Warhorses trounce Wildcats 38-7

Warhorse Kyler Brown catches a 56-yard touchdown pass. Photo by Adrian Reyes.

The Warhorse confidence level is rising quickly now that they are back to competing against teams that are similar in enrollment to that of their own Devine High School. After a brutal pre-district schedule mostly against larger schools, Devine picked up District 29-4A win #2 Friday night by beating the visiting Carrizo Springs Wildcats 38 to 7 in front of a raucous Homecoming crowd.
“Well, it is always good to get a win,” stated Head Coach Paul Gomez. “The boys played hard and we made several great plays throughout the game. The defense played exceptionally well; they were aggressive and swarmed to the football. It was definitely fun to watch.”
The fun started with the opening kickoff. Deep returner Justin Contreras received the ball at the 29 yard line and ran it back to the Wildcat 8. Toward the end of the return, the football was poked out of Contreras’s arms but the always-hustling Luke Torres, who recovered the loose ball at the 12 yard line. Three plays later, Torres darted 8 yards for the first score of the game putting the Warhorses up 7-0 with less than two minutes elapsed off the game clock.
Devine’s defense stopped the Wildcats on successive three and outs to set up the next Warhorse score. After a Carrizo punt that put the ball at the Devine 19, Grant Collins burst loose for a 55-yard gain to put the ball at the Wildcat 26. Three plays later, Collins eluded four different would-be tacklers to find the end zone from 3 yards out early in the second quarter. Devine now led 14-0.
Carrizo Springs strung together a nice little drive after the second Warhorse score. However, with the ball near the 5-yard line, the Wildcat quarterback mishandled the football but still tried to pitch it to his running back who was running wide right. Outside linebacker Matthew Ornelas stepped in front of the ill-fated toss to give Devine possession at their own 14 yard line thwarting a great Carrizo Springs opportunity that could have provided them a little momentum.
Devine’s third score of the half was on a flea-flicker type play that began with quarterback Connor Schmidt taking the direct snap and tossing it to Collins. Collins almost immediately returned the ball to a reversing Schmidt who then hit a streaking Noah Brogdon in stride for a 48-yard touchdown completion that put the Warhorses up 21-0. A key play on the drive was a 45-yard gain by Brogdon who took the direct snap from center. Two plays later, Brogdon lined up as the number 1 receiver near the Carrizo Springs sideline, hesitated and momentarily faked a block as though it was going to be a run-play as the ball reversal was going on in the backfield. Brogdon then sprinted past the defensive backs and gathered the perfectly thrown ball to get into the end zone unscathed.
Devine’s fourth offensive possession began with their defense forcing another Carrizo punt. Kyler Brown returned the punt 10 yards to the Warhorse 40 yard line. Three plays later, Schmidt took the shotgun snap and looked down the right sideline for a couple of seconds before looking back left and launching a 56-yard strike to Brown who was humming it down the numbers on Devine’s side of the field. Schmidt let the ball fly from the 36 and hit Brown’s hands at the 17 and he took it in the rest of the way to bump Devine’s lead to 28-0.
After Carrizo Springs turned the ball over on downs to begin the second half, Collins work-horsed his way to one more Devine score from 35 yards out. On a drive that started on Devine’s own 36, Collins ran 3 times for 59 yards on the drive, including the scoring run that had a Wildcat defender practically riding his back the last 10 yards or so while trying to knock the ball out of Collins’s hands. Devine led 35-0.
The Warhorse offense hogged the ball the 4th quarter. After Carrizo punted on the quarter’s first play, Devine ran nearly 10 minutes off the clock to set up a 30-yard field goal by Alvaro Blasco to provide the Warhorses last score and bumping their lead to 38-0.
Although Carrizo Springs averted the shut out with a 54-yard touchdown pass in the game’s final 1:26, the Warhorses had already put their stamp on district win #2.
“We have to continue getting better offensively and believing in the system. Coach Villa and the defensive staff will have the boys ready to go. We will continue working hard. We understand that we are having success because of the hard work accomplished Monday through Thursday during practices,” Gomez finished saying not only about the Friday showdown with Poteet but with the rest of the season in the horizon as well.
The Warhorses are now averaging 54 points per game in district after the victory against Carrizo Springs. The offense struggled early in the year but has definitely found its rhythm the last couple of weeks. That is a great sign going forward.
Devine racked up 404 total yards of offense with 273 of that coming via the running game. On 34 carries, the Warhorses averaged a little over 8 yards per carry.
Leading the charge once again was the tandem of Grant Collins and Luke Torres. Collins gained 156 yards on only 16 carries for 9.75 yards per carry while also rushing for 2 touchdowns. Torres had another solid performance rushing 12 times for 64 yards for 5.3 yards per carry. He also scored the game’s first touchdown.
Noah Brogdon (3 for 34), Matt Ornelas (2 for 15), and Connor Schmidt (4 for 4) had the remaining rushing yards from scrimmage.
Schmidt completed 5 of 7 passes (71%) for 129 yards and 2 touchdowns. He did not throw an interception. Chad Lawson completed his first pass as a varsity quarterback finishing 1 for 1 for 2 yards.
Brogdon (3 for 60 yards, 1 TD), Kyler Brown (1 for 56, 1 TD), Collins (1 for 11), and Justin Contreras (1 for 4) were the recipients of those thrown passes.
Sixteen first downs, no lost fumbles or interceptions, zero punts, and only 4 penalty flags can sure do wonders for an offensive unit.
Carrizo Springs gained 236 total yards on 43 snaps from scrimmage. On 32 rushes, they produced 145 yards for 4 ½ yards per carry. Andrew Reyes was limited to 4 of 9 passing for 91 yards and one score.
Matthew Ornelas’s pickoff of a bumbled pitch by Reyes was the Warhorses only turnover on the night but it bumped Devine’s total to 16 on the season for an average of 2.3 per contest. The Wildcats were forced to punt four times and turned the ball over on downs on two other occasions.
Foreign exchange student Alvaro Blasco continued his torrid start to his American football career. After going 10 for 10 in his point after attempts against Lytle in his first career game, Blasco connected on all 5 of his attempts last Friday to run his perfect total to 15 for 15 through two games.
Similarly to last year’s kicker Aatu Maeenpaeae who kicked his first 3-point field goal during Homecoming week against Poteet, Alvaro also connected on a 3-pointer from 30 yards out with a little under three minutes left in this year’s Homecoming ballgame.
Thunder and Lightning
Gomez’s assertion on the revitalization of the Warhorse rushing game, “Grant and Luke are a great tandem! They both have different styles but they are both very productive. Both are tough players that are very unselfish. They love to see the other have success. Grant runs with great power and Luke has such a quick burst into the hole. We are lucky to have them.
The running game has been very beneficial to us these last few weeks. It has allowed us to create big plays throwing the ball. We really have not thrown the ball much these last 2 games but with the defense trying to stop the run, the completed passes have turned into big plays. The rest of our scheduled opponents now know who these two kids are. They are going to have to step up their game even more as are our offensive line and tight ends in order to keep the running game going strong.”
Injury woes
Injuries are tough for any team to overcome but the Warhorses have seemed to have a rash of them this season. Two additional starters were possibly lost for the season Friday night. Senior quarterback Connor Schmidt and sophomore offensive lineman Mason Perez are the latest casualties.
Gomez’s view, “Losing a single starter is bad enough but we lost two on Friday. We lost Mason for the season to a broken fibula and Connor to an MCL injury. Mason was having such a great year. He was improving every day and giving great effort. I mean this was a kid that came straight from starting on JV on Thursdays to starting on varsity on Friday nights; talk about getting thrown into the fire. But he didn’t get overwhelmed, he just did his job. He is going to be a great player for us next year.
We lost Connor on a fluke situation. A run play for our back had been called but Carrizo’s defensive end jumped off sides just before the ball was snapped. Connor, being the great competitor he is, just figured he would follow the blocking and get some positive yards. The Wildcat defender lowered his shoulder pads and hit the 6’7” Schmidt just above his kneecap. I love players with Connor’s athletic mentality but I also feel for the young man because he was finally understanding everything and the offense had finally began clicking.
He was playing his best football at the right time. As of right now we are just going to take it week by week with Connor. He gets his MRI sometime this week and we will take it from there. He has some of the best doctors around working with him so he will be in good hands. Without the MRI, it is hard to say how long his recovery will be. It could be anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 weeks, only time will tell.
We are definitely going to miss these two young men, but our guys are so resilient! We have been dealing with injuries all year and this group has never put their heads down or felt sorry for themselves. They have never given up on each other. I have so much respect for them. This group will not back down, they will continue to fight and compete and stay together. Our Warhorse family has become a very tight bunch. We believe in each other and that will help us move forward.”
Complete scoring summary
Dev—Luke Torres 8-yard run (Alvaro Blasco PAT), 10:14, 1st.
Dev—Grant Collins 3-yard run (Blasco PAT), 10:16, 2nd.
Dev—Noah Brogdon 49-yard pass from Connor Schmidt (Blasco PAT), 4:18, 2nd.
Dev—Kyler Brown 56-yard pass from Schmidt (Blasco PAT), 0:45, 2nd.
Dev—Collins 35-yard run (Blasco PAT), 2:22, 3rd.
Dev—Blasco 30-yard field goal, 2:51, 4th.
Car-Darian Jones 54-yard pass from Andrew Reyes (Jose Ajuntes PAT), 1:26, 4th.
Senior spotlight
Tristan Kramer—WR/DB—It is like having a missing piece to the puzzle and without that piece the puzzle is incomplete, or not finished. I feel like the team without me is incomplete and not finished.
The goal for me is to get better every day and the goal for the team is to practice every day as if it is our last. As the football season is ending, the Devine Warhorses will not go down without a fight; I promise you that! Go Warhorses and Go Arabians!!!
Zachary Fernandez—OL/DL—It means a lot to me to get to play my senior year. My team goal is for us to win the District Championship and finish 5 and 0!
Next up
The Warhorses travel to Poteet Friday, October 27 for a matchup with the Aggies. Kickoff is set for 7:30pm.
By Jerel Beaty
Staff Writer