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Tigers fall to Lanier in overtime at the ‘Rock Pile’

Tigers fall to Lanier in overtime at the ‘Rock Pile’
Floresville’s Dominique DeWalt (2) lays back for a touchdown grab during the Tigers’ overtime loss to Lanier last Saturday. ANTONIO MORANO/

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Wilson County News
September 7, 2011
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SAN ANTONIO -- Fresh off their big win at home over Highlands, the Floresville Tigers were looking for another win this past Saturday, as the team traveled to San Antonio and Alamo Stadium to take on the Lanier Voks. The Tigers fought hard throughout the night, but eventually fell to Lanier in overtime, 40-34.

The Tigers received the opening kickoff, but gave it over to Lanier after a short possession. Lanier quickly found itself in scoring position following the first of several great kick returns, and took the lead when Augie Morales connected with Michael Elizondo for a 10-yard touchdown. The point-after kick was good, and Lanier led 7-0 with 9:43 to play in the game.

Things began to look up for Floresville near the 5-minute mark of the first when the defense came up with a big stop, and then blocked the punt to take over at the Lanier 33. Senior Jacob Flores reeled in passes from quarterback Colby Shodrock to get down inside the 10-yard line, and sophomore running back Hector Villegas pounded it in from 9 yards out to pull the Tigers within a point. Esteban Mireles booted the extra point, and the game was tied at 7-7 with 1:50 remaining in the quarter.

Disaster struck on the ensuing kickoff for Floresville, however, as Lanier sophomore Matthew Carson returned the ball 88 yards for a touchdown. The point-after attempt failed, but Lanier found itself back on top, 13-7.

Midway through the second quarter of play, the Tigers found the end zone once again. The Floresville defense set things up by recovering a Voks fumble on the Lanier 23-yard line, and Villegas took over from there. The quick back drove down inside the 5-yard line, and then punched it in from 4 yards out. Mireles was good on the extra point, and Floresville led 14-13 with 4:32 to play in the half.

The Tiger defense put up another good stop, and the offence was given another chance with ball before the break. Floresville drove down to the Lanier 9-yard line, but got pushed back to the 19 following a holding call. The Tigers pushed forward once again, and then capped the drive off with a 12-yard touchdown pass into the corner from Shodrock to senior Dominique DeWalt. The point-after attempt bounced off the upright, but Floresville held a 20-13 advantage -- a lead they would take into halftime.

Special teams play was an issue for Floresville throughout the night, and the opening kickoff of the second half was no exception. The Voks fielded the kickoff in the end zone, but ran it out and all the way down to the Floresville 42 before being tackled.

The Tiger defense held the Voks to a three-and-out, but a Floresville fumble on offense gave the ball right back to Lanier at the Tiger 21. Some good running by the Voks, and a costly Tiger penalty, put Lanier at the 4-yard line. One play later, Carson trotted in for his second touchdown of the game. The point-after attempt failed, but Lanier was right back in the game as it trailed Floresville, 20-19.

The Tiger offense drove deep into Lanier territory on its next possession, but was unable to convert on a fourth-and-14 from the Voks’ 30-yard line.

Lanier running back Issac Cervantes hurt the Tigers all night long, and he did it again on the Voks first play from scrimmage, as he ran across midfield to the Tiger 31-yard line. Carson then finished off the Lanier two-play scoring drive as he ran in from 31 yards out. Morales connected with Curtis Lynch for the 2-point conversion, and Lanier celebrated a 27-20 lead with 3:01 to play in the third.

Floresville’s Trey Gillis carried the ensuing kickoff out across midfield, and a Villegas to Gillis reverse put the Tigers on the Lanier 24-yard line. Two plays into the fourth quarter, Villegas found the end zone for third time on the night, and pulled the Tigers to within a point. The extra-point was wide, and Floresville trailed Lanier 27-26 with 11:38 remaining in the game.

Cervantes and Carson hurt the Tigers all night long, especially on kick returns, and Cervantes did it again following the Tiger touchdown as he took the ball 97 yards to the house. The extra point was good for Lanier, and the Voks led 34-26 with 11:21 left to play.

The two teams exchanged blows, and as time wound down in regulation, the Tigers knew they needed to make something happen. That “something” came with just more than two minutes remaining on the clock as Shodrock aired out a pass that hit DeWalt in stride down the sideline. DeWalt was ruled down at the 4-yard line, but Villegas carried it in from 2 yards out two plays later. Villegas also ran in the 2-point conversion, tying the game at 34-all.

Since the game could not be settled in regulation, the teams went into overtime. Floresville won the toss and elected to go on offense first. The Tigers were unsuccessful in their scoring attempt, and the ball went over to Lanier. The Voks made things look easy on their possession, as they picked up 5 yards on their first play and 9 more on their second play in overtime. The Tiger defense held the Voks tough for two more plays, but on third-and-goal from the 6, Cervantes beat the Tiger defense to the corner, and led Lanier to a 40-34 victory.

Despite the loss, Floresville showed it has a ton of talent on the roster this season. Villegas showed he is clearly one of the brightest stars on the Tiger offense, as he carried the ball 48 times for 206 yards. Gillis ran the ball twice for 16 yards, and John Handowski had a carry for 5 yards.

The Floresville passing game is also coming along. Shodrock completed 12 of 25 passing attempts for 151 yards and a touchdown, though he did throw two picks. DeWalt led the receiving corps with 78 yards on five catches, followed by Flores with 54 yards on three grabs, and Gillis with 15 yards on two catches.

The Tiger defense made big plays throughout the night, and showed some promise. The special teams units will have to do some work, and it seems likely the Tigers will devote some practice time this week to their kickoff and punt coverage teams.

With the loss, the Tigers fall to 1-1 on the year. Floresville will be back at home this Friday, Sept. 9, as they welcome the Brackenridge Eagles. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Eschenburg Field.

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