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Brahmas tame Cougars
Senior running back Matt Valadez (8) streaks toward the end zone during the Brahmas’ 27-7 win over Cole.
SAN ANTONIO -- Before the season started, Stockdale Head Coach Josh West said he needed a big year from senior running back Matt Valadez. Well, Valadez did not disappoint during the Brahmas’ season opener last Friday night at Cole, as he ran for 178 yards and four touchdowns.
Valadez put Stockdale on the board late in the first quarter, as he carried the ball in from 6 yards out. Travis Covington kicked the extra point, and the Brahmas led 7-0. Unfortunately, the lead only lasted about a minute, as the Cougars came right back down the field, and scored on a 66-yard passing play. Cole’s point-after kick was good, and just like that, things were tied once again.
The Brahmas were not finished in the quarter, though, and Stockdale wasted little time in responding to the Cougar touchdown. The Brahmas walked right down to the goal line in less than a minute, and Valadez punched it in from 2 yards out. With just 26 seconds remaining in the first quarter, Stockdale was back on top. Covington booted the extra point, and the score was 14-7 moving into the second quarter.
Cole was unable to respond, and Stockdale soon found itself back on offense. The Brahmas did what they do, and Valadez scored his third touchdown of the game and season with an explosive 25-yard run from scrimmage. Covington split the uprights, and the score was 21-7 with 8:51 remaining in the half.
Things slowed down a bit from there, as neither team found the end zone during the remainder of the first half. As the third quarter rolled around, it was much of the same, as both teams found ways to move the ball, but neither could move across the goal line.
Early in the fourth quarter, however, Stockdale got things going again. Valadez found the end zone from 10 yards out, giving him his fourth touchdown of the game, while putting his team on top, 27-7. The point-after attempt failed, but the Brahmas had a 20-point lead and needed to kill just 8 minutes and 25 seconds from the clock. The Stockdale defense held the Cougars at bay, while the Brahma offense chewed up clock, and Stockdale left town with a 27-7 victory to open its 2013 campaign.
The Brahmas’ running game was impressive throughout much of the night, and Valadez certainly lived up to his coach’s expectations. Valadez averaged 7.4 yards per carry on the night, carrying the ball 24 times for 178 yards and the four scores. Gage Haley averaged 5.2 yards per carry with his touches, and Christian Segura had one run for another 5 yards.
The Brahmas had a quarterback change this year, but Jacob Cardenas filled the role nicely during his first outing, completing three passes for 91 yards. Darien Bird also completed one pass for Stockdale. Jacob Urrabazzo was Stockdale’s leading receiver on the night with two grabs for 63 yards, while Valadez reeled in one pass for 20 yards, and Tristan Marquez had a reception for 8 yards.
The Brahmas will play their home opener this week, as Stockdale welcomes Jourdanton to Bobby Russell Field. The Indians are also run-heavy with their offense, and the team is coming off a disappointing 34-28 loss to Falls City. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
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