A heavyweight battle: State-ranked Jourdanton comes to town Friday

Natalia is hosting Jourdanton this Friday, Sept. 20. Above are #50 Diego Hernandez with the PAT, #10 Jacob Jass holding, and protecting #20 Evy Curiel and the offensive line.

Natalia Head Football Coach Ilyan Martinez and the Natalia Coaching staff are calling this coming Friday’s heavy weight battle between the visiting state ranked Jourdanton Indians (3-0) and your Natalia Mustangs (3-0) the biggest home game since their arrival. State Polls once again have your Mustangs as under-dogs, but one can only recall a season ago when Natalia was 25+ point under-dogs during the Jourdanton Homecoming battle.
There is no guarantee that Natalia’s Diego Zapata will make a last second grab for a game winning touchdown vs the Tribe, but one can guarantee the home squad Mustangs will be ready for a four quarter battle with one of the best 3A Division I state ranked programs in the south.
Martinez, his staff and the 2019 Stangs are asking you to come out early, wear blue and give them a “True” home-field advantage by being rowdy from start to finish in this Friday Night Lights battle.
Jourdanton Outlook
The Jourdanton Indians are off to a 3-0 start once again. The Tribe has picked up wins over Poteet (60-28), Dilley (56-7) and LaPryor (35-6).
Coach Darrell Andrés enters his 6th season at the helm of the Indians and has truly turned this program around. J-Town is coming off a 9-3 season that saw them finish 5-1 in 15-3A (Div.I) losing only to Marion, then of course a 34-28 loss to the Natalia Mustangs in their non-district battle. Jourdanton eventually lost to state ranked Edna in the second round of the playoffs after defeating San Diego (31-21) in Bi-District.
The Indians have welcomed back eleven offensive starters and seven on the defensive side of the football. This has allowed J-Town to continue their success.
Offensively, Jourdanton is very balanced as they have passed for 747 yards thanks to junior QB Cole Andrés who happens to be the son of the head coach. He is having a great season thus far after a stellar off-season in which he led the Tribe to the state 7-on-7 tournament. Andrés is 52-77-747 yards-12 TDS with just 1 interception this season.
When he throws the football, his favorite target is talented junior Jared Lilly who has 15 receptions for 204 yards and three touchdowns. Another target is senior Jake Reyna who has 7 catches for 103 yards and 3 touchdowns.
When it comes to their back-field, Jourdanton runs the ball well behind their big offensive line. They have rushed for 708 yards and much of the success comes from brothers Colin Borth (Sr.) and Aiden Borth (Jr.). Colin has 214 yards rushing and 1 touchdown as Aiden has 199 yards with 4 touchdowns on the season.
“I am pleased with our balanced offense,” Andrés said. “Penalties have been an issue for us thus far though, as we have 30 penalties for 260 yards. We need to play more focused for 4 quarters.”
Natalia Head Coach Martinez had the following to say about Jourdanton:
“Offensively, they are a spread team and they are big up front with a ton of talented players at the skilled positions,” Martinez said. “Defensively, they are an even front with a cover-4 or man concept behind it. Again, big up front and great skilled players on the back-end.”
“Their WR Lilly is a special kid who is their go to man,” Martinez said. “He will be the most talented receiver we defend all year in my opinion. Cole Andrés is a year older and much more confident. He is throwing the ball really well and making great decisions for his team. Aiden Borth is their primary back and a strong runner for them with the ability to go when he gets in space also.”
Defensively, the Indians are led by JR Linebacker Brett Berg who has 33 tackles followed but Sr. Defensive End Derrick Jenschke who has 3 sacks.
“#9 Robert Miranda is their LB who has a nose for the football,” Martinez said. “He is a big kid and is going to be tough to block. Schuchart plays safety and can cover a lot of ground for them not the back end. We will have to know where he is at all times.”
Natalia Outlook
A season ago, Natalia had a turnover fest where they had five turnovers on fumbles and an additional two interceptions thrown vs. the Indians. Despite the turnovers, Natalia managed to keep things close before shocking the Indians with a 25 yard touchdown pass from Woodson to Zapata with under a minute to go to pull off the huge 34-28 win. Natalia out-gained the Indians 357 yards to 192.
“Natalia has a great team and coaching staff and we have a ton of respect for them,” Coach Darrell Andrés said. “We are looking forward to playing in what I assume will be a playoff like atmosphere and it should be a great game.” “Natalia is physical and we will need to be ready to match that and play well in all three phases of the game.”
Coach Martinez was asked in closing what his squad will need to do to be successful vs the Indians:
“I don’t think it is any different than any other week,” Martinez said. “We will have to be efficient on offense and win third downs on defense. We know what their ability is and we will have to play a great game to slow them down and give us an opportunity to be successful.”
Game is set for 7:30 p.m.
I am calling this the biggest non-district game in 20+ years at Natalia ISD and I am encouraging everyone to come out and pretend this is Lytle-Round two! Pack the stands, stand up on third down and be LOUD! You didn’t pay for a performance, but a four quarter battle, so do your part backing the blue.
“We hope to create a home field advantage with our fans this week,” Martinez said. “We encourage everyone to come out and help us get the win. “We are Natalia,” Martinez exclaimed!
By Eric Smith
Staff Writer