TUSCOLA — This time, the Buffaloes hunted the Indians.
The undefeated Forsan Buffaloes traveled to meet the winless Jim Ned High School on Friday, but barely scraped by with a victory as the Buffs were forced to mount a 25-point comeback to defeat the Indians, who had jumped out to 21-0 lead by the end of the first half of play.
Forsan's Brendan Roman scored two running touchdowns and rushed for 117 yards and Trevor Burchett had a 37-yard scoring reception. Burchett also shared quarterbacking duties with Marcus Cervantes. Both passed for one touchdown apiece.
Forsan's defense appeared on the gridiron with renewed vigor during the second half, holding the pass-happy Indians scoreless, allowing the offense to start firing on all cylinders.
“We focused on our pass defense all week,” Forsan Head Coach Jason Phillips said. “(Jim Ned) usually throws the ball 30 or 40 times a game. Last night, they ran the ball more than we have seen them run all year.”
As far as the comeback, Phillips credits his squad's determination.
“Our kids worked real hard in the second half,” Phillips added. “Our kids could have easily given up when they were behind like they were, but they kept fighting and got back into it. It says a lot about them.”
The momentum began to swing in the Buffs' favor late in the second quarter.
“The kids picked up on it. We had a couple of good defensive plays and big third down conversions when we needed them. We came out a little flat … we had 12 penalties and five turnovers, but by the end we were looking like ourselves again. (Jim Ned) was a lot more physical than we anticipated.”
The 4-0 Buffaloes will meet Crane (2-2) on the road next week.
“We are just focused on getting healthy,” Phillips said. “We're moving forward as a team. Over all, I think we are getting better every week.”
DENVER CITY — The Bulldogs are banged up.
The already ailing Coahoma squad (1-3) suffered another physical bout Friday as the Denver City Mustangs (2-2) shut the Bulldogs out 26-0.
Quarterback Tanner Ruiz was removed from the game due to a wrist injury, hindering Coahoma's ability to make explosive plays. Though Coahoma head Coach Trey Gardner declined to go into detail about Ruiz's and other injuries, he admits the team's depth is largely absent due to the injuries.
Braxton Iden took the reins at QB upon Ruiz's departure.
“We have to evaluate who we have and who we don't have,” Gardner said. “Right now, we are hurting. We need to see who we can put on the field.”
Gardner may have to call up some more junior varsity players and make some more position changes to fill the gaps as his defense and quarterback heals up. It wasn't as bad as it could be, considering the injuries at so many key positions.
“Our kids played with amazing effort even though they were behind,” Gardner added. “There were times we looked good. T.J. White was back and both he and Caige Miller ran the ball well. We are great between the 20-yard lines … we continue to hurt ourselves. We are eating up huge chunks of grass on the field, but then we fumble the ball or jump offsides — 99.9 percent of the time, the effort is there from our kids. They played their rears off and only gave up one touchdown in the second half. If you look at what they were up against, it would have been easy to give up.”
Coahoma will face Ballinger at home next week at Bulldog Stadium. Game time is slated for 7:30 p.m.
IRA — Garden City Head Coach Matt Odom referred to the first leg of his Bearkats' schedule as a “meat grinder”.
He wasn't exagerrating. Borden County, Water Valley and Ira — his most recent opponent — are all state ranked teams. Odom's first win as Bearkats coach came last week against rival Sterling City after a 50-40 victory, but his team couldn't out play the Bulldogs and fell 45-0.
“I think we were a little outmatched on the field,” Odom said. “But we played excellent in spurts. There were too many mental mistakes to beat a team like Ira. Defensively, our effort was the best I have seen since I have been here. It's tough when you play a team with good play action and a good running back in the back field, but they had to work to move the ball.”
Odom has also been plagued by injuries. Austin Odom, starting quarterback for Garden City was injured during practice recently and had to sit out against the Bulldogs.
In his place was Colton Belew, who Odom said was a very capable backup.
“(Belew) did a great job out there,” Odom said. “He made good decisions and showed he could lead the team.”
The tough, non-district schedule may help the Bearkats, at least Odom hopes so.
“People get caught upin griping about a tough pre-district schedule, but if you can come out of it healthy, it can pay off in the long run.”
The Bearkats — whowon back-to-back state championship titlesin 2009 and 2010, will take on Ropes on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
McCamey (2-2) def. Stanton (1-3), 42-21.
Highland (2-2) def. Sands (2-2), 86-44.
Grady (2-2) def. Midland Trinity (2-2), 68-48.