If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
IH-35 RIVALRY: DILLEY VS. COTULLA
In a game that lived up to its billing once again, Cotulla held off a second half Dilley surge to take a 34-20 victory in the annual IH-35 rivalry game between the neighboring Frio and La Salle County schools last Friday at Gosch Field.
Cotulla stormed out of the gates quickly, jumping out to leads of 14-0 and 21-6 before the Wolves turned things around in the second half. There were several momentum shifts in the second half before the Cowboys finally took advantage of Dilley miscues to seal the win with a fourth quarter score with just over two minutes remaining.
“I’m very proud of our efforts,” CHS Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Marcus Booker said. “The kids never gave up and they really stepped up.
“I think we caught them off guard with our uptempo passing to start the game but I also think it got us a little tired; they really made a run at us there for awhile.”
Featuring a run-first offense with quarterback Joseph Salazar, fullback Jesse Sanchez and Jose Gonzalez, Cotulla instead took to the air to open the game.
The Cowboys scored in two plays to open the game but the touchdown was negated by a penalty. They eventually crossed the endzone on a six-yard strike to Sanchez in the corner of the endzone. Cotulla was quickly back down the field after stopping Dilley and were at the Wolves’ 12-yard line before turning it over on an interception at the goal line.
A 15-yard penalty on Dilley, a sack and a fumbled snap on a Wolves’ punt saw Cotulla back on offense and this time they would crack the endzone on a 30-yard strike to Thallan Olivarri to go up 14-0 early in the second.
Undauted, Dilley fought back, cutting into the lead just over a minute later as Seth Cano found Esai Lozano over the middle for a 22-yard touchdown pass. The conversion attempt failed but the Wolves cut the margin to 14-6 with 9:30 to play in the half.
Cotulla would counter with their ground game on carries by Salazar, Sanchez and finally Gonzalez, who went 45 yards for the score and a 21-6 lead with 3:06 before intermission.
As the action ramped up in the second half, so did the animosity between players. Two players were ejected in the third quarter, one from each school following several offsetting penalties in the first half for personal fouls.
Dilley drove down to the Cotulla 15-yard line but failed to score following an interception in the endzone. A block in the back penalty on the return moved the Cowboys back deep into their own territory and a short punt resulted in the Wolves getting the ball back at the 24-yard line. Cano then found Oscar Villarreal along the sideline for a one-play scoring drive with 6:41 left in the quarter as they cut the lead to 21-12.
The biggest momentum swing came on the next series as Dilley kicker Dorian Aranda and the special teams unit pinned the Cowboys back at their own one-yard line. The Wolves defense forced an incompletion on third down but were called for a roughing the passer penalty in the endzone, giving the Cowboys a new set of downs.
Cotulla would capitalize as they 80 yards on two plays and then capped the drive on a ten-yard run by Sanchez with 4:49 remaining in the third.
Dilley countered with a three-play drive as Villarreal hauled in his second touchdown pass, this time from Johnny Rodriguez covering 13 yards. Cano hit Colton Ward for two and the Wolves once again close the gap to 28-20 late in the third.
The Wolves’ defense forced another Cotulla punt and Dilley was in position to go for the tie with just over five minutes to play but threw a backwards pass on first down that the Cowboys jumped on to nullify the threat.
Joseph Salazar would cap the short drive with a five-yard score as Cotulla sealed the victory.
“It was a good ballgame,” DHS AD and Head Football Coach David Silva said. “A tale of two halves, we just didn’t finish it but I’m proud of the effort and good to see us utilizing our four receivers more.”
“Our kids had a great week of practice and fought hard,” Booker added. “The boys executed down the stretch when it counted to get the victory. Our extra conditioning definitely paid off in the fourth quarter.
“Putting them in competitive situations throughout the summer and year seems to be slowly paying off as well, linemen challenges and 7-on-7 tournaments. Offensively, we moved the ball well and had over 500 yards of total offense and defensively, we made some game adjustments to get stops when we needed them. I am very proud of our coaches and the tremendous heart our boys showed for four quarters.”
Dilley will remain at home this week as they host the Freer Buckaroos Friday at 7:30 p.m. Freer is 2-1 this season after knocking off Agua Dulce and Bruni, after a week one loss to the Banquete Bulldogs.
Cotulla will be at Carrizo Springs this Friday as they take on the 1-2 Wildcats. Carrizo is coming off its first win of the year, however, notching a 31-18 decision over Hebbronville following losses to Uvalde and Hondo.