Hondo slows Horses’ roll 41-26

For the first twenty-four minutes of Devine’s game Friday night against rival Hondo it appeared their momentum building five game winning streak had an outstanding chance to roll into six consecutive victories. However, the Warhorses could not hold on to a 20-14 halftime advantage and went down in defeat 41-26.
As good as Devine looked at times in the first half, the second half was a different story as the Warhorses could not sustain energy and momentum built from a defensive goal line stand as time ran out at the end of the second quarter.
“It was tough loss Friday night,” Head Coach Paul Gomez said. “It was a game where we felt that we had a great plan both defensively and offensively going into that district match up and it showed by the way we started the game. We shut them down defensively and moved the ball offensively.”
All sports contain ‘questionable calls’ that could either go in favor or, or against a particular team. Gomez pointed to two touchdowns that stayed off the Brown Chevrolet scoreboard due to penalties called.
“We did get some bad calls on two big plays that would have added two touchdowns for us but that is not the reason why we lost,” stated Gomez. “It’s not that they made adjustments to what they were doing, Hondo just executed better defensively. Early on, we were executing great offensively and then we got to a point where we stopped executing our assignments and at times we just couldn’t line up in our formations.”
Having great practice habits during the week carries into games often. That may not have been the case this week, however.
“Coaches told the kids all week to just win their battle every play and the team as a whole will succeed. We knew it on Wednesday and then on walk-throughs Thursday and Friday. I am not sure of the reasons. Maybe we got tired? Maybe we need to run more? Whatever the case, I am going to have to find out what it was and fix it because ultimately it is on me. It is my job to have us ready and for some reason we could not play our best for four quarters. I will take full responsibility for this one.”
The Horse’s defense was on station and performing well in the first quarter of play. Had Devine been able to put the two additional touchdowns that Gomez talked about on the board that might have kept the motor running on that side of the ball.
“Defensively we stopped doing our jobs whether it was covering the back out that you were assigned to, heal lining as a defensive end or tackle, reading guards if you are a linebacker or double covering a receiver and not going and making a play,” Gomez said. “We had several occasions where we had a receiver double-covered and that kid goes and makes the catch instead of us making the interception. We could not have put ourselves in a better position. For some reason we just stopped trusting the plan. I do not know if we got tired or we started doing our own thing at different positions.”
Wake up call
Sometimes teams need a “wake-up call” to get back on track, and realize no game can be taken for granted. For those that may have forgotten, Devine was riding a five-game winning streak going into the year’s biggest tilt.
“We always talk about adversity and how will we respond to it. Sometimes we will get knocked down and things will not go our way. We will have to get back up and learn from it and get better so that when we face adversity next time, we will handle it better. What we need to do now is get better every week and play four complete quarters every game we play for the rest of district play. We need to take care of business and put us in the best possible position to be successful in the playoffs. We can still go get a gold ball and make some noise out there. It is going to take great effort and leadership in every aspect of our game but it could definitely happen. But, we have to will it to happen and not hope it happens.”
Game flow
Devine put together two good drives during the first quarter of play to build a 14-point lead. Buddy Santos ran for a touchdown with 5:58 to go and another one-yard score a couple of minutes later. After a Brady Hackebeil to Mason Burford two-point conversion pass that gave the Horses a 14-0 lead, many may have begun thinking it was going to be a blowout.
Not the case, however.
Hondo answered Devine’s two touchdowns with back-to-back scores of their own. Brandon J. Garcia scored from two-yards out as the second quarter started, then added another touchdown with 4:58 to go before halftime to tie it at 14 apiece.
Hackebeil hit Santos with a short pass and Buddy took it 42 yards to give Devine a 20-14 halftime lead.
Hondo had a special play designed specifically for the Horses and executed it to perfection. Owl quarterback tossed the ball to Daylon Fohn who then passed it to Carson Winchester for an 8-yard scoring pass on the Owl’s first possession of the third quarter. That strike gave Hondo its first lead at 21-20.
Five minutes or so later, Hackebeil ran 57-yards to put Devine back in the lead at 26-20. That was the Horses last lead of the night, unfortunately.
Hondo scored the next three touchdowns to pull out the 41-26 victory.
Coach speak
Linebacker and slot coach Evan Eads did not let the loss keep him from his weekly submissions regarding his observations of his particular players.
“All the guys worked hard all week preparing for the Hondo game. Even though not everyone got as much playing time, as usual, the guys were ready to play and supported their teammates who did,” Eads said.
No loss is easy to digest, but lessons can still be learned even in the toughest of defeat.
“We were disappointed in the outcome, but we will learn from this loss and improve.
Pre-game hype
Hondo and Devine met for the 101st time Friday, with the District 15-4A-II championship likely on the line. After the win, Hondo (6-1, 2-0) took sole possession of first place in the district standings, while the Horses (5-2, 1-1) dropped to second.
Even with the loss, Devine has won five of its past eight meetings against the Owls, including playoffs.
Team stats
First downs Dev 16 Hon 20 Total yards Dev 379 Hon 429 Rushes-yards Dev 44-258 (5.86) Hon 36-244 (6.78) Passing Dev 8-17 for 124 Hon 10-14 185 Fumbles-lost Dev 1-1 Hon 3-0 Penalties-yards Dev 10-90 Hon 6-45.
Warhorse stats
Passing Brady Hackebeil 7-15 for 124 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT; Justin Contreras 1-2 for 3 yards Receiving Mason Burford 3-64, Buddy Santos 1-44, J. Contreras 2-10, Hackebeil 1-3 Rushing Hackebeil 11-112 for 112 (10.18), 1 TD; B. Santos 16 for 90 (5.63), 2TDs; J. Contreras 15 for 66 (4.40); Nate Ramirez 1 for -4; Jaiden Burford 1 for -6.
Scoring recap
DEV—Buddy Santos 1-yard run (PAT failed), 6-0, 5:58, 1st.
DEV—B. Santos 1-yard run (Brady Hackebeil to Mason Burford pass conversion), 14-0, 2:33, 1st.
HON—Brandon J. Garcia 2-yard run (Brandon R. Garcia PAT), 14-7, 10:56, 2nd.
HON—B. J. Garcia 3-yard run (B. R. Garcia PAT), 14-14, 4:58, 2nd.
DEV—Hackebeil 42-yard pass to B. Santos (PAT failed), 20-14, 1:41, 2nd.
HON—Daylon Fohn 8-yard pass to Carson Winchester (B. R. Garcia PAT), 20-21, 10:19, 3rd.
DEV—Hackebeil 57-yard run (pass conversion failed), 26-21, 4:25, 3rd.
HON—B. J. Garcia 26-yard pass to Winchester (PAT failed), 26-27, 1:45, 3rd.
HON—Trey Dickens 56-yard run (B. R. Garcia PAT), 26-34, 11:40, 4th.
HON—B. J. Garcia 42-yard run (B. R. Garcia PAT). 26-41, 6:09, 4th.
Up next
The Horses travel to Bandera to take on the Bulldogs
By Jerel Beaty
Staff Writer