La Vernia Bears win close game against Wimberley
WCN CorrespondentSeptember 16, 2008 4,031 views 1 comment
WIMBERLEY -- The 9-11 schedule shift -- because of an impending hurricane -- brought unease to the hardiest of La Vernia Bears fans as they juggled schedules for an unexpected Thursday game night in the Devil’s Backbone area. Perhaps an omen of dread -- fumbles and penalties -- was in the sultry air.
In the opening possession, Wimberley called repeatedly on their 200-pound freshman, Dennis Smith. He took the kickoff and carried the ball repeatedly, until quarterback Barron Scudder was unable to get off a pass. A punt, out of bounds at the Texan 28, gave the Bears a turn at offense.
Doug Helmke, Steven Kubena, and Seth Grubb made little progress for La Vernia, and they handed control back to the Texans at their own 47-yard line. Scudder, Smith, and Brooks Blakemore marched Wimberley down the field, until Jared Kutz scored with a 28-yard field goal to put the score at 3-0 for the Texans with the first quarter clock at 4:15.
Helmke and Kubena gained short yardages, and Grubb kept the Texans honest with keepers to end the opening period with fourth and inches at the Wimberley 29-yard line.
Helmke’s 5-yard run to put the Bears on the board at 11:38 in the second period caught the Texans napping. A.J. Ybarra’s kick was good, and La Vernia took the lead at 7-3.
Then it was four plays and a punt for Wimberley, and four plays and a punt for La Vernia, again and again. Finally, with 1:02 remaining in the second period, Smith ran for a 5-yard touchdown for Wimberley. Kutz’s kick was good, and the Texans regained the lead, 10-7.
Early in the third quarter, groans rose from La Vernia fans, when one of their five fumbles was recovered with what looked to be a Wimberley score. The ball was placed at first and 10 at the 11-yard line. The defense was unable to stop the short-yardage plays, and Smith carried it over the final yard with 8:58 remaining in the period. Kutz was on the mark for the bonus point, and the Wimberley lead went to 17-7.
The fourth quarter opened with a lot of spirit, as Grubb refused to fall for a defender, and instead ran 21 yards for a La Vernia score with 11:51 on the scoreboard clock. Ybarra’s kick was on the mark, and the Bears narrowed the Wimberley lead to 17-14.
The Texans ran into hard times at that point. A penalty cost them yardage “from the spot of the foul,” and then a rare fumble was recovered by Colbey Coleman, who returned it 30 yards for a touchdown with 10:43 on the fourth-quarter clock. Ybarra’s kick put Bo Robinson’s Bears in the lead, 21-17.
The dispirited Texans suffered an incomplete pass; then Scudder was sacked in the backfield and La Vernia took over on downs at the 40-yard line. The scoring was done at that point, but the hardest-fought play of the game then ensued.
There was a fumble, and Grubb fell on the ball. It appeared to “squirt” out, and was downed by a Wimberley player. The call appeared to be that the ball was down on contact.
Players from both sides were jumping up and down. Fans were alternately booing and cheering. Officials conferred with the Wimberley bench, and later with the La Vernia bench. The scoreboard was reconfigured: second and 15 at the 36, then third and 22 at the 18, second and 12 at the 35, third and 15 at the 34, and third and 15 at the 22. Who could keep up with who was marked with possession at any one time?
Finally, La Vernia ran a play, picked up 9 yards, and surrendered the ball to Wimberley at the 49-yard line.
The official explanation -- there was an inadvertent whistle.
When the game mercifully ended without further incident, one of the most sincere expressions of sportsmanship and camaraderie between players, other participants, and fans was exhibited on the field. The officials were nowhere in sight.
The La Vernia Bears will play at Canyon Lake High School on Friday, Sept. 19, at 7:30 p.m.