Blizzards amass 500+ yards of offense in win over De Leon
The Winters Blizzards got their first win in district on Friday when they trounced the winless De Leon Bearcats by the score of 55-21.
It's no secret that 2021 has been a tough year for the Blizzards. They opened up their offense to a more balanced run/pass style after relying heavily on the ground game for the last several years. The team spent the summer adjusting to the new offense. Starting quarterback Jon Kullen Busher was having a career year before going out with a season-ending injury 6-weeks ago.
With Busher's injury, sophomore quarterback Chris Martinez was handed the proverbial reins of the team. Martinez struggled after being thrust into the starting role, but has been improving each week. Martinez has become more settled into the position, making quick decisions and improving his passing game. It all came together this week as the Blizzards blanketed the Bearcats while amassing 513 yards of total offense.
De Leon has had a winless season, coming into the game with only 9 touchdowns on the season to go along with their 0-9 record. The Bearcats are a young team, with several freshmen and sophomores having to step up to fill the shoes of seniors who graduated last May. Nothing has been easy for De Leon this season.
The Blizzards' Martinez had a solid outing, going 6/8 for 86 yards an 3 touchdowns. He didn't throw any interceptions and ended the game with an impresive QB rating of 234.4. He added another 49 yards and a touchdown in the rushing game.
For a team that has moved away from a run-heavy offense, and ventured deeper into the passing game, the Blizzards ran roughshod over the Bearcats on the ground, to the tune of 427 yards and 5 touchdowns. Winters averaged an incredible 9.7 yards per rush.
Perhaps most amazing of all, the Blizzards had 2 rushers who went over 150 yards rushing. Junior running back Aidan Leamon rushed 19 times for 170 yards and 5 touchdowns. Running back Alejandro Garcia rushed 13 times for 194 yards and 1 touchdown.
The receivers made the most of every pass when you consider that 3 of Martinez's 6 passes went for touchdowns. Dayvin Oats, Esteban Gonzalez, and Aidan Bryant all caught passes for touchdowns. The sole pass that Gonzalez caught turned into a 56-yard sprint to the end zone.
Coach McCarty commented after the game, "The kids came out and played great from start to finish. We had a new defensive scheme we put in for DeLeon this week and the kids went out and executed great. We had talked all year about starting fast and that’s exactly what they did. We didn't throw a pass at all in the first half and we were still able to put up 34 points. That’s a testament to our offensive line and receivers blocking great and our backs making tough hard runs."
It was a much-needed win for a Blizzards team currently sitting in 5th in the district. Winters will finish out the regular season on the road against the juggernaut that is the Coleman Bluecats. The powerful Bluecats are 8-0 on the season and 4-0 in district. It will be a tough test, but not an impossible one, especially if the Bluecats are already eyeing the start of the playoffs.