Johnson survives the late Brandeis rally to go undefeated; Hurt drives Taft past Harlan; Cueros Durham becomes Play of the Week

SAN ANTONIO – Welcome to the free KSAT 12 Big Game Coverage newsletter. If you’re interested in a round-up of the biggest local high school soccer results, highlights, players and teams, sign up for the bi-weekly newsletter for free here.

Every high school football season brings some surprises, and with five weeks of action, the 2021 edition of Big Game Coverage (BGC) of KSAT 12 was no different. Floresville and Taft survived angry bids thanks to outstanding offensive performances and established themselves among the teams to beat, but several cadres have been kicked from the undefeated ranks over the past week.

Before we dive too deep into the stats and results, let’s take a moment to highlight the week’s greatest moments in Best of BGC Week 5.

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Week 5 featured some incredible runs, passes and catches across the San Antonio area. Check out the best of the best, including pieces from Blanco, New Braunfels, Marshall and Cuero!

>> Click here to see the best of BGC from Week 5!

The top four Class 6A teams all serve in Week 5, but there was a lot of movement during the week KSAT 12 is again represented in the top 12 rankings. Some of the best teams in the region have suffered their first defeat this season. How did that affect the rest of the list? Find out who’s there and who’s out in week 6!

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>> Check out the full week 6 leaderboards by clicking here!

Time to do a few game recaps, and week 5’s game of the week certainly ticked the bill!

JOHNSON 28, BRANDEIS 22

Johnson (5-0, 3-0) always found a way to react to his rival from District 28-6A Brandeis (4-1, 2-1) in pressure situations.

The Broncos took a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter when quarterback Nico Garcia found Clark Ullrich for a 17-yard touchdown, but the Jaguars offense found its rhythm on the following drive. Quarterback Cruz Kirwan was one of the catalysts, Completion of 13 passes for 239 yards and two touchdowns. His 8-yard TD run with a little less than five minutes to go in the first half reduced the gap to half at half time.

Kirwan then opened the second half with a 22-yard blow to Alejandro Tavarez, who tied the game at 14, and steadfast running back Ben McCreary gave the Jaguars their first 21:17 lead with an impressive 64-yard touchdown run . Three regular minutes later, Kirwan made his best pass of the evening: a rainbow that hit receiver Ty Hawkins with a 52-yard score, and suddenly the game seemed to have popped open.

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Not so fast. The Broncos collected two field goal drives in the second half and were 28:20 behind six minutes before the end of the game. They actually had two chances to either draw or take the lead in the final minutes, but Johnson’s defense was up to the task every time. After a flawed snapshot and the resulting certainty, Brandeis gave life 29 seconds ahead, Mikey DiRocco ended the competition by intercepting the Broncos’ final Hail Mary attempt, and the Jaguars took a hard-fought win in this classic rivalry for the second season in a row.


THREE DEPTHS

MARSHALL 42, O’CONNOR 38

Last year, Marshall defeated O’Connor 36-33 in a swing match. Also this year the Rams (4-1, 2-1) prevailed against the Panthers (0-5, 0-3) in another offensive showcase at Farris Stadium.

Back race Anthony Conway had a monster game where he raced 179 yards with just 11 carries. His elusive 47-yard touchdown run gave Marshall a 35-23 lead, 4:18 from regulation. O’Connor didn’t leave quietly. Less than a minute later, Panthers quarterback Garon Andrade found Myles Busanet on a 58-yard touchdown pass to reduce the lead to 4 for the 15-yard touchdown. Locke ended up with five grabs for 79 yards and that score.

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But the Panthers couldn’t stop Conway and the Rams offensive. Forty seconds later, Conway called the game and found the end zone on a four-yard pitch for the fourth time to take a 42-38 lead. Marshall’s defense got the crucial stop, ending the program’s best start in over a decade.

>> Click here to see all the highlights from Friday evening!

TAFT 42, HARLAN 35

The Taft Raiders (5-0, 3-0) started Week 5 with a remarkable rally in the closing minutes of their District 29-6A tilts against Harlan (2-3, 1-2) on Thursday evening to stay undefeated.

The Hawks took a dominant 28-14 lead on the arm of quarterback Noah Farris, who threw three touchdown passes in the first half, and the legs of running back Jacob Gonzales, who scored 215 yards from the scrimmage. The Harlan Junior caught TD passes from 58 and 37 yards and scored an 18-yard touchdown on the ground in the middle of the third quarter to give the Hawks a 35-21 lead.

Harlan wouldn’t find the end zone again.

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Taft quarterback Justice Hurt took over from that point on, making three touchdowns in the last 14 minutes of regulation. He completed 10 passes for 116 yards and three scores while running for a whopping 216 yards and two TDs. His 1-yard fall with 2:25 seasons left seemed to tie the game, but a missed extra point meant Harlan was still 35:34 ahead. The Raiders got the ball back and made their comeback with Hurt’s final touchdown of the night, a 26-yard throw against Logan Morant. As a result, Taft is 5-0 for the first time this decade and has scored 37 or more points in four of those wins.

>> Click here to see all the highlights from Thursday evening!

FLORESVILLE 37, LA VERNIA 35

Floresville kept rolling, improving to 5-0 after a back and forth fight with La Vernia (1-4) and Tiger quarterback Braeden Fuller continues to impress.

The dual threat senior completed seven of his nine passes for 237 yards and three touchdowns to victory. He now has 13 passing TDs in the season. As if that wasn’t enough, Fuller added 112 yards and a score on the ground. Meanwhile Princeton signed Dareion Murphy 17 rushes for 103 yards and a touchdown of his own, wide receiver Brandon Cortez intercepted three passes for 147 yards and the Tigers ‘defense blocked the Bears’ dramatic fourth-quarter comeback attempt.

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>> Click here to see all the highlights from Saturday evening!

Let’s get to the experts!


COVER TWO

We are at halftime in high school football season and the biggest hit had to be in week five Alamo Heights 7-0 win over Wimberley in Wimberley. The Texans had averaged 24.5 points per game that season and still scored a field goal in their only loss to the Mules, a 21-3 loss to Cuero. Give much credit to the defense of the mules.

The biggest annoyance for me was Clemens’ 17:14 victory over Judson. Granted, the Buffaloes were at home and Judson has been battling DeSoto this season since their Week 1 win, but when was the last time you started the Rockets 4-1 overall and 2-2 in the district?

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Great props to that Lanier Voks who remain unbeaten with their 4-0 start. That includes a 2-0 district record after their 34-13 win over Kennedy. And how about that Bracken eagle 4-1 overall and 3-0 in the district after the 48-14 win over Burbank? Cant wait to see what happens in week 6.

Friday I could check out one of the best high school quarterbacks in Texas: Austin Novosad out Dripping feathers. The junior is 6’3 “and a professional-style quarterback. In the two offensive series I’ve seen, Novosad went 6 of 7 for 75 yards and two touchdown passes against McCollum. For the game, he completed 18 of 24 passes for 250 yards and 7 touchdowns in the Tigers’ victory 63-21. Novosad is big in his pocket, has great composure and throws a nice ball. He is currently the eighth leading passer in Texas, all UIL classifications, with 1,570 yards, 23 touchdowns and five interceptions.

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Finally, I would like to thank all of the nice guys McCollum Parents who stopped by to say hello while I waited for my 6pm live shot from Tiger Stadium. I always enjoy interacting with KSAT viewers.

>> Click here to see all the highlights of this week’s BGC road trip!

In case someone has forgotten Central Catholic Quarterback Sylas Gomez can really throw a soccer ball. The army commit was early in the buttons’ dominant 50-0 win over San Antonio Christian on Friday. In the first quarter, Gomez met wide receiver Jaxon Deason twice on touchdowns of 31 and 36 yards. He finished 6 of 7 for 166 yards and three scores. Deason caught five passes for 101 yards. These two will be fun to watch as the season progresses towards the playoffs.

A special greeting goes to them East-Central Student Section and the Hornet Band. Both helped create one electric atmosphere on Saturday night. Quarterback Caden Bosanko and an explosive offensive by the Hornets gave the home crowd every reason to hype. Bosanko met wide receiver Jack Stewart five times for 106 yards and four touchdowns, while running back Austin Vivier led a dominant ground game that scored 194 combined rushing yards in a 49-0 win over South San. The Hornets are 3-2 this season with wins against Canyon and Roosevelt. The back half of their schedule may be tough, but East Central has already improved from last year’s 2-7 record and will be tough to beat in the future.

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Watch the Big Game Coverage Preview Show on Thursday at 4pm

Greg Simmons and Larry Ramirez prepare you for week 6 of the high school football season with our weekly magazine Big Game Coverage Preview Show with breakdowns of KSAT 12’s Game of the Week and some of the biggest matchups to see. Which teams will you be presenting this week? You have to be careful to find out!

Andrew Cely, KSAT 12 sports producer and reporter

If you have any questions about this newsletter or ideas for stories for the coming season, please feel free to email me at [email protected].

Copyright 2021 by KSAT – All rights reserved.

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