Alamo Heights shuts out Harlandale, leads crazy district race; Reagan rallies past Johnson with 21-point 4th quarter; La Vernia moves home game to Floresville, still wins

Somerset knocks off Fredericksburg in key district tilt; Harlan’s Jacob Gonzales has “Run of the Week” in win over Holmes

10-16-2022 BGC Newsletter Week 9 (Andrew Cely, KSAT)

If there’s one thing we learned from Week 8′s action, it’s that entire seasons can change in the blink of an eye. Persevering through adversity and taking advantage of opportunities when they arise ultimately defines teams in their push for the playoffs. As the calendar marches towards November, the difference between rising to the occasion and not is magnified.

It can happen before a game even starts. La Vernia saw their home game moved to Floresville at the last minute due to a circumstance out of their control. It can happen in the middle of a game. For the first 36 minutes of regulation, Reagan trailed Johnson in a pivotal District 28-6A clash before breaking through in the 4th quarter and finding a way to win. It can even happen after the game. As results poured in on Friday, District 14-5A Division II fell into chaos. Multiple teams that appeared to be out of the playoff hunt are now within striking distance of a select few playoff berths. Seasons are never over until the dust settles on Week 11.

So many games from our Big Game Coverage (BGC) came down to the wire! Let’s recap the biggest moments from the week that was in the Best of BGC.

On Instant Replay, we selected the best of the best, including highlights from Lanier, Harlan, Taft and Southside!

>> Click here to check out the Best of BGC from Week 8! <<

Be sure to check out all of the highlights from Week 8 as well:

(Copyright 2021 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

The top eight teams from last week’s 12′s Top 12 all held serve, but the bottom four saw some movement after No. 9 Harlandale fell to Alamo Heights. Did the Indians drop out entirely? Who else made the cut heading into Week 9?

>> See the full Week 9 rankings by clicking here! <<


(Copyright 2021 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)
(KSAT)

ALAMO HEIGHTS 48, HARLANDALE 0

In a battle of undefeated squads, the Mules flexed their muscle and seized control of the district standings.

Senior Bennett Flesher set the tone with an impressive 44-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. Michael Terry III and Rett Andersen provided some great downfield blocks, and Flesher was practically untouched on his way to the end zone. Alamo Heights (6-1, 6-0) then doubled the lead in the second quarter on a beautiful pitch and catch from quarterback Conley McKenna to Andersen. Now facing 14-0 deficit on the road, Harlandale (5-2, 5-1) tried to rally, but senior linebacker Harrison Sobey stepped in front of a Jacob Saucedo pass and returned the interception 40 yards the other direction to the red zone. The Mules quickly capitalized with McKenna’s second touchdown pass of the game, this time a 10-yard strike to senior tight end Henry Robison, as Alamo Heights entered halftime with a 21-0 lead.

The advantage only ballooned from there. McKenna completed 11 passes for 148 yards and 3 TDs. Andersen led the receiving corps as usual with four catches for 95 yards and a pair of scores. Meanwhile, Flesher led the ground game with 7 carries for 92 yards and 2 TDs, as the Mules continued their district dominance with their 6th straight win.

(KSAT)

DISTRICT 14-5A DIVISION II

Believe it or not, every other District 14-5A Division II matchup featuring SAISD and Harlandale ISD teams was decided by six points or less. All four featured comeback efforts in the 4th quarter:

  • HIGHLANDS 12, EDISON 7 - The Golden Bears have been snake-bit in three-straight one-possession losses. Edison (2-5, 1-5) led 7-6 late in the 4th quarter thanks to Alex Hernandez2-yard TD run with 4:22 left to play, but the Owls rallied with a game-winning drive. Willie Gaskin scored a go-ahead 5-yard touchdown with 48 seconds left to play that capped a 90-yard effort on the day, as Highlands (4-3, 4-2) won their fourth straight game.
  • SAM HOUSTON 21, McCOLLUM 19 - The Hurricanes and Cowboys traded the lead all night long at Harlandale Memorial Stadium Friday night. McCollum (2-5, 2-4) vaulted ahead 19-14 early in the 4th quarter on quarterback Justin Rodriguez’s 47-yard TD pass to Jonathan Longoria. Both players combined to score all 19 of the Cowboys’ points. But Sam Houston (4-3, 3-3) responded a few minutes later with Na’Qwentis Brooks’ 76-yard touchdown run, a play that proved to be the game-winner. Brooks led the offense with 19 carries for 139 yards, as the Hurricanes moved to .500 in district play and sit in 5th in the district standings.
  • BRACKENRIDGE 22, LANIER 19 - After starting the season 0-5, the Eagles have quietly reeled off back-to-back victories. The Voks appeared to take control of this matchup late in the third quarter on Mario Torres’ 2-yard touchdown run. Torres combined with Jeremiah Huizar to rush for 172 combined yards, as Lanier (2-5, 2-4) led 19-13. But 24 regulation seconds later, quarterback Brandon Garcia tied the game at 19-19 with his third touchdown run of the game, an electrifying 44-yard scamper. Garcia teamed up with Xaviur Camargo to rush 39 times for a whopping 264 yards. Edgar Barreda came on to kick the game-winning 23-yard field goal with 1:36 left in regulation, and Brackenridge (2-5, 2-4) joined a logjam of three teams sitting at 2-4 in the district standings.
  • BURBANK 20, JEFFERSON 14 - The Mustangs have battled a lot of teams tough this year, and Friday night’s matchup against the Bulldogs was no exception. Johnny Gamboa recorded a 27-yard pick-six early in the third quarter that gave Jefferson (2-5, 1-5) a 14-7 lead. Meanwhile, Mustangs quarterback Amonte Carter led an impressive ground game with 157 rushing yards. Burbank (5-2, 4-2) simply made more plays down the stretch. Robert Martinez evened the score at 14-all on the Bulldogs’ next possession with a 15-yard touchdown run, and quarterback Keven Hernandez gave the Bulldogs the lead for good with a 21-yard touchdown strike to Israel Zapata. Hernandez added 158 rushing yards and score in the victory, and Burbank held firm in the fourth spot of the current district standings.
(KSAT)

SOMERSET 21, FREDERICKSBURG 10

The race for the District 14-4A Division I crown is coming down to the wire, and Friday night’s showdown between the Bulldogs and Battlin’ Billies established a new pecking order in the district standings.

Somerset led 14-3 at halftime thanks to some big plays from junior Josiah Lugo. He scored the game’s first touchdown on the ground midway through the second quarter, and after a 22-yard field goal from Fredericksburg’s Reed Spies, Lugo took a pass from quarterback Koby Isbell the distance for a game-breaking 71-yard touchdown. That was Lugo’s only reception of the game. He finished with 22 carries for 128 yards on the ground.

The Battlin’ Billies clawed their way back into the game late in the third quarter on Will Degenhardt’s 49-yard touchdown pass to Sam Seidenberger. Degenhardt was efficient, completing 15-of-20 passes for 177 yards and that TD, but Somerset sealed the game late in the fourth quarter. Isbell capped an impressive effort with a 48-yard touchdown run, as the Bulldogs remained undefeated in district play. Major credit to Somerset’s defense: they held the Billies to 27 total rushing yards.

CANYON LAKE 38, DAVENPORT 35

This District 13-4A Division I battles came down to the final possession.

The Wolves (6-1, 1-1) led 21-16 on Triston Hamlin’s second touchdown pass of the game, a 77-yard strike to Kyler Payne. The Hawks (4-3, 2-0) answered right back with Hunter Anderson’s 10-yard touchdown toss to Justin Abbott, and Canyon Lake entered halftime with a 23-21 lead.

Davenport vaulted back in front 28-23 early in the third quarter on a three-yard rushing TD from phenom Shastin Golden, but the lead was short-lived. On the very drive, Helijah Johnson stole the lead back with a three-yard score of his own, and the Hawks went up 31-28 thanks to his ensuing two-point conversion. Early in the fourth quarter, Chance Martelli gave Canyon Lake the separation they needed with a two-yard TD run for a 38-28 lead. One more touchdown from Golden was all Davenport could muster, as the Hawks got the ball back and burned the remaining clock to win a hard-fought game and hand the Wolves their first loss of the season.

(KSAT)

I started my Friday night prepared to spend a couple hours in La Vernia. Upon arriving in Bear Country a little after 6:15 p.m., I was greeted by a fairly empty parking lot. The band was rapidly loading instruments onto buses and a handful of cars were starting to head out. Confused, I double-checked the schedule and walked up to one of the staff members on hand and found out a water main had burst just down the road. The damage was discovered around 5 p.m. Initially, inspectors believed they would be able to fix the damage in an hour or so. That estimate quickly ballooned to a much longer timetable. As a result, La Vernia wasn’t going to be able to host athletic events that night, neither football nor volleyball. Instead, their football opponent -- Floresville -- stepped up to host the Bears on short notice. After a quick conversation with Greg, I hopped back in my car and hit the road to Floresville for what was now an 8 p.m. kickoff. The folks from La Vernia and Floresville could not have been nicer. The running joke from the Bears: “Thank goodness we weren’t hosting Port Lavaca Calhoun this week.”

The game itself got off to a slow start. Both teams used long, methodical drives to drain the clock in the first quarter, as the Bears built a 3-0 lead. La Vernia was the first to find the end zone in the second quarter. Quarterback Stratton Hayes took command late in the drive with a pair of crucial QB-keepers and scored a three-yard touchdown that gave the Bears a 10-3 halftime lead. La Vernia went on to win the game 17-9, marking their fourth straight victory. The Bears are now 2-0 in District 15-4A Division I and still have huge games against Pleasanton, Beeville Jones and Rockport-Fulton on their schedule to round out the season.

On Saturday, I bounced around all over San Antonio once again. After spending three hours poolside covering UIL Area Round water polo games, I caught the tail end of Incarnate Word High School volleyball’s victory over The Village School in the afternoon and swung by to see the early stages of Madison’s 49-7 victory over Marshall at Comalander Stadium. Then that night, I took a pit stop at Gustafson Stadium to catch the first few drives of Harlan vs. Holmes. The first play I caught on camera was a 70-yard bomb from Noah Farris to Miky Duesing. A few plays later, Harlan running back Jacob Gonzales turned in another spectacular highlight by breaking four tackles en route to an 8-yard touchdown. The Hawks cruised to a dominant 48-6 victory.

My final stop of the night was a heavyweight District 28-6A matchup: Reagan vs. Johnson at Comalander Stadium. Earlier in the afternoon, it took me all of 15 seconds to find a parking spot and walk inside the stadium to cover Madison vs. Marshall. That night? It took me a solid 10 minutes to search for and find a parking spot before hiking a quarter mile to get to the media entrance. The place was jam-packed and rocking all night long. I stepped on the field for the start of the second quarter and promptly saw the end of Reagan’s first scoring drive. Caleb Cappuccio hit Luke Sasser for a six-yard touchdown that cut their deficit down to three points, 10-7. A few drives later, Johnson extended the lead back to 10. Quarterback Ty Hawkins took off on a 16-yard touchdown run that provided the difference in the first half, as the Jaguars entered halftime with a 17-10 advantage.

At that point, I had to return to the station to write and edit highlights. It’s rare that I can stay to watch a full high school football game in person these days. That’s especially true on Saturday nights where I’m in charge of editing and producing the 10 p.m. sports blocks, and it’s why our partnership with Texas Sports Productions has been such a huge help. While working on the rest of the show and catching the end of the Astros game, I flipped over to see that Reagan had made it a 17-13 game and was driving for the lead early in the fourth quarter. The very first play I saw, Carson Green burst through the line and raced to the end zone untouched for a 33-yard touchdown and 20-17 lead. Johnson attempted to answer back on the ensuing drive, but Jett Thompson came up with a crucial interception, and Cappuccio turned that into points with an incredible 38-yard TD run that essentially put the game on ice. Reagan scored 21 points in the fourth quarter to stun the Jaguars, 34-17.

You do have to feel for Johnson. They’re essentially two quarters of solid football away from being undefeated atop the district standings. Instead, Reagan joins Brandeis as the only two undefeated teams in 28-6A. By the way, those two play each other on the final week of the regular season.

(KSAT)

In case you missed it, here’s some more local sports highlights and stories from the last week:


We’ll see you on Thursday night for the start of Week 9!

Andrew Cely, KSAT 12 Sports Producer and Reporter

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About the Author:

Andrew has covered athletics of all levels for more than five years and is dedicated to shining a spotlight on local San Antonio athletes and their stories.