Somerset stymies injury-riddled Warhorses

Short-handed. More like short-legged. The key coming into the 2018 Devine Warhorse football season was for the Horses to stay healthy. Devine’s valiant effort to overcome Class 5A Somerset on the road last Friday night never really materialized in their 45-20 loss. The Horses lost leading rusher Grant Collins to an ankle injury midway through Wednesday’s final practice leading up the contest against the Bulldogs.
After Collins’s injury, Devine was left shuffling a playbook on a day that is typically used to fine tune Friday night’s offensive game plan. Fine-tuning turned into a complete overhaul as the game progressed.
Two additional injuries occurred during Devine’s loss to the Bulldogs. Senior Dakota Wofford was lost for the season with a broken collarbone and sophomore Justin Contreras suffered a fractured foot and is expected to miss anywhere from four-to-six weeks.
“Friday was a tough loss for us all the way around,” stated Head Coach Paul Gomez. “We were a little off all night, with much of it due to the injuries that have hit early in the season. We lost Grant to a freak injury Wednesday.”
If having to replace Grant at tailback seemed like a tough chore, it became more difficult when his backup, Leonard Pompa, was also out due to a sprained ankle. Even with Grant and Leonard out, Justin has shown good vision and speed when the opportunity to run the ball arose.
However, late in the second quarter, Justin broke his foot. Donavon Camacho, who started the game at one of the receiver positions, had to move to tailback midway through the contest. Donavon performed well rushing for 142 yards on 10 carries. He also scored on a 66-yard run.
“Needless to say, all of this through us off a bit,” continued Gomez. “We gave up two big plays on defense to give them 14 quick points. On one play, our safety went too wide on the stunt and Somerset’s running back went right under him to break a big run. The second score came on perfectly executed hook-and-ladder trick play. Those scores by Somerset combined with our two missed scoring opportunities in the first half really set us back.”
Somerset’s 28-6 halftime lead seemed safe for the Bulldogs. With all the injuries and continual shuffling of players, the Warhorses lone first half touchdown came on a Guido Zapata from Chad Lawson 19-yard pass to cut the deficit to 21-6. Devine’s other two scores came on a Camacho 66-yard run in the third quarter and a Zapata 52-yard run in the fourth. Camacho ran in the 2-point run to close out all scoring for the game.
Defensive review
“Stating the obvious we lost several key players to injury,” Defensive Coordinator George Villa said. “Because we were already depleted, it made it very difficult to make adjustments to what Somerset was doing to us. Even with the injuries, our kids responded and forced Somerset to punt several times in the second half. It was good to see our players step up to the plate and contribute. I cannot fault our effort. Our kids never stopped playing.”
Walking wounded
Where is Mr. Miyagi when you need him? The Warhorse Injured-Reserve list is getting longer than most people’s shopping list. Senior lineman Terry Anderson will not play a snap this season due to a broken finger; he is scheduled for season ending surgery. Colt Seay will also be out all football season with a torn labrum. Recovery time for that type of surgery is 4-6 months.
Add Isaiah Rejino (back), Joseph Guajardo (torn quad), Demi Monreal (ankle), and Lupe Rodriguez (concussion protocol) to the mix of those who are trying to make their way back to the field for the Warhorses at some point in 2018.
As for the players mentioned in the main body of the article, Grant Collins was harmlessly attempting to catch a screen pass when he awkwardly landed to injure his ankle. A fluke play, if you will. Luckily, for Grant and the Warhorses, there were no torn ligaments. A sheath covering the tendons ruptured and he is out for a minimum of three weeks, with an added week for conditioning and strengthening.
“Hopefully we will have Grant by the beginning of district,” Gomez commented. “Grant will also be missed kicking off, kicking extra points, and punting.”
Senior Dakota Wofford, a kid with a heart of gold, went down Friday in Somerset. He will miss the remainder of his final season. “His collarbone was broken in two places,” stated Gomez. “He is scheduled to have surgery today (Wednesday). Dakota was having a really good senior season; it will be tough to replace him.”
Junior Leonard Pompa did not dress out for the Somerset game due to an ankle sprain. Sophomore Justin Contreras, he of the 94-yard kickoff return last week, suffered a broken foot when a Bulldog lineman stepped on him. He was on crutches in the game’s second half.
“We are going to miss Justin in several areas but I am proud of the way Donavon Camacho stepped in without hesitation to replace Grant, Leonard, and Justin. Camacho was definitely a bright spot for us.”
Xsavior Martinez suffered a stress fracture in his foot against the Bulldogs. His return is up in the air as of press time.
Eleven. Wow. Eleven Warhorses are either done for the count or are rehabbing with the hope to not only play again this season, but to be 100% healthy before district begins on October 12 in Hondo against the Owls.
Wax on. Wax off.
Game stats
Rushing: Camacho (10-142, 1TD), Zapata (4-68, 1TD), Lawson (9-18), Contreras (6-11), Xsavior Martinez (1-2).
Passing: Lawson (8-15 for 94 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT).
Receiving: Zapata (5-51, 1 TD), Camacho (1-20), Martinez (1-113), Contreras (1-11)
Scoring summary
SOM—Jonathan Duenas 53-yard run (Jose Tovar PAT), 9:39, 1st.
SOM—Duenas 91-yard run (Tovar PAT), 4:58, 1st.
SOM—Hunter Hernandez 16-yard run (Tovar PAT), 4:01, 2nd.
DEV—Guido Zapata 19-yard pass from Chad Lawson (PAT failed), 11:38, 2nd.
SOM—Ryan Rodriguez 64-yard pass from Daniel Ramos (Tovar PAT), 10:03, 2nd.
DEV—Donavon Camacho 66-yard run (PAT failed), :55, 3rd.
SOM—Duenas 26-yard run (Tovar PAT), 2:34, 3rd.
SOM—Tovar 38-yard field goal, 8:21, 4th.
SOM—Hernandez 24-yard run (Tovar PAT), 6:18, 4th.
DEV—Zapata 52-yard run (Camacho 2-pt run), 10:21, 4th.
Up next
Devine returns home to the friendly confines that is Warhorse Stadium Friday night against the somewhat-new San Antonio Southwest Legacy Titans. Kickoff is set for 7:30pm.
By Jerel Beaty
Staff Writer