Ballinger, Miles and Winters fine tuned their week 1 efforts and came into week 2 running smoothly. All 3 teams ended the week with solid wins.
Winters defense steps up in 26-20 win over Eldorado
The Blizzards took on the Eldorado Eagles, an experienced and strong contender, and defeated them 26-20. It was the Winters defense that stepped up and held onto a lead that went back-and-forth for the better part of 3 quarters.
The key to the Blizzards win was making adjustments throughout the game. Winters had 8 players rush for a total of 312 yards. No single player rushed for over 100 yards. Winters isn’t a passing team and their opponents know that. It’s just that Winters dares their opponents to try and stop their running game.
Winters got on the board with 11:54 to go in the second quarter when they scored on a 7-yard rushing play. The score was 6-0 after the PAT sailed wide left.
Eldorado returned the ball to the 44 yard line. Two plays later and Eldorado fumbled the ball with Winters taking over at the Eagles 43-yard line. Winters ended up punting and the Eagles took over on their own 13-yard line. On a 2nd and 10 play, the Eagles scored on an 87-yard pass. Winters’ Malakye Kelly scored with 3:16 to go in the quarter and made the scored 12-7. Winters went for a 2-point conversion that failed because of a bad snap.
At halftime head coach McCarty said that the Blizzards needed to play better pass defense. Eldorado had been airing the ball out at-will for most of the first half.
After halftime, Winters kicked off and on the first play from scrimmage, Winters’ sophomore cornerback Dayvin Oats intercepted the ball. The Eagles had been targeting receivers covered by Oats in the first half, including the lengthy touchdown play. Oats’ adjustments were key in the interception and him shutting down the passing game when they quarterback and receivers challenged him in the second half.
The Eagles would take a 14-12 lead but that wouldn’t last long.
On Winters’ next possession, Ethan Sanchez rushed for 40 yards and had 1st and goal form the 6-yard line. The next play netted 1-yard and brought up a 2nd and goal from the 5 yard line. Another rushing play with Miguel Rodriguez took to ball to the 1-yard line. Salas would then punch the ball in on the next play and make the score 18-14. The conversion made the score 20-14. Winters would score again to bring the score 26-14 before the Eagles added another 6 points to bring the final score to 26-20.
The Blizzards’ defense has had some strong showings the season and they’ve announced their presence time and again. They have been hitting hard on solo and gang tackles. The passing defense was the unknown but with this solid showing against the Eagles they’ll build some confidence. Winters isn’t a team that gives up a lead. The defense feeds off of the offense and is capable of stopping any team that threatens their lead.
This week the Blizzards will head to Bangs to face the Dragons on the Dragons’ home turf. Bangs is 1-1 this season and is definitely an up-and-coming team. They won 3 games last season after going 0-10 in the previous season. They’ve scored an average of 26 points this season while only giving up only 20 points per contest. With that being said, the Blizzards shouldn’t have any problems with Bangs. While the Dragons offense has been stepping up, their offensive line will be outmatched by the Winters defensive line, which should allow the Blizzards to get penetration and break up plays in the Bangs backfield.
Ballinger rolls Reagan County, 48-7
Ballinger rolled over the Reagan County Owls by a score of 48-7. Ballinger’s senior quarterback, Edgar Nunez, had a strong showing, going 5 of 6 for 116 yards and 1 touchdown through the air and rushing 4 times for 42 yards and 3 touchdowns. He had a quarterback rating of 163.1. Senior running back Darin Hall had a career night as well, rushing 20 times for 142 yards and 3 touchdowns. Hall has emerged as a powerful running back.
Ballinger rolled out to a 14-point lead in the first quarter and the game was never in question. They added 4 touchdowns in the second quarter and 1 more in the fourth to bring home the win. The Bearcats dominated in all aspects of the game. They had 18 first downs as opposed to the Owls 3 first downs. Ballinger ran 43 plays to the Owls’ 33 plays.
One area Ballinger made some progress in was penalties. Last week they were called for 10 penalties for 100 yards. Against the Owls they only had 6 penalties for 64-yards.
The Bearcats were able to create opportunities on defense when junior Braden Bowman forced 1 fumble and recovered it. Aiden Busenlehner forced 2 more fumbles and recovered 1 of them. There weren’t many holes in the Bearcats’ game and their execution was sharp and focused.
This week the Bearcats will travel to Colorado City and take on the winless Wolves. Colorado City has only scored 3 points this season while giving up an average of 30 points per game.
Miles Bulldogs take a bite out of TLCA, 44-12
The Miles Bulldogs are a dangerous team. The reason is simple: They believe in themselves. 110%. They are confident, focused and stay on point. After the first quarter of their first game of the season they hit their stride. They’ve worked out the wrinkles and while defeating San Angelo’s TLCA might not seem a big deal it was a solid performance on all fronts.
The Bulldogs were never in danger of losing this game. Once again, their first quarter dictated their adjustments and they began rolling the Eagles up in the 2nd quarter.
Miles put 17 points on the board in the 2nd quarter, 14 points in the third and 13 points in the 4th. Head coach Charles Boles has the players’ full buy-in and quarterback Davian Martinez is all that they’d hoped he would be. The team has 6 seniors and 5 juniors who have stepped up their play and continued the effort from last season. The Miles Bulldogs are the biggest dogs on the block.
Their only serious competition should be the Christoval Cougars. Christoval was 0-2 against Runnels County teams last season, including a heartbreaking loss to Miles by a score of 21-20. So far this season Miles has scored an average of 51 points and given up an average of 9. Christoval has scored an average of 43 points while holding their opponents scoreless.
Next up for Miles is a home game against the Roscoe Plowboys. The Plowboys have scored a total of 13 points this season and given up 69 points in their two games. This could be another walk-through for Miles as they look to improve their record to 3-0.