Warhorses host Crystal City in Devine for Parent’s Night

Crystal City comes to Warhorse Stadium Friday night for each team’s second game of the 2023 season.  The Javelinas are coming off a 42-28 setback at the hands of Brackettville and, similarly to Devine, are looking to get their first “W” of the season.
The opening night crowd was good, and the student section definitely showed out!  Let’s Maroon Out the stadium this Friday for Parent’s Night.

“We have to move on and get ready for Crystal City,” Head Coach Paul Gomez said as he began preparations for this week’s opponent.  “They are a former district foe from past years so they know us just as well as we know them. We have been playing each other for years and they always get up to play us. 
They have a good nucleus returning and we expect them to be a formidable opponent. We need to just worry about our effort and our attitude moving forward. All we can control is what we do and how we do it. I told the boys that this will be a tough week and I know they will respond in a positive way.”
Kickoff is set for 7:30pm.

Warhose v Eagles Recap

Jerel Beaty
Staff Writer
Devine moved the ball early and often against Pleasanton at Warhorse Stadium last Friday as both teams kicked off their 2023 seasons. Unfortunately, for the Warhorses, two missed opportunities in the red zone in the first half kept the game close enough for the Eagles to scoop in and take the 24-13 victory.
“Tough loss this past Friday night. Tough night for our boys,” Head Coach Paul Gomez said looking back on some missed chances. “We just didn’t take advantage of our opportunities and just made too many mental mistakes. It’s hard to win when you lose the turnover battle.”
Twice the Horses put the ball on the ground. Twice the Eagle secondary was able to come up with big interceptions as Devine was forced to go for it on two separate 4th and goal situations.
“Playing a team like Pleasanton, that went a few rounds in the playoffs in 4A Division 1 and lost to Boerne who went to state, you have to not turn it over and you have to execute.”
Samuel Guardiola had a nice 45-yard burst to put Devine up 7-0 midway through the first quarter. That is all the Horses got end zone wise until later in the fourth quarter.
If Devine could have found a way to get the two additional scores before halftime, and not commit the turnover before the half that allowed Pleasanton to kick a field goal, this game could have had a much different feel after intermission and through the rest of the game.
“We should have been up 21-0 at halftime but instead only led 7-3. That definitely hurt what momentum we were establishing. A penalty and a mental mistake killed our first drive of the game inside the 5-yard line. We were 4th and goal at the 13 and did not convert, but our guys kept their heads up and kept battling.”
The Horses ran into a similar situation in the second quarter, and momentum slowly slipped to the other side of the field.
“In the second half we definitely had too many penalties. Pleasanton committed three personal foul penalties, but we could not keep our own composure and felt like we had to push back so those penalties on us offset their penalties. That is on us and that is on me. Our boys will be running a gasser for every yard of the unsportsmanlike penalties that they get. There is no need for that in football and those things can get you beat as we saw from last year. We need to be able to keep our emotions in check and be disciplined enough not to retaliate. We will fix that and be better next week.”
Pleasanton kicked a 29-yard field goal at the halftime buzzer to pull within 7-3 before rattling off the next three touchdowns to start the second half. Touchdown runs of six and five yards put the Eagles of 17-7 before they connected on an 18-yard pass play early in the fourth quarter.
By the time Guardiola caught a 23-yard pass from Jacob Sollock, the 24-13 loss had long since been decided.
Offensive-There is no doubt Devine ran the ball well and moved the chains in the first half. It was unfortunate that the Horses could not have gotten at least one of the two touchdowns that was there for the taking.
Having a little extra breathing room would not have made the field goal or another Pleasanton score feel like the reins were tightening so quickly on the Warhorse offense.
“Offensively, I felt like we had them in formations that favored us but we simply needed to execute better, especially against teams that are as big as Pleasanton. Opportunities for big plays were missed because of either blown assignments, turnovers, or unnecessary penalties.
We just have to be better. Against a lesser team, we might have been able to skate by with a couple of our mistakes, but not against a team of Pleasanton’s caliber.
Sam and Gabe Esquibel were solid in the run game and we had some great pass and catch plays throughout the game that were definitely positives for us.
We moved Sam to running back and receiver this season and having Jacob Sollock lead our offense at quarterback are key changes that will take some time to adjust to. Not having the injured three-year varsity lineman George Saenz and having some other guys like Ayden Leal and Wero Torres have to play more offense than last year where they strictly were defense, it is going to take a few games for us to gel offensively and find our identity. However, I like where we are headed.
I think we can be a very good offensive ball club. We have young players that never played a varsity game on both offense and defense. This was their first time being under the Friday night lights. It was a great learning tool. We are going to trust the process. We are going to grow as a team.
The more we encounter and learn how to cope with adversity and pressure situations, the better we will be at overcoming that adversity. I truly believe we will stay together and believe in one another, and that this team can do great things.”
Defense-Devine was one play away from shutting down a skilled Pleasanton offense in the first half. The Warhorse defense forced an Eagle punt but quickly gave the ball back on a fumble that allowed Pleasanton to kick the field goal going into the break.
“Defensively, we played very good in the first half. In the second half when the momentum turned, they wore us down some. Because of turnovers, we definitely had our defense out there too long. Playing ‘ironman’ football is tough.
We are going to make a few small changes to try to get better rotations so that our guys can be fresher at the end. I knew the first game would be tough and I knew we would be a little gassed. I have been doing this for a long time and it does not matter how much conditioning is done throughout two-a-days and through the first two scrimmages to prepare for the first game, that first game kids are going be more tired than they have ever been. We will adapt and we will definitely improve.
In the second half, we started to be undisciplined in our techniques and Pleasanton started having more success offensively. A few calls went against us and one no-call where they tackled Corey Dirck on a sweep play where he would have made the tackle for loss. Instead, they scored on a long run. Nevertheless, that is part of the game as refs make mistakes too. We needed to gather our emotions and ourselves and to keep playing hard.
I think our defense showed some positive signs. We have a chance to be good there as long as we keep believing in each other and trust the process.
On the bright side, we had some new starters make some good plays. This experience will make us a better team.”
Up next-Crystal City visits Warhorse Stadium Friday night. Kickoff is set for 7:30pm.