Brahmas dominate Mustangs in district rivalry
Jared Van Auken (32) of Nixon-Smiley looks to take down Stockdale running back Matt Valadez (8) during last Friday night’s game. Valadez led the Brahmas to victory with 232 yards and five touchdowns on 20 carries.
STOCKDALE -- The Nixon-Smiley Mustangs scored first and last against the Brahmas on Friday, but in between, it was all Stockdale, as the Purple and White ran away with a 49-14 victory.
The Mustangs received the opening kickoff, and wasted little time getting on the board. On the team’s first play from scrimmage, quarterback Nick Pena connected with Sam Moore over the middle of the field, and Moore eluded the Brahma defense for 67 yards and a touchdown. Eduardo Tovar added the extra point, and the score was 7-0 with 11:40 still left to play in the game.
The Brahma offense took the ball and began to systematically work down the field. Stockdale drove all the way to the Nixon-Smiley 28-yard line and was faced with a fourth-and-4 situation. Head Coach Josh West elected to go for it, and a completed passing play gave the Brahmas first-and-goal from the 1-yard line. Senior Matt Valadez punched it in for Stockdale, and the teams were separated by a single point. The Stockdale point-after kick was no good, so the Mustangs held the lead -- briefly.
The ensuing kickoff left the Mustangs pinned deep in their own territory, and things got worse from there, as quarterback Pena was called for intentional grounding from inside the end zone. The result of the penalty was a safety, giving Stockdale 2 points, the lead, and the ball. Less than two minutes later, on second-and-6, Valadez ran right up the middle for 24 yards and his second of five touchdowns on the night. Valadez then ran in the 2-point conversion, and the score was 16-7 in favor of Stockdale.
After a three-and-out by Nixon-Smiley, the Brahmas took over inside Mustang territory. A chop-block call against Stockdale moved the Brahmas back into their own territory, but it made little difference to Valadez, as he took the handoff on third-and-10 and split the defense en route to a 56-yard touchdown run. The 2-point attempt was no good, but the Brahmas were in clear control of things, leading 22-7 after the first quarter of play.
The Mustangs punted the ball to start the second quarter, and Stockdale drove to the Nixon-Smiley 34, but penalties backed the Brahmas up, and Stockdale was forced to punt the ball. A personal foul penalty on the punt gave the ball back to the Brahmas at the Nixon-Smiley 35-yard line, though, and one play later, Valadez went 35 yards for the score. The 2-point attempt failed, but the lead was 28-7 with 6:05 to play in the game.
The Mustangs got a good return on the ensuing kickoff, and started their next drive at their own 30-yard line. Nixon-Smiley picked up a first down out across the 40, and things were looking up. Unfortunately for the Mustangs, though, the ball came loose on the Stockdale sideline and Gage Haley scooped it up for the Brahmas. A few plays later, Stockdale quarterback Jacob Cardenas connected with Haley for 19 yards and another Brahma touchdown. The extra-point kick was no good, but as the teams headed for the locker rooms a few minutes later, Stockdale was in clear control with a 34-7 advantage.
After the break, the Brahmas picked up right where they left off, and Valadez scored his fifth touchdown of the night on a 9-yard run from scrimmage. The Brahma defense then earned another safety, and Stockdale led 42-7.
The Brahmas added one final touchdown early in the fourth quarter as Cardenas connected with Joel Marquez for a 14-yard touchdown. Marquez added the extra point, and the score was 49-7.
Nixon-Smiley didn’t stop fighting, and finally added to the scoreboard with a 69-yard touchdown run from Jared Van Auken with 9:24 left to play in the game. Tovar added the extra point, and the final score stood at 49-14.
Fresh off his Ford Player of the Week award, Valadez turned in another great effort. The senior ran the ball 20 times for 232 yards and five touchdowns. Haley added 30 yards on six carries, Joaquin Munoz ran twice for 22 yards, and Christian Segura had 17 yards on four carries. Cardenas completed 7 of 9 passing attempts for 128 yards and two touchdowns. Isaiah Garza caught two passes for 52 yards, Haley had three catches for 48 yards and a touchdown, Fabyan Ortiz caught a pass for 27 yards, and Marquez had two grabs for 20 yards and a touchdown.
On the other side of the ball, Van Auken handled most of the load for Nixon-Smiley, running 10 times for 85 yards and a touchdown. Kevin Martinez ran eight times for 50 yards, and Tom Palacio ran six times for 20 yards. Pena completed 3 of 4 passing attempts for 80 yards and the touchdown. Moore had the touchdown catch of 67 yards, Garrett Earlywine had a catch for 7 paces, and David Miles caught another for 6 yards.
With the win, the Brahmas improve to 3-3 on the year and are now 2-1 in district play. The loss drops the Mustangs to 3-3 on the year, and Nixon-Smiley is now 1-2 in the district.
Nixon-Smiley will be on the road again this week as the Mustangs travel to Bloomington to take on the 1-5 Bobcats.
The Brahmas will also be on the road as they travel across Wilson County to take on another rival in the Poth Pirates. Poth is 4-2 on the year and remains unbeaten in district play. This game is going to be a must-see come this Friday, Oct. 18.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Jack Lane Stadium in Poth.