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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
After taking a 24-7 lead, Cotulla held off a Wildcats’ second half surge to claim a 35-28 decision and improve to 3-1 for the year in non-district action in Carrizo Springs last Friday.
The momentum turned late in the first half as Cotulla was going in for a score that would have made it 31-7 but instead a fumble led to a Wildcats score just before the half, making it 24-14 at intermission.
“We seem to be playing better as the season goes on, except for the penalties,” CHS Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Marcus Booker said. “We got up on them and then let them in the game with a fumble.
“Now we are in a dog fight. We need to finish an opponent when we have them down, but everything is a learning process.”
Despite the issues, Booker’s squad bounced back in the fourth and held off the Wildcats. A late touchdown made the final outcome seem closer than it actually was as Cotulla led by two scores, 35-21 with less than a minute to play.
“I’m still very proud of our effort,” the coach said. “We play extremely hard but not always smart and we need to clean that up so it doesn’t hurt us later on down the road.”
Cotulla raced to a 24-7 lead on the heels of a Joseph Tellez scoring strike in the first, an Elpidio Rodriguez 29-yard field goal, a three-yard run by Jesse Sanchez and seven-yard run from Adrian Narvaiz.
Thing then turned for the Cowboys as the Wildcats recovered a fumble as Cotulla was threatening to score once again. Carrizo Springs turned that into a scoring pass just before the halftime break. Instead of possibly leading 31-7, Cotulla held on to a ten-point 24-14 lead.
The Wildcats added another scoring run in the third as they cut the Cowboys’ lead to 24-21.
Rodriguez added a second field goal at the end of the third as Cotulla upped their advantage to 27-21.
The Cowboys would take control of the game midway through the fourth as Duran Garcia went in from two yards out and Thallan Olivarri converted for two as the Cotulla lead ballooned to 35-21.
Carrizo Springs would tack on a late touchdown run to close the gap and make the final margin more manageable.
“Jose Gonzalez had a great game defensively and so did Jesse Sanchez,” Booker added. “They were going in to score when Rodrigo Mendez makes a great play and causes a fumble and we recover. It totally changed the momentum of the game.
“This week, Robstown will present problems just because they have an offense and defense that doesn’t share kids, so we will have to be in great condition,” the coach said of the Cottonpickers. “They also throw the ball well and look like they have good size on the offensive and defensive lines, and right now, that’s where we’re a little thin.
“That will be a challenge, but I know our kids will be up to it. We just have to get out of this game injury-free and we have an off week coming up which will help us from being so banged up right now.”
Cotulla will be at Robstown Friday night at 7:30 p.m.