Warhorse tidbits, stats, and scoring recap

The Horses should have been in Las Vegas instead of Luling last Friday night. The #7 is not only synonymous with good luck in sin-city; it is considered the world’s favorite number.
Looking back on the Luling thumping, ‘Lucky #7’ was on a roll in the 49-0 dicing of the Eagles.
Seven first downs. The Horses defense was stingy. Allowing only 71 yards total, Luling only managed 7 first downs for the game.
Seven touchdowns. The Horses scored seven touchdowns and Jacob Featherly converted a perfect 7-7 point after attempts to get their 49 points (which, by the way, is 7 squared).
Seven different Warhorses scored touchdowns. Aiden Zapata, Marcus Rodriguez, Buddy Santos, Mason Burford, Nate Ramirez, Hayden DuBose, and Ethan Santos each scored one touchdown apiece to accumulate the 7 total team touchdowns.
Seven per carry. The Horses leading rusher on the season is Buddy Santos. Buddy has 86 carries for 602 yards, which comes out to exactly 7 yards per carry. One yard more or one yard less either way, that neat 7 yard average becomes a number with a decimal involved in it.
Seven for Gus. Recently moved up junior Gus Puente got his first varsity carry. While it is something that he will surely remember for years to come, his first and lone carry on the night was for 7 yards.
Seven comes up on last roll. Aiden, Marcus, Nate, Hayden, and Ethan each scored their first touchdowns on the season. Ethan’s touchdown, the final of the seven total for the night came coincidentally enough from 7 yards out.
Seven was definitely the ‘prime number’ for the Horses Friday night.
Eat fresh
Devine usually feeds fullback Buddy Santos the ball Horses on a typical night. Against Luling, Buddy had a relatively light workload with only eight carries.
Buddy made the most of the limited opportunities by rushing for 81 yards for 10.1 yards per carry and one touchdown.
Through the first four games, Buddy ran total of 76 times for 521 yards and 9 touchdowns for an average of 19 carries, 130.3 yards, and 2.3 touchdowns per game.
Devine has an off week this Friday which should allow Buddy to be fresh, and hungry for the Horses stretch run to the playoffs.
Small load
As mentioned in last week’s “Tidbits” section, the blemish on the Horses 3-1 record through their first four games was the amount and types of penalties committed. In those first four contests, Devine was penalized a ridiculous 39 times for 325 yards.
Averaging nearly 10 flags per game and giving up 83 yards field position could have cost the Horses at least one ballgame against Uvalde, and could have made their victory against Randolph a little tougher road to hoe.
Friday in Luling, the Horses played much cleaner and much smarter by only being flagged 2 times for a total of 10 yards. Keeping the dirty laundry off the field as district begins could be paramount to the Horses championship aspirations.
AAE strikes again
No. I am not referring to a fraternity when I put AAE as a header. For those that may have missed the meaning of ‘AAE’ from last week, it is a compliment to Coach Evan Eads for always submitting highlights and things of interest about the players he coaches.
I gave him the nickname “Always Available Eads” to pay homage for him taking the time to get his players well-deserved recognition.
“We can be in one of four defenses on any given play and it just happened that the defense that was working in Luling had one inside linebacker,” Eads began with his assessment of this defensive linebacker group. “Buddy Santos earned two solo tackles, one of which was on a 4th down run by their QB. Devin Ornelas had three assists. As a group, they plugged up the middle and helped contain the QB most of the night on passes. They are looking forward to getting back to basics during our open week.”
As for his slot receiver players, Eads commented, “I was joking around with the slots on Monday before practice. I told them that our lack of touchdowns, rushing yards, passing yards was due to my ineffectiveness as a coach and that if it doesn’t improve that I would be fired.”
Sounds like that group of offensive players does not want to be coached by anyone else judging by the performance they put on in Luling.
“They came through for their coach!!!” Eads jokingly emphasized. “Aiden Zapata took the first play for a 76-yard receiving TD. Later in the first half, Nate Ramirez makes a corner of end zone catch for TD, and Ethan Santos toke a stretch play for a 5-yard TD on our last TD. Gus Puente and Gabe Esquibel also ran the ball hard when their number was called.”
It is not always easy to keep big groups of players happy and content. Only so many can be on the field at any given time. Eads understands that.
“It is a good thing as a coach to see the unit be both competitive and happy for each other,” Eads said in closing. “This open week we will work on ball handling and improving speed.”
Thanks, AAE, for your weekly submission and welcome to the fraternity!
Aatu! Bless you.
Jacob Featherly was spot on with his extra point attempts Friday going a perfect 7 for 7. Some may remember Aatu Maeenpaeae who was a foreign exchange student from Finland who became the placekicker for the Warhorses in his one year at DHS.
Aatu put up staggering numbers…for a Devine kicker anyway. He converted 38 of 39 extra points and kicked one field goal.
Jacob’s numbers are good too as we approach the second half of the season. He has converted 18 of 22 attempts and made a 27-yard field goal against Pleasanton.
Devine has long been known for a “go for two” team after scoring touchdowns because kicking, excuse me, making extra points was not a strong point for even the most successful Warhorse teams.
With Featherly converting extra points the way he has, it keeps the Devine offense on schedule and minimizes the pressure of having to ‘make up points’ as games progress.
Keep kicking them through the uprights, Jacob. Aatu for Aa-One would be proud!
That’s Rank
SA Express-News weekly high school football ranking had the Warhorses staying steady at #8. Poth is the new top dog followed by Comfort, Fredericksburg, Boerne, La Vernia, Hondo, and Jourdanton. The Horses are next at #8 with Cornerstone and Navarro rounding out the top 10.
Devine has not moved up or down in the polls over the last four weeks, even though they are riding a four-game winning streak.
What now?
The Horses have a chance to heal and focus on a district championship run with an open date Friday. What will the Horses do during their down time?
Gomez says the Horses “are going to use this week to get back to fundamentals a bit and build on the momentum that we have created. We will condition and start getting ready for district play. We should have Justin Contreras practicing sometime this week and I know he is anxious to get back. He has to get back in game shape and get himself mentally ready for his return to play. We want to make sure his ankle is strong before he starts getting full contact reps but he is very close.”
Getting last year’s unanimous District MVP will definitely be a good sign for all involved. Coach Gomez will not let his troops rest on the laurels of the last four ballgames, however.
“We will continue to climb the ladder and keep working to get better this week. It is only an off week because we do not have a game but we still have to put in the work. Starting next week, everybody in our district is 0-0. It’s a new season and our goal of a district championship is what’s next.”
The goal of a district championship officially started as the final seconds ticked off the Eagle game clock in Luling Friday…even if the Horses do have a week off.
Team stats
Total yards Dev 423 Lul 71 First downs Dev 15 Lul 7 Rushes-yards Dev 33-271 (8.2) Lul 23-55 (2.5) Completion-attempts-yards-TD-INT Dev 4-8-152-3-0 Lul 4-14-16-0-1 Fumbles-lost Dev 1-0 Lul 1-1 Penalties-yards 2-10 Lul 3-25
Scoring summary
DEV—Brady Hackebeil 76-yard pass to Aiden Zapata (Jacob Featherly PAT), 7-0, 8:22, 1st.
DEV—Marcus Rodriguez 4-yard run (Featherly PAT), 14-0, 6:24, 1st.
DEV—Buddy Santos 8-yard run (Featherly PAT), 21-0, 2:13, 1st.
DEV—Hackebeil 17-yard pass to Mason Burford (Featherly PAT), 28-0, 8:20, 2nd.
DEV—Jaiden Burford 12-yard pass to Nate Ramirez (Featherly PAT), 35-0, 0:30, 2nd.
DEV—Hayden DuBose 85-yard kickoff return (Featherly PAT), 42-0, 11:43, 3rd.
DEV—Ethan Santos 7-yard run (Featherly PAT), 49-0, 5:00, 3rd.
By Jerel Beaty
Staff Writer