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Brahmas look strong in season-opening win

Brahmas look strong in season-opening win
TOMMY COOPER/ Brahma junior running back Matt Valadez fights off a Cole tackler en route to his 127-yard rushing performance last Friday night in Stockdale.

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Wilson County News
September 5, 2012
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Cole 6, Stockdale 37

STOCKDALE -- Behind the play of its tenacious defense and spirited running game, the Stockdale Brahma varsity football team earned a convincing win over the Cole Cougars here last Friday night.

Stockdale welcomed Cole Aug. 31 for the first game of the 2012 season. The Brahmas won the opening toss and elected to receive the ball, then spent little time working their way down the field. After starting at their own 42-yard line, the Brahmas needed just one play to cross midfield, and immediately found themselves at the Cole 42.

The Brahma running game moved the ball seemingly at will, but the drive came to an abrupt end when a Stockdale fumble put the ball into the Cougars’ hands at their own 13-yard line. Two plays later, however, the Brahma defense returned the favor, falling on a loose ball to return possession to Stockdale. Junior running back Matt Valadez needed just one play, and scored the Brahmas’ first touchdown of the game from 11 yards out. The kick from Quest Garza was good, and Stockdale led 7-0 early in the first.

Cole’s struggles to hold onto the ball continued on the ensuing kickoff, and Stockdale recovered the ball at the Cole 20-yard line. The Cougar defense managed to stop the Brahma offense from advancing, though, and took over on downs from its own 15.

The Stockdale defense once again shut Cole down, and the Cougars were forced to punt after three downs with no gains. Unfortunately, a roughing-the-kicker call went against Stockdale, and Cole was given another opportunity with a fresh set of downs from the 30-yard line. Two plays later, a big passing play moved the Cougars down to the Stockdale 30. A few plays later, Cole scored its first touchdown on a 20-yard run over the right side. The Cougars had to move their extra-point attempt back 5 yards due to a penalty for too many men on the field, and the kick was low, leaving the score at 7-6 in favor of Stockdale.

From that point on, the Brahmas dominated on both sides of the football. Cole was allowed a few decent gains throughout the remainder of the game, but never really threatened against the Stockdale defense. The Brahmas, on the other hand, went on to score five additional touchdowns, relying heavily on their aggressive running game that methodically moved the ball downfield.

With just under 9 minutes to play in the first half, Valadez scored his second touchdown of the game from 18 yards out on a dump pass over the middle from quarterback Hunter Pierdolla. With 1:33 to play in the half, Valadez scored from 7 yards out, and Josh Vela ran in for the 2-point conversion. At the break, it was Stockdale leading comfortably, 21-6.

Stockdale’s running game continued its domination in the second half, and Valadez scored his fourth touchdown of the night on a pitch around the left side that went for 37 yards and 6 points. He then ran in the 2-point conversion, and the Brahmas led 29-6.

Deryk Mayberry got into the scoring action with 9:08 to play in the game, as he scored from 15 yards out. The short, 1-play drive was set up by a high Cougar snap on the previous play, giving Stockdale great field position once again.

The final points of the game came with 6:50 to play, as another high snap from Cole rolled out of the back of the end zone, giving Stockdale a safety and 2 points. The Brahmas kept the ball on the ground from there, killing the clock, and eventually earning a 37-6 victory to open the season.

“The boys played well,” said Stockdale Head Coach Josh West. “We played good defense, and I’m proud of the boys for their work and effort.”

West went on to praise his all-new offensive line, as well as his defense and offensive backfield. No major changes are expected for next week, and West said that if his team can correct the mental errors, they should be “OK” this season. Looks like they are off to a good start.

Valadez led the ground game with 127 yards and 3 touchdowns on 18 carries. He also had one reception for 18 yards and a touchdown. Dustin Mosier ran five times for 56 yards, Mayberry had three rushes for 38 yards, and Darion McMahan had three carries for 14 yards. Vela caught two passes for 30 yards, and Mosier brought in two for 8 yards.

The Brahmas will be on the road next week as they travel to Jourdanton to take on the Indians. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

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