Alamo Stadium, aka the “Rock Pile” due to its primarily limestone construction, is the site for this season’s District 14-4A opener for the Devine Warhorses as they take on Young Men’s Leadership Academy Thursday night. Kickoff is set for 7pm.
Devine went 3-3 during the preseason with wins against Crystal City (45-0), Natalia (49-14), and Uvalde (28-24). Pleasanton (24-13), Hondo (44-6), and Davenport (41-0) were the setbacks for the Warhorses.
No matter the record going into District, everyone is 0-0 with their sights set on a District Championship. Devine, along with YMLA, Carrizo Springs, Bandera, and Pearsall all believe they have just as much right as the next team to earn that number one seed.
Similar to Devine, YMLA enters the contest with a predistrict record of 3-3. The Lions picked up wins against Robstown (34-33), Manor New Tech (52-6), and Falfurrias (33-32) but went down in defeat to Sam Houston (18-12), Randolph (28-21), and Holy Cross (40-7).
The Lions are led by quarterback Matthew Kroger who has completed 36 of 64 attempts for 371 yards, 8 touchdowns, and two interceptions. His primary target is Jereiah Conaway who has 17 receptions for 261 yards and five touchdowns.
Javion Allen is Kroger’s next favorite receiver. Allen has 7 grabs for 68 yards and one score.
Raishaun Conaway leads YMLA’s rushing attack. His 78 attempts for 462 yards averages out to almost 6 yards a pop at 5.92. He has scored 6 touchdowns.
Anthony Ward has the next most attempts and yards with 29 carried for 105 yards. Ward has touched the end zone one time.
Defensive Coordinator and tight end coach Evan Eads breaks down the Warhorse preseason schedule and outlook on district competition this way, saying, “I feel our tough pre-district schedule will be a benefit for our district run. We ran out of gas in the second half of Pleasanton, but that led to better focus at practice and improvement on skills.
The poor showing at Hondo was a wakeup call that we needed. It humbled us. We learned that we need to respect our opponents and the process.
Even though we lost against Davenport, we succeeded in taking away their ‘bread and butter’ as Davenport had previously scored 60 and 65 points against 5A teams. We held them to just over 100 yards receiving and did not allow a passing touchdown. The problem was we gave up 200 yards rushing and 5 rushing TDs.
Overall, we learned that we can take away the run and the pass, but we need to take away both if we are to win district. We have had success in creating stops and turnovers and now they all count. We must be the most aggressive team, the most disciplined team, and the most excited team.
Good luck Warhorses.”
This year’s version of who Warhorse Nation is cheering on to capture yet another gold ball are: Wero Torres, Sam Guardiola, Anthony Saldivar, Mario Vicente, Gabe Esquibel, Edward Perez, Trinidad Hernandez, Karter Brown, Jacob Sollock, Edwin Belor, Alfredo Ramirez, Ayden Leal, Brayden Reyes, Aaron Bonilla, Eli Contreras, Ty Sadler, Christian Monreal, Seth DeLeon, Teotimo Stafford, Gavin Socarras, Riley Gutierrez, Corey Dirck, Wyatt Stevens, Derek Traylor, Israel Reyes, George Saenz, Tate Wisenbaker, Arthur Pegues, Wyatt LaFond, Trystan LaFond, Christian San Miguel, Nate Martinez, Jackson Hagdorn, Jordan Barton, Tyler Hinnant, and Matthew Gomez.
Horses bitten by Wolves in final predistrict tuneup
Devine finished its predistrict schedule last Friday at Davenport High School as the Wolves ran away with the 41-0 victory. While the final score of 41-0 may appear that the game was never in doubt, the Warhorses gave the Wolves everything they wanted and more in a tight first half contest.
Missed opportunities on an opening Warhorse drive in the first quarter that had the ball inside the five yard line and a first and goal disintegrated into a fourth and long after two costly penalties and a loose ball on the ground.
Not capitalizing on that first drive after moving the ball seemingly easily throughout the first several plays of the game could have been a demoralizing start. However, Devine kept plugging along, moving the chains offensively, getting stops defensively, but not able to turn any of those great occurrences into points on the board.
Zero-to-zero entering the second quarter quickly turned into a 7-0 advantage for Davenport on a 38-yard run on the Wolves first play from scrimmage in the second frame. They went on to score once more then converted a 33-yard field goal as time expired going into halftime for a 17-0 lead.
Davenport scored four touchdowns in the second half and went on to win this contest dropping the Horses to 3-3 on the season. Devine moves into District 14-4A DII action Thursday at Alamo Stadium as they begin their drive for a championship against YMLA.
Bright spots for the Warhorses included Anthony Saldivar and Ayden Leal coming up with clutch interceptions to thwart two separate Wolves drives. The pass defense was solid most of the night, not allowing many of the deep ball attempts by Davenport to be caught for huge gains. All Davenport touchdowns came via their running game.
Warhorse Support team shoutout
Jerel Beaty-Staff Writer
It isn’t only players and coaches that put in long hours during football season. Devine’s support team of student trainers rack up just as much overtime as everyone else associated with making sure Friday night football goes as smoothly as possible and that players get the resources they need to stay hydrated and healthy.
A quick shout out to the irreplaceable, much needed and appreciated Warhorse student trainers: Reese Duncan, Zoe Ortiz, Ainsley Buvinghausen, Alyssa Zamora, Alexis Zamora, Aaliyah Zamora, Logan Davis, Savannah Parker, Darilynn Garcia, and Cameron Copeland.
Coach Gomez and Warhorse QB #9 Jacob Sollock.