The Devine 8th Grade Colts rallied back from deficits on two different occasions to pull out the 24-14 victory at Barry Field in Hondo last Thursday evening. After falling behind 6-0 and 14-8, Devine took a 16-14 lead just before the halftime break and held on for the 10-point victory.
Hondo took the early lead on a 45-yard run with 2:35 to go in the first quarter, before Devine quarterback Alejandro Ramirez found Christian Beaver for a 32-yard pass completion that put the ball on the goal line door steps. Rowdy Esparza punched in the 2-yard run and added the two-point conversion to give Devine an 8-6 lead.
Devine kicker Cisco Rios perfectly placed the ensuing kickoff in a dead spot in the Owl return formation and it looked briefly that the Colts would add to their side of the scoring column after Esparza and Colt teammate Esai Sanchez made a big hit on a Hondo kick returner. Mikey Rodriguez scooped up the ball but Devine was unable to capitalize on the extra possession.
After the Colts turned the ball over on downs, Hondo drove in for a 10-yard touchdown run and two-point possession to take the lead back 14-8 with 3:05 to go in the second quarter.
Devine had enough time on the clock to put together an 11-play drive that culminated in another Esparza touchdown run, this time from 5-yards out. Esparza also converted the two-point run to give the Colts a lead they never relinquished at 16-14.
“Thankfully we found something in the run game with Alejandro, Mickey, and Rowdy taking turns running the ball,” said Coach Lon Cozby.
The Colts put together a great ball-control drive to start the second half that had Ramirez capping off a 14-play, 74-yard drive with a 10-yard touchdown run and the subsequent two-point conversion.
That touchdown was the game’s final score in the Colt 24-14 victory.
“We came out of halftime a different team,” Cozby continued. “That last drive going into halftime gave us some confidence on offense. We made a few adjustments on defense and that proved to be the difference.”
Devine had several players step to the plate against their rival from across the creek.
A few of the players already mentioned above, Cozby took time to heap some more praise their way, saying, “Alejandro proved himself at quarterback. He had some good runs and nice passes. Mikey had a great job running the ball and had a couple key catches too. And Rowdy just took over the game by running the ball hard all night.”
The backs had a very productive night, without a doubt. Those holes up front just don’t create themselves.
“Andres Padilla and Becker Byrd help us make holes at the tight end position. Dresden Schneider, Ayden Martinez and Jacob McKee were blocking tough on the line,” said Cozby regarding his players that have to do a lot of the dirty work to get the chains moving.
“Dresden also played well on defense. Sergion De Leon and Damon Johnson had a huge second half on the defensive side of the ball with multiple tackles. Cole Reyes and Esai did well from the secondary. And Cisco helped out by having to play in different spots due to some injuries,” Cozby said in closing of his team’s victory.
Looking ahead to this week’s contest, Cozby stated, “We have Uvalde this week and they will have ‘B’ teams so we are excited. We have good numbers and need that extra game to get kids more playing time.”