The Devine Warhorses dropped their season opener to the Boerne Greyhounds in Boerne last Friday night by the score of 42-0.
The Warhorses simply could not match the firepower that the Greyhounds possessed offensively. Boerne scored 14 points in each of the 1st, 3rd, and 4th quarters to dominate the ballgame.
Although the score was not close, the Warhorses put forth great effort in attempting to match up with Boerne’s tall receivers and quarterback, Brooks Klutts, who threw for 317 yards. Wide receiver Connor Fisher collected 11 catches for 164 yards and three touchdowns on his own. Devine had several jarring tackles on Greyhound ball carriers; unfortunately Boerne still amassed 153 yards rushing on 30 attempts.
“I told our team that we played with great effort at the beginning,” stated Head Coach Paul Gomez. “Our offense wasn’t clicking; we had a lot of three-and-outs. Our defense had to be on the field for too much of the game. I felt that if we could have gotten a couple of first downs to keep some drives alive to score a touchdown, it really would have enabled us gain some momentum. We had one or two good offensive plays, and then a penalty or something bad would happen to knock us out of a possible good scoring chance.”
Devine’s defense registered a big stop on Boerne’s first possession of the game. The Greyhounds started the season on their own 30 yard line and moved the ball to the Devine 41. Klutts threw the ball deep over the middle looking for a quick strike but outside linebacker Payton Anderson made a two-handed, above his head interception to thwart that Greyhound scoring opportunity at the Devine 12 yard line.
Devine was able to muster a first down or two on their opening drive. Not much else positive happened the remainder of the first half as the Warhorses had to settle for 5 yards rushing on 12 carries, 68 yards passing on 6 of 8 attempts, and only 3 first downs going into halftime, trailing 28-0.
“Yes, the idea is to have a balanced offense when it comes to the run/pass ratio,” stated Gomez. “However, we have to establish running the ball first to open up the passing game, not vice versa. Unfortunately, we did not run the ball well tonight. We have changed some of our terminology from seasons past but many of our plays are very similar to what we have ran. There is not an excuse as to why we laid an egg.”
Devine will improve, however, because of its willingness to play better teams in order to get better. The Warhorses will have little time to dwell on its opening loss with its next game tomorrow night in San Antonio.
“We have San Antonio Brackenridge on Thursday night which I believe is a benefit to us. Our kids have to refocus their attention to getting back onto the field quickly. The faster we get on the field, the easier it will be to erase the memory of the opening game. Our players believe in each other and believe in their coaches. They came out with great energy at practice Monday and are ready for the Eagles,” Gomez concluded.
Defensive Coordinator George Villa—“I thought our defense did a lot of good things and we were able to find quite a few positives despite what the score showed. Obviously, we are not where we want to be, but we knew that going into the game. We want to be playing our best football come November. I thought our effort was great, we flew to the football well, we forced some turnovers, we were not confused in the back end, and we played with a lot of heart and were physical throughout. I am excited to see how these young men respond versus Brackenridge Thursday.”
In all, the defense accounted for two interceptions, two forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery. There was no confusion in lining up defensively even when Boerne shifted from primarily trips-wide sets in the first half to double-width sets in the second half. According to Villa, “alignments may have not been perfect as far as the secondary lining up with Boerne’s receivers, but those parts of the game are easily corrected.”
Boerne is a good team, no doubt. A school enrollment of approximately 1,130 kids allows for a bigger selection of kids for coaches to put on the field. During realignment in February, look for Boerne ISD to be classified as 5A instead of 4A. Just a week or so before their Devine matchup, the Greyhounds beat Kerrville-Tivy, a 5A school, in a scrimmage.
Boerne is a talented squad, and their fifty-three player roster is loaded with speed, height, and girth. Nearly half of those only have an offensive or a defensive position next to their name, not like the Warhorse roster where every player is needed to fill a position on both sides of the ball. Boerne is able to allow players to recover during long stretches of the game, something the Warhorses and most 4A schools do not have the luxury to do.
Once the game got out of reach on the scoreboard, from a coach’s standpoint it became more about winning individual battles (although, hmmm, don’t tell UCLA that…). By halftime, it was apparent that Boerne was going to be the victor, holding a 28-0 lead on the Warhorses. Coaches preach early in the season about getting better every snap whether it is in practice or in a game. The Warhorses did not give up and continued to give great effort.
One forced fumble and one interception occurred in the second half, which proves the players were still mentally and physically tuned in to the game defensively. The Warhorses had 8 total first downs with 5 of those coming in the second half. Offensively, Devine was still trying to move the ball and wanting to get that goose egg off the scoreboard. Don’t count the special teams out of the ‘small battle’ determination; punter Grant Collins ran a rugby-style fake punt for a first down after the halftime break.
Instances as these that fans may see as small or insignificant will benefit the team at some point later on down the road. Don’t give up on the Warhorses one game into the season; it is obvious they haven’t given up on themselves.
Final Devine stats
Devine had 15 yards rushing on 23 attempts. King Cantero (8 for 15 yards), Noah Brogdon (1 for 12), Luke Torres (9 for 21), Connor Schmidt (3 for -12), and Guido Zapata (1 for 2) accounted for most of the attempts and rushing. There was a botched punt attempt that officially goes down as a run attempt for punter Grant Collins who lost 23 yards on the play.
Schmidt completed 12 of 23 passes for 104 yards. Three different receivers combined for the 104 yards. Kyler Brown (3 receptions for 29 yards), Zapata (2 for 19), and Brogdon (7 for 56).
Payton Anderson and Kyler Brown each had 1 interception. Jose Fargason caused 1 fumble, while Hayden Burwell forced another loose ball that was recovered by Javi Torres.
Three seniors were asked what their goals for the season were and to name someone who has been a positive role model for them throughout their Warhorse career.
Connor Schmidt—QB/DB—I make sure that every time I step out on the field, I play like it is my last game. It is important for me to be a positive role model to those who look up to me. My goal is to be a good leader for my team. We need to stick together; I have made it my priority to make that happen.
My dad (Gary Schmidt) has been a positive role model for me throughout my whole football career. While I am on the field, he has pushed me to be a better player. I have big shoes to fill and I am going to work hard to make the best of this experience.
Marques Burford-Zawahreh—OL/DT—My goal is to win district and to advance in the playoffs as far as we can go. We are going to be a good team and I hope the community comes out to support us. The team always comes first but if I could accomplish an individual goal, it would be to make the All-State team as an offensive lineman.
My grandmother and my mother are my role models and they have made a positive impact on my life and football career.
Javi Torres—WR/DB—I am approaching my senior season with some bumps in the road as far as a nagging injury, but that is not going to keep me from playing. I would like to thank all of my coaches in the past years on making a positive impact on my life. From pee-wee football up to now, my senior year, my coaches have always encouraged me.
I want to give a special thank you to Jacob Sadler for the individual time he has helped me. I am going to cherish these moments with my brothers on the field; we are going to make ever-lasting memories.
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By Jerel Beaty