Welcome to the free KSAT 12 Big Game Coverage Newsletter. If you are interested in a wrap-up of the biggest local high school football scores, highlights, players and teams, you can sign up for the biweekly newsletter for free right here.
Week 8 of KSAT 12′s Big Game Coverage (BGC) featured many moments that the Alamo City will never forget. Chief among them: Caden Bosanko’s game-winning, 42-yard touchdown pass to Jack Stewart with :02 left in East Central’s 30-28 victory over Judson. Before we delve into the details of that game and the rest of Week 8′s action, let’s address the fallout: Judson ISD announced on Sunday night that they will be looking for a new head football coach.
In a prepared statement, Executive Director of Athletics Triva Corrales revealed that the district has relieved Rodney Williams of his head coaching duties. Offensive coordinator Joel Call will fill in as interim head coach for the remainder of the 2021 season. The district chose to “move in a different direction regarding the program” and will begin a search for the next head coach in the off-season.
Williams was first elevated to interim head coach on May 7, 2019 and led the Rockets to the playoffs in back-to-back seasons before this year’s 2-5 start. With Williams at the helm, Judson posted a 20-10 overall record. The Rockets have not finished a season with a losing record since 1976.
Now, to the highlights! Let’s recap the biggest moments from the week that was in Week 8′s Best of BGC.
Week 8 featured all kinds of incredible plays from the greater San Antonio area. Check out the best of the best, including plays from Southwest Legacy, Taft, Harlan, Antonian, Brennan and East Central!
Six undefeated teams remain in our weekly KSAT 12′s Top 12 rankings, but there’s one new 5A team who made the cut for the first time this season. Find out who’s in and who’s out heading into Week 9!
Week 8′s Game of the Week was decided by a single possession.
SOUTHWEST LEGACY 16, SOUTHWEST 10
The last two installments of the Fire and Armor Bowl were both decided by six points or less, and the fourth edition of this burgeoning crosstown rivalry was no different.
Southwest Legacy (6-1, 3-0) seized control of a scoreless game in the second quarter. Senior quarterback Zezar Tovar hit standout wide receiver Javier Murillo in the end zone for a six-yard touchdown with 10 seconds left in the first half, and the Titans returned to the locker room with a 10-0 lead. Murillo accounted for half of Tovar’s 16 completions with 103 receiving yards and that score.
Southwest (5-3, 3-1) found their offense in the second half. Running back Jake Friesenhahn was limited to just 39 yards on the night, but his four-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter cut the lead down to three points. Quarterback Nate Gamez orchestrated another scoring drive early in the fourth quarter, and Riley Mann’s 25-yard field goal tied the game at 10-10 with a little over 10 minutes left in regulation.
The Titans answered on the ensuing drive. Tovar completed a long pass to wide receiver Joseph Murillo, and a double reverse to Javier gave Legacy first-and-goal at the one-yard line. Isaiah Ulibarri punched it in for the go-ahead score, and Legacy’s defense preserved the lead. The Titans have won their last three games against the Dragons, and now the inside track to the District 14-5A Division I title.
EAST CENTRAL 30, JUDSON 28
The final 31 seconds of East Central’s dramatic victory over Judson on Friday, October 15, 2021 will be remembered forever. The preceding 59 minutes and 29 seconds were just as dramatic.
East Central (5-2, 3-1) jumped out to a 21-9 lead midway through the second quarter thanks to a pair of touchdown passes from quarterback Caden Bosanko and a 99-yard kickoff return touchdown from Treshawn Johnson. Judson (2-5, 1-3) responded with Michael Burroughs’ second passing touchdown of the half, a 59-yarder to Andre Jones with 55 ticks on the clock to make it a 21-16 game at the break.
The Rockets promptly took the lead back in the third quarter thanks to another TD toss from Burroughs to Jeremiah Dunn. Burroughs completed 27 of his 42 pass attempts for 300 yards and three touchdowns, but East Central’s Daniel Gauna kicked a 28-yard field goal on the very next drive, and the Hornets held a 24-22 advantage heading into the fourth quarter.
Both offenses stagnated until the waning minutes of regulation. Judson faced a fourth-and-four at the 28-yard line with 1:09 left to play. Anthony Evans got the ball on a reverse, made a defender miss in the backfield and took off along the far sideline for 18 yards and a huge first down. A few plays later, Nathaniel Stanley powered in for the go-ahead, seven-yard touchdown, giving the Rockets a 28-24 lead with only 31 seconds remaining.
During Judson’s celebration, an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty was assessed, affecting the ensuing kickoff. A short pooch kick resulted in East Central beginning their final drive on the Rockets’ 42-yard line. The next three passes all fell incomplete bringing up fourth down with 10 seconds left. Bosanko stepped up into a furious rush and let the ball fly down the near sideline. Somehow, Jack Stewart hauled it in over double coverage with two feet in bounds and broke the plane of the end zone. The junior wideout held the ball up as the official raised his hands. Touchdown East Central! His second TD reception of the game lifted the Hornets to one of the biggest wins in program history. Stewart finished the game with five catches for 96 yards, two touchdowns and a memory he’ll carry with him for the rest of his life.
HIGHLANDS 21, LANIER 20
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: the battle for the District 13-5A Division I crown gets crazier every single week. Lanier, Highlands, Burbank, Memorial, Edison, Kennedy and Brackenridge have all traded improbable upsets and wild shootout victories over the past month. The latest example came Friday night at The Rock Pile, as Highlands and Lanier battled all the way to the end of regulation.
The Owls (4-3, 4-1) entered on a three-game winning streak and surged to a 14-0 first-quarter lead thanks to a pair of touchdown passes from quarterback Jacob Gutierrez. The Voks (5-2, 3-2) found their rhythm offensively after halftime and answered with a 14-0 run of their own in the third quarter. Quarterback Xavier Tellez accounted for both scores, a 33-yard TD pass to Ezequiel Garcia and a 2-yard keeper that tied the game at 14.
Fifty-seven seconds after Tellez tied the game, Gutierrez found D’Marrion Gonzalez on a 71-yard touchdown pass that gave Highlands a 21-14 advantage. Gutierrez completed 16 passes for 207 yards and three touchdowns, while Gonzalez accounted for 124 yards from scrimmage and a pair of scores.
But Lanier was not done battling. Tellez mounted a drive in the final minutes of the game, converted on fourth-and-15 with his legs, and found the end zone again on a one-yard touchdown run with 26 seconds left on the clock. The senior signal-caller finished with 140 yards rushing, 95 yards passing and three total touchdowns, as Lanier appeared to have tied the game. But after multiple penalties on both teams and three tries, the ensuing extra point was booted wide of the uprights. Highlands escaped with a hard-fought victory, and they sit alone atop the district standings.
JOHNSON 42, MADISON 35
Saturday’s matinee showdown in District 28-6A quickly turned from a blowout into a nail-biter.
After trading touchdowns for the first 14 minutes of the game, Johnson (8-0, 6-0) finally found some separation with 14 straight points in the second quarter. Running back Ben McCreary tallied his second touchdown of the day and quarterback Cruz Kirwan connected with Alejandro Tavarez for a 26-yard score, as the Jaguars entered halftime with a 28-14 lead. That lead grew on the opening possession of the second half, as McCreary ripped off a 45-yard touchdown run to put Johnson up 35-14. He added another touchdown in the final minute of the third quarter and finished the game with a whopping 246 rushing yards and four scores.
Madison (3-4, 2-3) kept fighting to the very end. Quarterback Caden Mata found Nevon Cooper for a 41-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter, and defensive tackle Dominic Pena intercepted a tipped pass that gave the ball back to the Mavericks offense in plus territory. Miguel Becker capped the next drive with a one-yard plunge, and Johnson’s seemingly insurmountable 21-point lead had dwindled to just seven with plenty of time left on the clock to complete the comeback.
The Mavericks pieced together one final drive in the last minute of play and moved inside the Jaguars’ 10-yard line, but Mata’s final pass fell incomplete, and Johnson heads into a well-deserved bye week as one of the few remaining undefeated teams in the San Antonio area.
The East Central Hornets’ stunning last second victory over the Judson Rockets in Converse on Friday night is arguably the biggest win in Hornets football history. It’s the first win over the Rockets for East Central in over four decades, and it came with two seconds left on the clock.
Andrew Cely and I watched the Texas Sports Productions broadcast, as Hornets QB Caden Bosanko heaved his Hail Mary into the Rockets end zone and Jack Stewart was able to out-jump two Judson players for the ball to score the touchdown and win the game 30-28.
What made it even more remarkable is that it came after the Rockets had just scored to take the lead. Judson had their ensuing kickoff moved back due to an excessive celebration penalty. Since the game ended a little after 10 p.m., the race was on to see if we could turn it for our broadcast, and Andrew did a magnificent job getting it on the air.
The “Big Game” in our Big Game Coverage lived up to the billing, as the Southwest Legacy Titans beat the Southwest Dragons to win the fourth annual Fire and Armor Bowl 16-10 and take over the lead in District 14-5A-I. After a close call with pregame weather, the only flashes of light we saw was the fireworks display that fans were treated to at halftime. Can’t say I have ever seen that at halftime of a high school football game, but it was incredible.
And did you see where Madison almost pulled off the upset of Johnson on Saturday by scoring 14 points in the 4th quarter? Thanks to Jaguars running back Ben McCreary’s 248 yards rushing and four touchdowns, Johnson was able to stay undefeated 42-35.
The Week 8 BGC Road Trip took us to La Vernia, Floresville and Poth. It was very windy that night -- particularly in Floresville and Poth -- which made it tough to pass, so running the ball was the name of the game. The wind was blowing so hard in Floresville that the portable football kicking cage, which kickers use to warm up, was getting moved around with ease. About a dozen footballs in the bottom of the net was the main weight keeping the cage in place. In that game, Floresville quarterback Braeden Fuller passed for nine yards, but rushed for a game-high 227 yards on 13 carries to go with four touchdowns. The senior’s TD runs were 72, 75, 3, and 49 yards.
In District 15-3A-II, the Poth Pirates beat George West 56-7, improving to 6-1 this season and 4-0 in district. The Pirates gave up their first points in district this season, and they were not happy about it. One coach told us the defense had a goal of shutting out every district foe this season. In four district games, the Pirates have outscored their opponents 187-7. George West scored late in the 4th quarter to ruin the Pirates’ shutout streak.
Roosevelt (4-4, 3-3) picked up a crucial 30-27 victory over Clark (3-4, 2-3) to stay in the hunt for the playoffs in District 28-6A on Saturday night. The win moved them into the fourth spot in the standings with two games left to play. Junior wide receiver Dillion Coleman came up clutch with five catches for 122 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winning score with 19 seconds left in regulation. Over the past two weeks, Coleman has posted eight grabs for 176 yards and four scores. His presence alongside fellow wideout Andrew Price and running back Brennan Carroll has given quarterback Bryan Rhoder plenty of firepower to work with. Their offensive balance will be tested next week against a Reagan defense that has only allowed 28 points in five district games this season.
Running back Jacoby Sada had a monster performance in Sam Houston’s 48-17 win over Jefferson at Alamo Stadium Saturday afternoon. In what was a harbinger of things to come, Sada took the first handoff 92 yards to the house for the opening points of the game. His final stat-line: 18 carries for 265 yards and three touchdowns. Quarterback Donovan Beal completed 19 passes for 282 yards and three scores as well, and the Hurricanes celebrated their best offensive performance of the season.
Watch Big Game Coverage Preview show Thursday at 4 p.m.
Greg Simmons and Larry Ramirez are back in studio to get you set up for Week 9 of the high school football season with our weekly Big Game Coverage Preview show, featuring breakdowns of KSAT 12′s Game of the Week and some of the biggest matchups to watch. Which teams will they feature this week? Will there be a special guest? You’ll have to watch to find out!
Andrew Cely, KSAT 12 Sports Producer and Reporter
If you have any questions about this newsletter or story ideas for the season ahead, feel free to reach me via email at email@example.com.