5A-DII Somerset Bulldogs present formidable challenge

Realignment last February moved the Somerset Bulldog football program up the ladder from Class 4A to Class 5A. In their new district, District 15-5A DII, the Bulldogs face the likes of Alice Coyotes, Calallen Wildcats, Calhoun Sandcrabs, Floresville Tigers, Gregory-Portland Wildcats, Southside Cardinals, and the Tuloso-Midway Warriors. With Calallen being the preseason coach’s pick to win the district with Gregory-Portland, Alice, and Port Lavaca to finish 2nd to 4th, the Bulldogs face an uphill challenge to make the state playoffs with a 7th place projected finish.
An eight-team district leaves Somerset with only three preseason contests. With last week’s season opening 54-39 victory against San Antonio Brackenridge at Alamo Stadium now in their rear view mirror, the Bulldogs face the Warhorses in Somerset this Friday night. Their final tune comes in Week 3 versus the McCollum Cowboys at Harlandale Stadium.
Bulldog players to watch when the Warhorses have the ball are LB Francis Sanchez, DL Christian Patino, and DBs Andrew Vasquez and Joseph Hidalgo. Sanchez (92 tackles, 6 sacks, 1 interception), Patino (40 tackles), Vasquez (3 interceptions), and Hidalgo (29 tackles) return and are counted on to lead the team once again.
Offensively, Somerset’s run and pass game will benefit from the return of OL Sebastian Ramirez. At 6’1”, 285lbs Sanchez looks to provide QB Daniel Ramos time to make reads to hit the open receiver. Ryan Rodriguez at receiver will benefit from Gonzalez’s strong arm and accuracy. Hunter Hernandez, John Duenas, and Reymundo Hernandez will carry much of the Bulldog’s running load.
Ramos completed 4 of 11 passes for 103 yards last week, 97 of those yards came on two Rodriguez receptions. The Hernandez-Duenas running back combo rushed for 142 and 106 yards respectively in the 54-point outburst.
As for the Warhorses, Head Coach Paul Gomez is ready to meet yet another challenge Friday night on the road against a Bulldog team that rallied from a 10-point first quarter deficit in their season opener.
“Somerset is a good team. They had a big win against San Antonio Brackenridge last Friday so they are going in with plenty of confidence. Both their offensive and defensive lines are big and athletic. Offensively, they run the ball more than the Somerset teams of the past. They have a big fullback in D’Angelo Romero (#36) that is a load either carrying the ball or blocking for the tailback. Hunter Hernandez (#5) is a fast, tough running back that looked impressive along with John Duenas (#24).
They still throw the ball well and they have big play receivers with Ryan Rodriguez (#3) being one of them. Defensively they run a form of the 3-3 stack. Their tackles and nose guard are big, athletic players that are hard to move. Their leading tackler is middle linebacker Francis Sanchez (#32); he is a good one.
Somerset will be a good challenge for us for week 2. We have to play much better on both sides of the ball. It is going to be a hostile crowd over there in Somerset but I think our boys will be up for the challenge. All we can do is focus on what WE do and put the work in every day this week. We can never be satisfied and we must continue to play for each other.”
Kickoff is set for 7:30pm at Bulldog Stadium. Hopefully, the clock is fully functioning this time around…(remember that, Warhorse Nation?).
By Jerel Beaty
Staff Writer