Horses stun Coyotes in 49-48 victory

Whether you were inside the Honey Bowl Friday night or sitting at home in the comfort of your game room watching the live feed of the Devine Warhorse, Uvalde Coyote football game the chances are extremely high that you were sitting on the edge of your seat from the second quarter onward.
Devine won the thrilling, high scoring contest 49-48. Buddy Santos led the charge rushing for 241 yards on 28 carries, and scoring four touchdowns. Buddy caught a touchdown pass as well.
In an offensive showcase for both teams, defenses seemed helpless as Devine and Uvalde combined for 1,015 yards and 97 points.
“Big win for the Horses on Friday!” Head Coach Paul Gomez stated. “Not just because we won but the way that we won is what can change our season moving forward. It could have been really easy to give in after going down 14 to nothing and think man here we go again. But these young men believed in one another and continued to fight the whole game.”
Fight they did. Time and time again.
Throughout the course of the game, the Warhorses made four, 14-point comebacks, the last of which tied the game at 35. Devine did not take its first lead of the game, 41-35, until 11:57 remained in the contest and even that was short-lived.
The Coyotes quickly answered a minute and a half later to regain the lead at 42-41. Devine jumped back in front 49-42 after converting an all-important two-point conversion.
A strange ending to a very entertaining game saw Uvalde score a touchdown with 3:55 to go to pull within 49-48. The Coyotes kicker who was a perfect six-for-six made the extra point to tie the game. However, an illegal motion penalty on Uvalde, forced a redo.
The point after hit the bottom crossbar on the goal post and did not go through the uprights to keep the lead in Devine’s favor by one point.
Offensive comment
“Offensively we stopped ourselves on our 1st two possessions with penalties and mistakes,” Gomez commented on the Horses struggles early in the ballgame. “After that we were really running on all cylinders. We executed well and our offensive line dominated the line of scrimmage. We had great blocking by the big boys but we also had excellent perimeter blocking from our backs and receivers. All of our backs ran hard and we almost had 600 yards of total offense and 500 of that was on the ground.”
Honesty is best policy
When a ground game is going as good was for a team like it was for the Warhorses Friday night, one may wonder why teams even attempt to throw the ball. It’s called “keeping the other team honest.”
To keep Uvalde from totally selling out on defense to stop Devine’s running game, Gomez had to mix in a pass or two (or eleven) to keep somewhat an element of surprise.
“We told our guys we were going to have to take some shots downfield because our running attack was going well and boy we made those throws count. Mason Burford had two really good and crucial receptions for us and Brady made some good throws! I knew that when we scored right before halftime and we would get the ball in the second half, I told the guys if defense would stop them once that we would win this high scoring affair.”
The game clinching touchdown came via a Brady to Mason pass completion in the back right corner of the end zone with 5:23 left in the game.
In a game where the Horses had nearly a half-century rushing yards, the deciding play was a 10-yard pass play. Go figure.
Better late than never
When a team gives up 48 points in a game, no one expects the defensive coordinator to be “Ok” with that happening. But, like every Warhorse Nation fan, Devine Defensive Coordinator George Villa was ecstatic that the Horses came out victorious.
“Where do I begin?” Villa said reflecting back on the craziness of the ballgame. “First of all, I am very grateful that our guys showed the grit and effort they needed to come back and win that game. I couldn’t be more proud of our effort. Giving up 48 points is never in the play book for our defense. But, it happened, and now our kids are able to look back on this game and learn from the mistakes that we made. What I look at is that 98% of our mistakes weren’t because of lack of effort. Our defense stepped up when we had to make some very important plays and at the end of the day, that’s what really counted in this ball game. What we want to see as a coaching staff is improvement from week to week and we definitely saw that from last week. For the most part, our tackling was better and our overall effort was way better. Can’t wait to strap ’em up again this coming Friday!!”
Gomez and Villa have worked together for many years. If anyone knows that Villa and his defensive troops will have the defense pumped up for the Ro-Hawks, it’s Gomez.
“Our defense held them more than that in the second half and came up big when it counted with that interception by Xavier Contreras at the end,” Gomez said. “In a season when you have good teams, sometimes we are going to need the offense to take over and get us a ‘W’ like Friday night and there will be times when the defense is going to have to save us to get the ‘W’. It happened several times last year and I’m sure it will happen this year. That’s what good teams do. Defensively man we had them many times 3rd and long and 4th and long and they made big plays to get the first down. We have to get better at that and I know we will. Believe me, nobody is going to work harder than Coach Villa and the defensive staff to accomplish that.”
This game isn’t in the Warhorse win column without their second half defensive effort. Giving up 35 points in the first half and turning around to allow only 13 points in the second half says a lot about adjustments made and motivation given during the 20-minute halftime break.
Kudos to the defensive players and coaches for not hanging their heads at halftime, instead coming out and dominating the third and fourth quarters.
Scoring recap
UVD—Donavan Davila 18-yard pass to Estavan Ortiz (Miller Carnes PAT), 0-7, 8:26, 1st.
UVD—Davila 30-yard pass to Christian Rivera (Carnes PAT), 0-14, 5:13, 1st.
DEV—Buddy Santos 17-yard run (Jacob Featherly PAT), 7-14, 0:27, 1st.
UVD—Davila 11-yard pass to Tanner Bowman (Carnes PAT), 7-21, 11:26, 2nd.
DEV—B. Santos 19-yard run (Featherly PAT), 14-21, 8:03, 2nd.
UVD—Hunter Reimer 33-yard run (Carnes PAT), 14-28, 7:27, 2nd.
DEV—B. Santos 11-yard run (Featherly PAT), 21-28, 2:27, 2nd.
UVD—Davila 14-yard pass to Rivera (Carnes PAT), 21-35, 1:13, 2nd.
DEV—Brady Hackebeil 30-yard pass to Mason Burford (Featherly PAT), 28-35, 0:02, 2nd.
DEV—Hackebeil 20-yard pass to B. Santos (Featherly PAT), 35-35, 8:23, 3rd.
DEV—B. Santos 1-yard run (PAT failed), 41-35, 11:57, 4th.
UVD—Davila 26-yard pass to Bowman (Carnes PAT), 41-42, 10:25, 4th.
DEV—Hackebeil 10-yard pass to M. Burford (Hackebeil two-point run), 49-42, 5:23, 4th.
UVD—Davila 12-yard pass to Rivera (PAT failed), 49-48, 3:55, 4th.
Team stats
Tot yds Dev 584, Uvd 431 1st downs Dev 28 Uvd 21 Rushes-yds-avg Dev 56-494-8.82 Uvd 17-58-3.41 Pass comp-att-yds-INT-TD Dev 6-11-90-0-3 Uvd 22-32-373-1-6 Fbl-lost Dev 1-0 Uvd 0-0 Penalties-yds Dev 10-80 Uvd 7-45.
Warhorse stats
Passing Brady Hackebeil 6-11 for 90 yards, 3 TDs Rushing Buddy Santos 28-241 (8.6), 4 TDs; Hackebeil 13-134 (10.3); Aiden Zapata 7-71 (10.1); Nate Ramirez 4-23 (5.8); Ethan Santos 2-15 (7.5); Gabriel Esquibel 2-10 (5.0) Receiving Mason Burford 4-61 (15.3), 2 TDs; B. Santos 2-29 (14.5), 1 TD.
By Jerel Beaty
Staff Writer