 13 kills and served five aces. Libero Jessica Alvarez was credited with 13 digs.

Vanessa Trevino made seven digs for the Voks.

Jefferson d. YWLA

The Mustangs (17-8, 5-2), who are tied for third place with Brackenridge, smacked Young Women’s Leadership Academy (2-24, 0-7) 25-7, 25-11, 25-12 Tuesday in 28-4A.

Selena Garcia dealt 10 assists and Melanie Ybarra made nine digs for the host team at Jefferson. Courney Garcia and Krystin Garcia each finished with five kills. Gabby Vasquez served two aces.

Alejandra Ramirez led YWLA with 11 digs. Karease Williams contributed five assists.

VOLLEYBALL: This week’s results (Sept. 23-28)

Matches of Sept. 23-28

Tuesday’s results

VOLLEYBALL

District 28-4A

Brennan (25-3, 7-0) 3, Edison (8-21, 4-3) 0 (25-8, 25-17, 25-11)

Brackenridge (9-21, 5-2) 3, Burbank (6-18, 1-6) (25-16, 18-25, 25-23, 25-13)

Highlands (13-18, 6-1) 3, Lanier (6-17, 3-5) 0 (25-15, 25-15, 25-16)

Jefferson (17-8, 5-2) 3, Young Women’s Leadership Academy (2-24, 0-7) 0 (25-7, 25-11, 25-12)

District 29-4A

Harlandale (18-7, 4-0) 3, Memorial (9-18, 0-4) 1 (25-17, 25-12, 23-25, 25-13)

Medina Valley (16-14, 4-0) 3, McCollum (6-18, 1-3) 0 (25-21, 25-19, 25-15)

Southside (5-18, 1-3) 3, Kennedy (6-15, 1-3) 0 (25-15, 25-22, 25-19)

Uvalde (13-17, 2-2) 3, Floresville (16-14, 3-1) 1 (25-19, 25-19, 26-28, 25-23)

TAPPS District 3-4A

Victoria St. Joseph (???) 3, Holy Cross (21-9, 2-2) 0 (game scores unavailable)

TMI (11-13, 1-1) 3, San Antonio Christian (5-11???, 0-2) 1 (25-19, 29-27, 25-20)

Austin Hyde Park Baptist (???, 4-0) 3, San Marcos Academy (???) 0 (25-10, 25-11, 25-11)

Non-district

East Central (13-13) 3, San Marcos (21-9) 1 (25-17, 25-14, 22-25, 25-14)

Judson (20-10) 3, Southwest (11-19) 0 (25-17, 25-15, 25-21)

South San (12-9) at Jay (5-16, 0-7), 7:15 p.m. (scores unavailable)

Wednesday’s results

VOLLEYBALL

TAPPS District 2-5A

Providence (9-14, 2-2) 3, Laredo St. Augustine (???) 1 (25-22, 25-18, 23-25, 25-23)

Incarnate Word (15-8, 4-0) 3, Corpus Christi John Paul II (???) 0  (25-10, 25-8, 25-7)

Antonian (21-14, 4-1) 3, St. Anthony (15-10, 3-3) 0 (25-9, 25-14, 25-9)

Thursday’s results

VOLLEYBALL

TAPPS District 3-4A

San Marcos Academy (???) at Victoria St. Joseph (???), 7 p.m. (scores unavailable)

Non-district

Holy Cross (22-9) 3, St. Anthony (15-10) 1 (25-10, 25-22, 20-25, 25-11)

Friday’s results

VOLLEYBALL

District 28-5A

Southwest (12-19, 1-0) 3, South San (12-10, 0-1) 0 (25-19, 25-16, 25-19)

East Central (14-13, 1-0) 3, Corpus Christi Carroll (11-11, 0-1) 0 (25-21, 25-21, 25-21)

Steele (17-15, 1-0) 3, Corpus Christi King (10-12, 0-1) 0 (25-8, 25-21, 25-13)

District 28-4A

Brennan (26-3, 8-0) 3, Brackenridge (9-22, 5-3) 0 (25-10, 25-13, 25-11)

Highlands (14-18, 7-1) 3, Jefferson (17-9, 5-3) 1 (29-27, 25-19, 25-27, 28-26)

Burbank (7-18, 2-6) 3, Young Women’s Leadership Academy (2-25, 0-8) 1 (25-8, 25-27, 25-13, 25-9)

Edison (9-21, 5-3) 3, Fox Tech (9-26, 1-7) 0 (25-12, 25-14, 25-18)

District 29-4A

Harlandale (19-7, 5-0) 3, Medina Valley (16-15, 4-1) 2 (25-21, 17-25, 25-21, 8-25, 15-11)

Uvalde (14-17, 3-2) 3, Kennedy (6-16, 1-4) 0 (25-13, 25-15, 25-7)

Floresville (17-14, 4-1) 3, McCollum (6-19, 1-4) 2 (25-18, 25-18, 22-25, 17-25, 15-9)

Memorial (10-18, 1-4) 3, Southside (5-19, 1-4) 2 (11-25, 25-23, 20-25, 25-23, 15-11)

District 28-3A

Sam Houston (17-8, 1-0) 3, Poteet (1-15 ???, 0-1) 0 (25-10, 25-18, 25-15)

Pleasanton (16-8, 1-0) 3, Hawkins (4-12 ???, 0-1) 0 (25-6, 25-10, 25-12)

Lavernia (15-16, 1-0) 3, Somerset (14-7, 0-1) 2 (26-24, 26-24, 23-25, 23-25, 15-13)

TAPPS District 3-4A

Austin Hyde Park Baptist (???, 5-0) 3. Holy Cross (22-10, 2-3) 1 (game scores unavailable)

Non-district

Providence (10-14) 3, Lanier (6-17) 0 (26-24, 25-22, 25-18)

Saturday’s results

TAPPS District 2-5A

Incarnate Word (14-8, 3-0) 3, Laredo St. Augustine (???) 0 (25-7, 25-16, 25-12)

Incarnate Word (15-8, 4-0) 3, Laredo St. Augustine (???) 1 (25-7, 23-25, 25-6, 25-7)

Austin St. Michael’s (???) at Corpus Christi John Paul II (???), 7:30 p.m. (scores unavailable)

TAPPS District 3-4A

TMI (11-13, 1-1) at Austin Regents (???), 1p.m. (scores unavailable)

San Marcos Academy (???) at San Antonio Christian (5-11???, 0-2), noon (scores unavailable)

WEEKEND VOLLEYBALL ROUNDUP: Harlandale sweeps Indians for seventh-straight win (Sept. 20-21)

Edison, Kennedy pull out tough district wins

TEAMS INCLUDED: Burbank, Edison, Harlandale, Highlands, Kennedy, Lanier, McCollum, Memorial, Young Women’s Leadership Academy.

FOLLOW THIS LINK TO A VERSION OF THIS STORY ON THE SOUTHSIDE REPORTER WEBSITE:

http://www.mysanantonio.com/community/southside/news/article/Volleyball-roundup-for-Sept-25-edition-4837256.php

 

Harlandale (17-7, 3-0) increased its winning streak to seven matches with a 25-11, 25-17, 28-26 home victory over McCollum (6-17, 1-2).

“The girls came out very focused and with a lot of intensity,” Halandale coach Sylvia Cardenas said. “After two games, we kind of let our guards down a little and let them stay with us. There was a lot of back and forth in the third game.”

The victory put the Indians in a three-way tie for the District 29-4A lead. McCollum is tied for fourth with Uvalde (12-17, 1-2),which defeated the Cowboys Tuesday, and Kennedy (6-14, 1-2), which defeated its rival Memorial Friday.

“They’re coming together as a team,” Cardenas said. “It’s basically a senior group, so we have a lot of experience and leadership. They’re really stepping up and playing together.”

Harlandale’s height caused some problems for the Cowboys.

Senior standout Katie Neira, a 5-foot-9 outside hitter, led Harlandale with 12 kills and six digs. Erika Arredondo, Jackie Espinoza (2 blocks), Yolanda Garcia (3 blocks) and Melanie Mendez all added seven kills.

“We’ve been moving (the ball) around, and everyone’s been doing a good job with hitting,” Cardenas said. “We’re not just focusing on Katie. Our other girls have stepped up, so there’s no way teams can focus on just one girl.

“Jackie Espinoza, on the right side, had a really good match.”

For McCollum, senior Erin Stinnett recorded 12 kills. Stinnett thrived as Harlandale aimed its defense at controlling fellow outside hitter Neyda Sanchez.

“Some of their girls were hitting well, but we let our guards down,” Cardenas said. “I needed to get the emphasis back to playing with as much intensity as we had in the first two games.

“(Sanchez) is one of their big hitters. We were ready for her. We knew some of her tendencies. Their other hitter (Stinnett) did a really good job. They both did a good job.”

Harlandale senior Sierra Sandoval finished with 16 digs and Cera Cerda added 10, to go with four kills and two aces.

“Our libero, Sierra, did just an awesome job in the back,” Cardenas said.

Freshman Kianna Sandoval contributed 13 assists, seven digs and three aces. Catherine Silva led the Indians with 15 assists in Harlandale’s two-setter offense. Silva and Kelly Landin made five digs apiece.

Cardenas pointed out that when Sandoval, who returned recently from a hamstring pull, was injured, she turned to another setter Alicia Garcia, who kept Harlandale’s offense running smoothly.

Depth has been one of Harlandale’s best attributes, and it helped the Indians defeat McCollum. Cardenas said she just needed to remind her team of its responsibilities when the Cowboys threatened in the third game. “I called time out near the end,” she recalled, “and I stayed a little calm, because I knew we had to come together at the end. Last year, I could see that they would panic at the end.

“That’s the difference between last year and this year. This year, with the same group, they’re pretty much under control. They don’t lose focus.”

Savannah Borjas dealt 14 assists for the Cowboys. Jasmine Cordova led McCollum with nine digs. Danielle Saldivar served two aces.

The Indians share first in 29-4A with Floresville (16-13, 3-0) and Medina Valley (15-14, 3-0). Harlandale will play Medina Valley Friday in Castroville, after playing host to Memorial (9-17, 0-3) Tuesday.

Harlandale is expected to remain in contention through the end of the season.

“It’s going to be a big match,” Cardenas said, referring to facing Medina Valley. “It’s always a battle. Last year in district, they took us to five games both times. They’re pretty athletic and have a good team.”

Kennedy d. Memorial

The Rockets split the first two games with Memorial (9-17, 0-3) Friday at Edgewood Gym, but earned the victory by claiming the last two by identical 25-23 scores.

Kennedy won Game 1 in the 29-4A match 25-18. The Minutemen bounced back to snare the second game, 25-16.

Angel Huron led Kennedy with six kills and three digs. Taylor Martinez added a team-high six digs. Ashley Garza served three aces.

Memorial was led by 11 assists from Bridget Gomez and nine digs from Jatziry Duarte. Miranda Puente contributed four aces and three kills. Susan Vasquez had three blocks.

Edison d. Burbank

The Golden Bears (8-20, 4-2) outlasted improving Burbank (6-17, 1-5) to come away with a 25-19, 24-26, 25-21, 17-25, 15-12 win Friday at Edison in the District 28-4A contest.

Edison was led by a pair of seniors. Karen Guerrero unleashed 19 kills and Juanita Gomez covered the back row for 19 digs. Elizza Torres finished with three blocks. Joanna Benavidez recorded two aces.

The Bulldogs received 16 kills and six blocks from 5-9 senior Jenna Villanueva. Senior Alejandra Martinez chased down 25 digs. Leticia Gomez distributed 15 assists.

San Marcos d. Highlands

Highlands (12-18) fought hard to extend its four-match winning streak Friday, but eventually succumbed to a talented 21-8 San Marcos squad.

The Rattlers won the first two games decisively 25-15, 25-11 in San Marcos. The Owls clawed back into it with 25-23 and 25-20 decisions. In rally scoring during Game 5, San Marcos prevailed 15-4.

Jazmine Jackson put down eight kills and served four aces for Highlands. Jessica Alvarez recorded 18 digs. Analisa Garza finished with 16 assists.

Mikah Myers pounded 16 kills for the Rattlers.

Lanier d. YWLA

The Voks (6-16, 3-4) defeated Young Women’s Leadership Academy (2-23, 0-6) 26-24, 25-19, 25-14 Friday in a 28-4A match at Woodlawn Gym. No statistics were available for either team.