La Vernia Bears drop close game to unbeaten Apaches
La Vernia 9
GONZALES -- Fresh off a thrilling last-second win at home, the La Vernia Bear football team hit the road last Friday, traveling to Gonzales to face the Apaches. The Bears gave a valiant effort against the unbeaten District 28-3A champs, but fell a little short, and returned home with a 14-9 loss.
It was the Apaches who stuck first in the game, scoring midway through the first quarter. Gonzales was able to drive deep into La Vernia territory, and then scored on an 8-yard passing play from Jon Anthony Casares to Don Cartwright. The extra point was also good, and the lead was 7-0 with 6:58 remaining on the first-quarter clock.
The battle raged on, and the La Vernia defense held the Apaches at bay. With Gonzales backed up deep in its own territory, the Bears earned their first points of the game on a safety to make it a 7-2 contest. The Bear offense was unable to capitalize before halftime, and the ball quickly went back to the Apaches. Gonzales maneuvered its way into the red zone, and then capped off the drive with a 4-yard run over the goal line as time expired in the half. Matt Hillman kicked another extra point, and the halftime score was 14-2.
The Bears came out ready to play in the second half, and scored less than two minutes into the third quarter. Aaron Grubb found running room through the Gonzales defense, and raced 73 yards for the score. Alec Dews kicked the extra point, and the Bears narrowed the Apache lead to 14-9.
While the Bear defense stiffened its play and didn’t allow another Gonzales score, the Bear offense was also unable to find the end zone again. When time finally expired in regulation, the score stood at 14-9, and La Vernia returned home with the loss.
The Bears earned 208 yards of total offense, and Grubb led the way with 106 rushing yards on 10 carries. Kenny Moehrig added 44 yards of offense on three pass receptions, and Josh Rutledge added another 40 yards with his one catch of the night. Landon Richter ran for 7 yards, Grubb caught a pass for 6 yards, and Vince Gill picked up 5 yards on the ground. Gill was able to complete just 5 of 15 passes.
The Bear defense also deserves a lot of credit for keeping La Vernia in the game. The tenacious defense held Gonzales to just 14 points, even though the Apaches averaged more than 40 points per game before hosting La Vernia.
The loss drops the Bears to 4-5 on the year, and the team is 3-2 in district play. With just one game remaining, the Bears find themselves in an interesting position, tied for second place with Sam Houston, Yoakum, and Cuero. La Vernia will face Pleasanton at home this Friday, Nov. 4, as they close out the regular season. With a win, the Bears should finish at least third in the district, punching their ticket to the playoffs. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. in Bear Stadium.