Click here for more Warhorse football photos!
Forty-two first half points carried the Devine Warhorses to 42-14 victory over the visiting Carrizo Springs Wildcats last Friday night at chilly Warhorse Stadium. Devine’s win combined with Hondo’s beating of the Javelinas in Crystal City gave the Horses a share of the District 14-4A D2 district championship.
Devine beat Hondo in the district opener then followed with a loss to the Javelinas in the second district game. Crystal City’s win over Devine and the Javelina’s Friday night loss to the Owls set up the Tri-District Champion scenario.
“What a great night for the Warhorses!” stated Head Coach Paul Gomez. “It finally felt like football weather! I am very proud of how our boys finished the regular season. These boys came ready to play and never gave Carrizo a chance to get in the ballgame.
We dominated in every phase in the first half. Our offense executed very well and defensively we played aggressively and flew to the ball. It was a great way to send the seniors out knowing this would be the last game for them at Warhorse Stadium. We wanted to come out and make it special for them and it definitely was fun to watch.
We scored 42 points in the first half against a team that is known for playing teams tough in the opening two quarters, which shows to me that these young men were focused and excited for the night.”
The game was never in doubt. As Gomez alluded to, the offense was clicking on all cylinders from their opening drive. Being able to run right at the heart of the Wildcat defense and mixing in a few pass plays and some trickery, Devine kept Carrizo off balance the first 36 minutes of the game.
Chad Lawson’s 29-yard run, Guido Zapata’s 56-yard score, and Donavon Camacho’s 4-yard burst put the Horses up 21-0 after the first quarter of play. Spreading the ball around between multiple players and having Grant Collins back in the fold for extra point kicking helped build Devine’s confidence as the game moved along.
“Offensively, we were clicking in all cylinders from the very start of the game,” continued Gomez. “Offensive Coordinator Coach PJ Wells called another great game. We executed and our players made plays. A game plan on paper can look good but if you do not execute and have your big play players make plays, then it is not nearly as successful. We tell our players that hey if your name is called, then go make a play and don’t be afraid to be great.”
That ‘not afraid to be great’ continued into the second quarter. A fake reverse followed by a pass from Lawson to Brady Cardenas from 24 yards out put the Horses up 28-0 with 9:23 remaining in the second quarter.
Camacho hauled in the next reception for a 30-yard scoring strike and Zapata ran one in from 18-yards out for the identical 21-point second quarter tally to match the first quarter. Collins nailed three more extra-point attempts to close out the 42-point outburst by the Horses in the first half.
The second half became about staying healthy and getting reps for all members of the team.
“The second half was fun because we had a chance to play everybody,” Gomez said. “Our backups work just as hard as the starters in practice so it was good to see them go out there and play.
Overall, I think Chad really has a good feel for the offense and our receivers are making some great catches, not to mention running great routes. That is the key, honestly. Receivers have to run great routes; they will not just ‘get open’. You definitely have to run good, hard routes and create an opening.
I am pleased with the way Donovan has been running the ball the last two ballgames. He has his shoulders down and is running downhill and trusting his holes. He just looks more confident out there.
Of course, none of this could be possible without the offensive line. The unsung heroes that never here their names called out but are the most excited when our running backs and receivers score touchdowns.”
“Unsung heroes” no more. The O-Line group that Coach Gomez referred to in the previous paragraph has been getting better and better every week. They rightfully deserve to have their names “called out”.
Tristan Ortiz, Jesus Hernandez, Tristin Kennard, Mason Perez, Kaylob Nira, Cameron Schreck, Darrin Lafferty, John Schnautz, Hunter Nowicki, and Truett Barron…you are “unsung” no more.
Injuries have played big part in the Warhorse season once again. Players who thought their season was over after suffering an injury are now healthy enough to play once again.
“We have dealt with injuries all year and we always talk about perseverance and never giving up. The best feeling that we as coaches had was watching Grant Collins and Dakota Wofford back on that fielding playing football.
These seniors were told that they probably would not play football again. Every day after practice, we come together and pray for each other, our families, and this great community. We believe in one another and this brotherhood is just so awesome.
To see these boys continue to have faith, continue to be positive, and continue to believe, it just makes my coaches and me proud, as it should everyone else. However, to see them come back against all odds to play football again is a blessing.
Grant Collins will be able to run the ball next week for us and Dakota Wofford is full speed with no pain. We should get Justin Contreras for Navarro and, although we don’t know how many plays he can play because of his conditioning, just the fact that he is out there after fracturing his foot and being out for so long makes it that much better.”—Gomez
“It felt great being back on the field after all I’ve been through this season. To be honest, I do not think anyone was more happy then my parents though.”—Grant Collins
All in the Family
Now that the JV season is over, several Warhorses from that team have the opportunity to move to the varsity level to help Devine capture a Bi-District championship Friday night. Three players in particular will get to share the sideline with their older brother who was already on the varsity roster.
Brady Hackebeil, Xavier Contreras, and Zack Nowicki will play alongside Jayce Hackebeil, Justin Contreras, and Hunter Nowicki.
“Joey Seguin and Colin Dishman played well and got some bonus time in second half. Deme Monreal and Mason Burford also got time in the slot receiver position and tailback. Those two kept switching out with each other at those positions.”—receiver coach Scott Taylor
Total yards—Devine 450; Carrizo Springs 199
First downs—Devine 15; Carrizo Springs 11
Rushing yards—Devine 30 for 328 (10.93 per carry); Carrizo Springs 49 for 197 (4.02 per carry)
Penalties—Devine 5 for 65; Carrizo Springs 8 for 70
Passing—Chad Lawson 6 of 7 for 118, 2 touchdowns; Isaiah Oropeza 1 of 1 for 4 yards
Receiving—Donavon Camacho 3 for 55 (18.3 per catch); Guido Zapata 2 for 39 (19.5 per catch); Brady Cardenas 1 for 24; 1 touchdown; Mason Burford 1 for 4.
Rushing—Zapata 6 for 122 (20.3 per carry), 2 touchdowns; Lawson 4 for 86 (21.5 per carry), 1 touchdown; Camacho 7 for 77 (11 per carry), 1 touchdown; Burford 8 for 18 (2.3 per carry); Deme Monreal 2 for 17 (8.5 per carry), Oropeza 3 for 8 (2.7 per carry).
DEV—Chad Lawson 29-yard run (Grant Collins PAT), 9:23, 1st.
DEV—Guido Zapata 58-yard run (Collins PAT), 7:43, 1st.
DEV—Donavon Camacho 4-yard run (Collins PAT), 1:45, 1st.
DEV—Brady Cardenas 24-yard pass from Lawson (Collins PAT), 9:23, 2nd.
DEV—Camacho 30-yard pass from Lawson (Collins PAT), 5:50, 2nd.
DEV—Zapata 18-yard run (Collins PAT), 1:41, 2nd.
CSW—Kevin Ramirez 4-yard run (John Gonzalez run), 1:54, 3rd.
CSW—Gonzalez 1-yard run (run failed), 4:21, 4th.
By Jerel Beaty