Warhorses fall to Pearsall 29-9

The visiting Pearsall Mavericks defeated the Devine Warhorses 29 to 9 at Warhorse Stadium last Friday night to claim the Championship in District 14-4A Division 2. Devine’s only offensive production came on a 35-yard Alvaro Blasco field goal in the second quarter. The Warhorses other touchdown on the night was on a 30-yard interception return by freshman Justin Contreras.
An early defensive battle by both teams led to the first two scores of the ballgame. On a second and 12 from the Pearsall 18, the Maverick quarterback booted left and threw the ball into triple coverage. Freshman defensive secondary player Justin Contreras stepped in front of the ill-advised throw to return the interception 35 yards for the score with 2:52 left in the first half. The big defensive play lit a spark in Warhorse Stadium as Devine was able to get the ‘0’ off their side of the scoreboard.
Pearsall’s ‘0” did not remain for long. With Devine kicker Alvaro Blasco attempting the point after attempt, a Maverick defender went untouched through the middle of the Warhorse special team’s extra point formation to block the kick. Pearsall defender Matthew Gonzales scooped up the loose ball at the 35 and took it the rest of the way to make the score 6 to 2, sucking wind out of Warhorse Stadium along the way.
“The blocked extra point was a big swing for Pearsall because the great play by our defense that led to our touchdown quickly turned into two points by them off our mistake,” stated Head Coach Paul Gomez. “We work daily on stepping down and punching on field goal situations. When we don’t do what we are taught, it is very disappointing.”
Devine’s kickoff pinned Pearsall at their 18, but Maverick running back Oscar Cubriel took the first carry of the drive all the way down to the Warhorse 15 to set up his own 3-yard touchdown run two plays later with 1:39 left in the second quarter. Pearsall led 8-6.
On the Warhorses’ last possession of the first half, quarterback Chad Lawson hit back Luke Torres on a screen pass that advanced the ball from the Devine 32 to the Maverick 47. Two pass interference penalties and a Lawson to Leonard Pompa completion had the ball at the 8. However, instead of being able to punch the ball in for a touchdown, Devine had to settle for a Blasco 35-yard field goal with 0:02 left in the first half. That three-pointer provided a slim 9 to 8 advantage for the Warhorses at halftime.
“The game was very tough for our defense because they were on the field all night long due to our offense not being able to get anything going. We have to do a better job offensively. It starts with the offensive line and we did not win the battle in the trenches. It appears we took turns missing assignments,” indicated Gomez about the lack of point production.
Pearsall added three district championship-clinching touchdowns after the break while Devine continued their offensive struggle. After the half, the Warhorses gained nine yards rushing and passed for seventeen for twenty-six yards total.
Gomez on the loss: “To say that I am disappointed in this loss is an understatement. We expect to play our best in these types of high-stakes games. Competitors compete, and we did not. I and the other coaches have to do a better job of getting these boys to play four complete quarters of Warhorse football; that is on us.
We were behind the chains all night. When we had a good play, we would then get a penalty to get us behind the chains once again. The game became tougher due to us being in third-and-long almost all night. That allowed Pearsall’s defense to start blitzing which increased our chance of a bad play or a turnover. That happened throughout the second half.
I congratulate the Mavericks. They played a great game.”
Devine was limited to 120 yards of total offense. A run game that had seen life the last few weeks suddenly went silent as the Warhorses rushed 22 times for 30 yards for an average of 1.36 yards per carry. Grant Collins led Devine with 11 carries for 33 yards. Luke Torres gained 29 yards on two carries, both in the fourth quarter. Noah Brogdon rushed once for a two-yard loss and Lawson was sacked several times, losing 30 yards in the process.
Lawson passed for 90 yards on 7 of 20 attempts. Brogdon led in number of receptions with three for 18 yards. Torres, Collins, and Justin Contreras each had a single catch for a combined 82 yards.
After moving the first down chains five times in the first half, the Warhorses were restricted to two after the break to finish with seven. Devine punted five times for a 41-yard average and turned the ball over on a fumble.
The Warhorse ‘D’ held its own for as long as it could but it was on the field a lot. As the game progressed, the defense tired which contributed to Pearsall continuing to rack up first downs and burn the clock. Devine added one turnover to its season’s total of 19 on Justin Contreras’s 35-yard return for the Warhorses lone touchdown of the game.
Injured Warhorse
When things are said and done and the Warhorse season has come to fruition, injuries will be one of the major circumstances that many will look back on and say, “If we wouldn’t have lost this guy or that guy, our season could have turned out much different.” One of those guys is definitely linebacker Jose Fargason. He was having an outstanding season prior to his football career ending prematurely. Jose shared a passionate speech to his fellow teammates and to the DHS student body at last week’s pep rally. Here is part of what Fargie had to say:
“My season was cut short due to a knee injury. The sport I love was taken from me all in one play. The drive my teammates and I have for each other is what drives us in football. It is not the love of the game, or just being able to play, it is for the love and compassion we have with our brothers. We are a family, and in football that means every play we look at the guy next to us and know he is going to do everything in his power to get the job done. No one can ever take that away from us.
The memories and brotherhoods we have made are going to stay with us for as long as we live. We have lost many of our brothers to injury, and the injured now play for those who cannot. Even though I cannot play, I know I can help my brothers win by supporting them during the game and practice. They told me they play for me and the others who cannot play any longer. When other schools say we cannot withstand the storm, we say we are the storm!”
Senior spotlight
Gideon Ramirez—OL/DL—I am trying to make the best of my remaining football days and my time with my brothers, the team. I love these guys and I know no matter what on or off the field, they will have my back and I will have theirs.
The year has been blood, sweat, and tears. It’s a year we will never forget. I will always remember my senior year with these guys.
Scoring summary
Dev—Justin Contreras 35-yard interception return (Alvaro Blasco PAT blocked), 2:57, 2nd.
Pea-Matthew Gonzales 65-yard blocked PAT return, 2:57, 2nd.
Pea—Oscar Cubriel 3-yard run (run failed), 1:39, 2nd.
Dev—Blasco 35-yard field goal, 0:03, 2nd.
Pea—Cubriel 24-yard run (Edgar Melendez PAT), 5:22, 3rd.
Pea—Mark Hernandez 29-yard reception from Nathaniel Gandara (Melendez PAT), 0:05, 3rd.
Pea—Gonzales 11-yard fumble return (Melendez PAT), 5:31, 4th.
Next up
The Warhorses (3-6 overall, 3-1 district) close out their district schedule in Crystal City against the Javelinas Friday, November 10. Kickoff is set for 7:30pm.
By Jerel Beaty
Staff Writer