Horses slaughter Javelinas 48-12

After a tight 7-6 first quarter, Devine put their foot on the gas pedal, blowing out the Javelinas in Crystal City last Friday night. The Warhorses, behind another solid rushing performance, cruised to their second consecutive District 29-4A victory 48-12. With the victory, Devine is the only undefeated team in its district after the first two weeks.
“It was a big win for us on Friday,” Head Coach Paul Gomez began saying. “We knew Crystal City would have a big crowd and we knew they would come ready to play. I tell you what, their defense played hard. They did a good job getting off blocks and making us drive it down the field. Coach Wells did a good job sticking with the game plan. We kept pounding it and eventually we started getting some big plays in the running game.”
Only 4:18 seconds into the first quarter, Devine struck first on a 2-yard Buddy Santos touchdown run. Although Crystal City quickly capitalized on a 15-yard interception return for a score, the Warhorses tagged on two more touchdowns before the halftime break.
Justin Contreras scored the first of his two touchdowns on a 2-yard run with 4:30 left in the second quarter, Quarterback Brady Hackebeil kept the ball after a quick fake and dashed 12 yards a couple of minutes later giving Devine a 21-6 lead at intermission.
The Javelinas made a push to start the second half with their running back sprinting 84 yards for a score midway through the third quarter. That was the last clicks the scoreboard saw on the home side of the clock. It was all Devine after that.
After a long kickoff return by Brady Hackebeil on the following Javelina kickoff, he took the next snap 39 yards to beef the Horse’s lead to 28-12. Blaine Miller intercepted a pass, going 37 yards to get the first of two defensive touchdowns in the second half. Contreras added a 3-yard score with 1:55 left in the game and Peyton Carr scooped and scored a Javelina fumble to close out the scoring with 1:09 left in the contest.
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No, those are not two hashtags leading off this section. Back in the day, those things were known as ‘pound symbols’. Devine has pound, pounded Hondo and Crystal City with its relentless rushing game.
“Pounding it” paid off once again for the Warhorses. After rushing for over 470 yards last week against Hondo, Devine almost hit 300 against the Javelinas rushing it 50 times for 272 yards and five touchdowns. Keeping the first down chains in motion, controlling the clock, and not turning the ball over multiple times has allowed Devine to dominate its first two District 29-4A ballgames.
The Horses had two 100-yard rushers for the first time this season as Justin Contreras produced 122 and Brady Hackebeil contributed another even hundred. Add in Buddy Santos’ 36 yards, Leonard Pompa’s ten, and Isaiah Oropeza’s four to go along with 58-yards passing which all contributed to 17 first downs and, most importantly, keeping all momentum on the Warhorse’s side.
In reference to his team’s rushing game, Gomez said, “it wasn’t too bad”. Well, that is an understatement. He did hit the nail on the head though when he added, “But they were tough earned yards as Crystal City made it difficult for us.”
Down south
Anytime, any sport that travels to play a game in Crystal City knows that it is difficult to play down there. Their fans are in to the game, and their players love playing in front of the Javelina faithful which makes it tough on opposing teams.
“I knew Coach Lopez and his staff would have them ready to play,” Gomez continued. “Our boys are playing with confidence and playing hard every snap. I feel like we could have done better offensively, but we did enough. Our offensive line had a few mistakes on technique but we will get to work on that starting Monday.”
Dual threat
Two-quarterback systems are not that popular in college or the NFL. It has, however been a popular maneuver for Devine’s recent surge in accumulating a ton of yardage. Isaiah Oropeza and Brady Hackebeil each contributed big-time in getting out to a 2-0 start in district.
“I think Brady and Isaiah work really well together and this time it was Brady’s turn to make some big plays running and passing,” Gomez said regarding the two sharing time at the quarterback position. “Defenses have to prepare for both. I think Crystal concentrated on keeping Isaiah contained to prevent the big plays but forgot about what Brady brings to the table. I am very proud of the relationship those two have.”
Alone at the top
Devine is the only undefeated team left in District 14-4A DII at 2-0. Crystal City, Hondo, Pearsall, and Carrizo Springs all sit at 1-1 with Devine having the tie-breaking advantage over Crystal City and Hondo if something crazy were to happen in the remaining three games. Poteet is 0-2 but they have shown much improvement over a year ago at this time.
The last four seasons have come down to the last game of district to see who the district’s champion will be. Keep fingers crossed, keep the stands full Warhorse Nation, and keep winning Warhorses so the championship does not come down to that November 8 game against the Wildcats in Carrizo Springs.
Coach speak
“It was a very physical game up front on offense. We kept grinding and the offensive line won the battles up front to give our backs the space needed. We only had the one turnover, and that is big.”—Offensive coordinator PJ Wells
“It took a while but we found our identity offensively and the formula has been very successful to this point. We need to keep improving each week and not forget why we have been successful, and that is practicing hard every day and keeping focused.”—Coach Gomez
“Serg had a tackle for loss, a forced fumble, 2 solos, 3 half tackles, and an assist. Hunter ‘Murph Dog’ Maxwell had a pass deflection, half tackle for loss, 3 half tackles, and 3 assists As a core, the LBs are making more tackles and missing less tackles. They are being physical.”—Linebacker coach Evan Eads
Up next-Pearsall
Devine takes on Pearsall Friday night at Warhorse Stadium. In this sometimes-crazy district, the Horses are not taking anything for granted.
“Pearsall will definitely be up for us,” Gomez warned. “They consider us their rival and they will play their best game against us. They have a huge offensive line, comparable to what San Antonio Legacy had when we played them. Offensively, they run the nasty slot and share the carries with all of their backs including the quarterback.”
Devine is coming off two impressive defensive performances. Hondo and Crystal City were not able to establish any type of offensive rhythm due to the Warhorse’s ability to force turnovers and limit movement of their opponent’s first down chains.
“We have to be disciplined, focused, and read our keys. One mistake can mean giving up a big play so we have to be physically and mentally ready. For Pearsall, they will try to put pressure on us to make a decision now, so our offensive line has to be ready. They have done a good job against some good offensive teams this year. Coach Bocanegra and his staff have their guys improving every week. We will be ready for the challenge.”
Kickoff is set for 7:30pm.
By Jerel Beaty
Staff Writer