Tigers give Indians first loss of season
Ruben Benavides, Hector Villegas (25), and Colby Shodrock (9) kneel on the sidelines as the Tiger defense attempted to stop the final Harlandale drive.
FLORESVILLE -- It was a game to remember at Eschenburg Field last Friday night, as the Harlandale Indians fell beneath the might of the Floresville Tigers, 24-21.
A Harlandale team, which was undefeated and averaging 45.5 points per game, was held to just 21 by the stingy Tiger defense, which only allowed 14 first downs and 93 yards rushing. Unable to beat the Tigers on the ground, Harlandale would have to go to the air, where they found some moderate success racking up 254 yards.
The Tigers struck first with 14 seconds left in the first quarter with a Hector Villegas 1-yard touchdown run. An Esteban Mireles kick would bring the score to 7-0 by the end of the quarter.
In the second quarter, Villegas struck again with another 1-yard touchdown run and the Tigers would jump ahead 14-0. But, the Indians would not be outdone, and put up a touchdown of their own to bring the score to 14-7. The Tigers again drove up field as the half began to wind down. Never failing to utilize an opportunity, Floresville sent in Mireles with 32 seconds left to kick a 20-yard field goal, which brought the halftime score to 17-7.
Although the Tigers seemed to control the flow of the game, two turnovers, including one interception, along with 52 yards of penalties seemed to keep Harlandale moving up the field.
The Indians would take the lead for the first time in the fourth quarter when a pair of rushing touchdowns would put them up 21-17.
Undaunted, Coach Jeff Luna called a masterful drive utilizing the dual rushing threat of Villegas and Ruben Benavides. It would be Villegas to score the go-ahead touchdown with just 23 seconds left in the game. Following a Mireles extra point, the Tigers would take the final lead, 24-21.
Villegas put up 161 yards rushing on 25 carries for three touchdowns. His counterpart, Benavides, also went over 100 yards on the day; racking up 113 yards on 18 carries. In the air, Colby Shodrock completed three of seven pass attempts for 16 yards.
Luna said his team is finally starting to believe in themselves.
“I think the kids are finally starting to realize what we have known all along, which is that we are a good football team,” Luna said. “They did great here tonight against a really good football team. That’s a good football team over there and our kids executed right and did what they needed to do to win.”
The Tigers improve to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in District 29-4A. Floresville will meet Memorial next week for its Homecoming game. Memorial comes in with a record of 0-5 after losing to McCollum, 39-0.