Sunday, October 26, 2014

Week 9- Brandeis Broncos VS O'Connor Panthers

Last year when these two teams played, it was MY GAME OF THE YEAR!!!   It featured 2 touchdowns, 3 field goals, 22 points, and by far the best finish I have seen.  Quite a contrast to my 2012 game of the year which had 5 players over 100 yards, 14 touchdowns, 45 first downs, 101 points, 122 plays, and 1,027 yards of offense (hey, the O'Connor Panthers were one of the teams).  

I knew this game would be a FULL HOUSE (oh no, another reference on my BLOG to the best damn tv show ever) and man, I was super excited that I get to see it!!  I arrived at the game a few minutes before 6pm (game started at 7:30) and the line of fans waiting to get in was just as long as the football field...it was an awesome sight to see.  Brandeis fans wearing orange and O'Connor fans wearing navy blue.  WOW!!!  During halftime, I changed hats from stat man to photographer as I went down to the field to snap pics of the crowd.


A few minutes after I arrived at Farris stadium, I got a call from Bobby Stautzenberger...he was stuck in traffic with a million other people!!!  I told him to call me when you are in the parking lot and I will take the equipment and set it up (to the best that I can do) and you can get pre-game coaches interviews.  

Sometimes, I have to be flexible and help out in an area that I don't know much about (plugs and cables) in order to broadcast a game.  The only glitch we had was we couldn't connect to the studio (oh no), but I always have faith in Bobby and literally 3 minutes before air-time, we got connected!!!   
Coming into the game, both teams were 2 and 0 in District 27-6A Zone B and the winner will likely play the Brennan Bears on November 6th for the District 27-6A Championship.  So, yeah, this year, this game really mattered.  Well, not like last year didn't matter!!  I mean, these teams are bitter rivals and dude, less than 4 miles separate these schools.  Farris stadium is in Brandeis's backyard, but I will be quick to point out that O'Connor was built first way back in 1998.   Also, last year, O'Connor and Brandeis played very early in the season...Week 3.  

District 27-6A has 10 teams but it is divided into Zone A and Zone B.  Since, I have worked a lot of 27-6A games this year, let me show you the standings as of today:

27-6A Zone A
Brennan (8-0, 3-0)
Stevens (6-2, 3-0)
Taft (3-5, 1-2)
Warren (3-5, 1-2)
Jay  (2-6, 0-4)

27-6A Zone B
Brandeis (8-0, 3-0)
O'Connor (5-2, 2-1)
Clark (4-4, 2-1)
Marshall (3-6, 1-3)
Homes (0-8, 0-3)


On November 6th, the first place teams from each zone will play for the District Championship. Right now, it looks like it will be 2 undefeated teams...Brennan and Brandeis!!!  Both teams will make the playoffs.  The second place teams from each zones will play the third place teams from each zone on November 7th and the winners will make the playoffs.  And, with nothing on the line, the fourth place teams from each zone will play each other and the fifth place teams from each zone will play each other.  Confused yet...I am!!!  

Ok, now, I can talk about the game!!!  Yay and finally!!!

The O'Connor Panthers scored first on a field goal and after the first quarter, they led 3 to 0.  

Jaylen Dukes, the Brandeis running back, had 3 rushing touchdowns in the second quarter.  His 2nd and 3rd came with 1:22 and :34 remaining in the quarter and both blew the game wide open for the Brandeis squad.  O'Connor made some mistakes and Dukes made them pay for it.  At halftime, Brandeis led O'Connor by a score of 21 to 3.  Dukes had 10 carries for 85 yards and 3 touchdowns. Some of his runs were absolutely amazing as it looked like he would be tackled for a loss, but somehow he escaped for positive yardage!!  Dukes is a junior and I am glad cause he is exciting to watch.  

Even though Brandeis was gonna get the ball to begin the third quarter, I didn't want to count out the O'Connor team and dude, when they kicked off to start the third quarter, it was an onside kick that the Panthers recovered...OMG!!  Unfortunately, they couldn't capitalize by putting points on the score-board.  The score was still 21 to 3 Brandeis and with 5:24 left in the third quarter, the Broncos scored on a 82 yard touchdown reception from Paul Lozano to Peyton Hall.   After three quarters, Brandeis led 28 to 3.  

In the fourth, Brandeis had a defensive score and a rushing touchdown by somebody not named Dukes.  

The final score was Brandeis 42 and O'Connor 3.  Gosh, I didn't expect that and one thing I do know is it won't be my Game of the Year for 2014!!!   

The O'Connor Panthers ran 55 plays for 152 yards (just 50 yards in the 2nd half).  The quarterback, Jonathan McEntire, got hurt on Friday night and didn't play the entire game.  In week 5, he was 12 of 20 passing for 253 yards and 3 touchdowns...he was my player of the week.  I think had he been healthy, the score would be very different.  The Panthers are also playing without the starting running back, Jamontae Edwards  so it was running back by committee.  In Week 1, Edwards had 30 carries for 180 yards and 3 touchdowns. In that Week 1 game, the Panthers beat the Reagan Rattlers and since that loss, Reagan has won 8 consecutive games.  

Injuries can be costly and I really hope McEntire can recover quickly and be be healthy for next week.  If the Panthers want to win, they need McEntire.  I don't think Edwards will be back this season (he is a junior, so he should be fine and primed for his senior year). 

The leading rusher for O'Connor on Friday night was Josiah Velazquez who had 15 carries for 67 yards.  The leading receiver was Jekovan Holmes who had 2 receptions for 21 yards. If that last name sounds familiar, it should because the former Marshall Ram, UT Longhorn, Baltimore Raven, and Kansas City Chief, Priest Holmes is his father!!! WOW!!  I had no clue of that till Bobby Stautzenberger mentioned it on the air.  

The Brandeis Broncos ran 44 plays for 310 yards.  Paul Lozano, the quarterback, was 8 of 15 passing for 217 yards and 1 touchdown.  Peyton Hall had 5 of those receptions for 179 yards and a HUGE 82 yard touchdown.  Jaylen Dukes, the running back, had 14 carries for 101 yards and 3 touchdowns (all in the first half).  

After 9 weeks of football, the best teams I have seen (in no particular order) are the Brandeis Broncos, the Brennan Bears, and the Steele Knights.  I have seen Churchill and Reagan as both teams have one loss, but that was way back in Week 1.  Another team I saw twice with one loss is the Antonian Apaches.  See, now that we are closing in on Playoffs, I can start talking PLAYOFFS!!!   

The team I am most disappointed in are the Madison Mavericks (I have yet to see them, but last year, they lost in the state semi-final and this year, they may not even make the playoffs).   I feel bad for first year head coach, Mark Smith. Smith left Judson for Madison and before Judson, Smith was the coach at Kerrville Tivy (yes, he coached Johnny Manziel and yes, I did see Johnny play a game...I think it was his 2nd game at quarterback and he helped his team come from behind to win it).  

Next Thursday. I will be at Gustafson stadium as the Warren Warriors play the Taft Raiders.

And, Friday, I may get to see Brennan and Stevens!! 

Here are pics from a packed house at Farris stadium:















Saturday, October 25, 2014

Week 9 - Holmes Huskies VS Marshall Rams

On Thursday, I was at Gustafson stadium as the Marshall Rams played the Holmes Huskies.  Coming into the game, the Rams had 2 wins and Holmes was winless.  Now, if I could jump in my TIME MACHINE and go back about 20 or 25 years ago, this match-up would've easily been the MARQUEE game of the week!!  We would have Priest Holmes (his son plays for the O'Connor Panthers and they lost to Brandeis last night...I will recap that game tomorrow on my BLOG). running the ball for the Rams and for Holmes, it wold be Robert Quiroga and Keith and Kerry Cash!!!  Man, that would'e be my stat man fantasy!!!

As you can tell by the records, this was a game where both teams had absolutely no way of making the playoffs.

Even though I was in Athletics in high school, I didn't play any sports (I was the manager for the Clark high school basketball team), so I had to ask myself and others who would listen to me vent about HOW DO PLAYERS PLAY A GAME WHEN THEY HAVE NOTHING TO PLAY FOR?

I concluded that they play for the love of the game.  For the Seniors, it is one final hurrah and for the underclassmen, it is a chance to prove yourselves to the coaching staff!!  Plus, it was a TV game and that will motivate everybody (heck, it motivates me to look good)!!!  

Well, folks, I thought this would be a close game but unfortunately, it was a blow-out in favor the Marshall Rams as they whipped the Huskies by a final score of 48 to 14.

The Holmes Huskies ran 56 plays for 270 yards.  The lone bright spot for them was sophomore running back, John Duhon, who had 7 carries for 65 yards and both Holmes's touchdowns.  They just don't have any explosive players who can score from any where on the field.   I wrote on my stat-board the word...GROWING PAINS (and, I don't mean the TV show).

The Marshall Rams ran 44 plays for 463 yards.  Dude, they didn't look like a team with only 2 wins!! Colby Roberts, the quarterback, was a perfect 8 of 8 passing for 138 yards and 2 touchdowns. Antonio Anderson, had 4 receptions for 80 yards and both receiving touchdowns.

Tre Scallion, the Rams running back, had 22 carries for 243 yards and 4 touchdowns.  He was very close to the Thursday Night Lights rushing record of 265 yards!!!  As a sophomore, Tre had 190 carries for 1,156 yards and 7 touchdowns (204 of those yards came against the Steele Knights in a playoff game that I worked).  Tre missed all of last with an injury.  And, this year, he finished with 190 carries for 1,123 yards and 11 touchdowns.  I am not sure what is college plans are, but I want to say thanks and best of luck!!!  

Since, I have worked a lot of 27-6A games this year, let me show you the standings as of today:

27-6A Zone A
Brennan (8-0, 3-0)
Stevens (6-2, 3-0)
Taft (3-5, 1-2)
Warren (3-5, 1-2)
Jay  (2-6, 0-4)

27-6A Zone B
Brandeis (8-0, 3-0)
O'Connor (5-2, 2-1)
Clark (4-4, 2-1)
Marshall (3-6, 1-3)
Homes (0-8, 0-3)

Brandeis and O'Connor played last night and I will have a BLOG for that game published tomorrow.

On November 6th, the first place teams from each zone will play for the District Championship. Right now, it looks like it will be 2 undefeated teams...Brennan and Brandeis!!!  Both teams will make the playoffs.  The second place teams from each zones will play the third place teams from each zone on November 7th and the winners will make the playoffs.  And, with nothing on the line, the fourth place teams from each zone will play each other and the fifth place teams from each zone will play each other.  Confused yet...I am!!!  

Next Thursday. I will be at Gustafson stadium again as the Warren Warriors play the Taft Raiders.

And, Friday, I may get to see Brennan and Stevens!!

Here are some pictures from Thursday night: