George West plays Hempstead close
by Arnold Guajardo
Nov 25, 2011 | 383 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
This past Friday night, the George West Longhorns squared off against the heavily favored Hempstead Bobcats at Ricebird Stadium in El Campo. The Bobcats were coming into the Area Round playoff game ranked third in the state, and sporting a flawless 10-0 record. Apparently, the Horns failed to receive the memo about how big and fast, or how good the senior laden Hempstead team was, and that showed in the game. The Horns would fight through out the game, but would fall to the Bobcats 17-7 in an exciting game that went down to the final minutes.

After the game was over, taking a look at the stats would lead one to believe that the Horns would have been victorious. Gaining a total of 224 yards of offense, compared to 215 yards of offense for Hempstead. The Horns also picked up 14 first downs, compared to only 11 for the Bobcats. Time of possession was another stat that the Horns would hold with the ground game that they brought on Friday night, holding the ball for 30 of the 48 minutes. However, with four trips into the red zone, inside the opponents 20 yard line, the Horns were never able to break through the tough Bobcat defense to get into the end zone.

The first quarter saw both offenses struggle to move the ball, as both teams would punt a couple times before the Cats would get going. On the Cats final possession before the quarter ended, they would put together a long drive of 80+ yards to the end zone. Hempstead RB Micheal Wolff would scamper in from 11 yards out for the first TD of the night. The PAT would make it 7-0 Hempstead with nine minutes left to play till the half.

On the ensuing Horns possession, the Horns would be forced to punt again, unable to move the ball. The Bobcats would get a great return on the punt into GW territory, starting their drive at the GW 45. The Cats would strike quickly with their high potent offense, getting into the end zone in four plays for their second TD of the night, a 34 yard jaunt by senior RB Archie Taylor. The PAT would make it 14-0 Hempstead with five minutes left to play till the half.

The GW offense would finally get going on their next possession. After a nice KO return by junior Hudson Wallace down to near midfield. The Horns would begin to get their ground game on track. With 3-4 yard chunks at a time, the Horns would pick up 1st down after 1st down, eventually getting into the red zone again. Then the Horns would find themselves just inside the 10 yard line with just seconds left before the half, but would be halted at the two yard line by the Bobcat defense to end the half, with Hempstead up 14-0.

Going into the third quarter, the Longhorns would have to get stingy on the defensive side of the ball if they wanted to have a chance to win the game. Adjustments were made, and it showed, as the Bobcats would be forced to punt the ball away on each of their possessions in the quarter. Now the Horns would need to move the ball, and they began to do that on their final possession before the quarter would end. Short gains on the ground by juniors Enrique Nieto, Bobby Torres, and QB Brady Jones would get the Horns into the red zone once again. Then a nice pass hook up from Jones to senior Seth Pipkin to convert another first down, would give the Horns a first and goal at the Bobcat six yard line. A couple short runs would put GW on the one yard line. Facing a third a goal, Jones would handoff to Pipkin, who would go off tackle on the left side for what looked like the first TD of the night for the Horns. Although it seemed that Pipkin broke the plain of the goal line, according to all fans in blue, as well as the Horns offense, the officials would commence to marking the ball on the one inch line. On the ensuing play, the much larger Bobcat defensive line would stuff the Horns o-line, shutting their once hopeful drive at the goal line.

Then just as all hope had seemed lost for the Horns, momentum shifted on the very next play. Backed up into their own end zone, the Cats would have to run the ball to get some kind of breathing room. However, senior Joseph Moore would bust through the Cats line and put a big hit on Hempstead QB Obie Wilder as he attempted to pitch the ball, knocking a loose ball into the air for grabs. Junior Hudson Wallace would pounce on the ball for a fumble recovery for a Horns TD, and the boys in blue would celebrate knowing that they were back in the game. The PAT by Jessie Haros would make it 14-7 with nine minutes left to play in the game.

With momentum on the Horns side, Holt elected to go for the on sides kick. Freshman kicker Alex Suniga would surprise the Cats as he would lay the kick down perfectly. After a huge pile of both Hempstead and Longhorn players were separated, junior Zach Moreno would emerge with the ball for the Horns. Giving GW possession at the Cats 45 yard line. The Horns would manage to get a couple first downs again, moving the ball into the red zone after a pass connection from Jones to Pipkin at the 20 yard line. Unfortunately though, the Horns would turn the ball over of downs at the 15 yard line after being unable to convert a first down.

Hempstead would then put together the most important drive of the night, crossing into GW territory with big runs by Taylor and Wolff. Eventually getting into the GW 10 yard line, where they would face a first and goal. But the Horns defense would stiffen up, forcing the cats to attempt a field goal. Bobcat kicker Hernan Sanchez would ice the game with a 20 yard field goal that would split the uprights. Putting the Bobcats up 17-7 with 1:40 left in the game. The Horns would manage to move the ball again on their final possession, getting inside the Cats 20 before running out of time, Leaving the score at 17-7 in favor of the Hempstead Bobcats.

The George West Longhorns finish the season with a 7-5 record, Co-Champs in District 15, 2011 Bi-District Champs, as well as Area Finalists. The Horns will have plenty of talent returning next year, as they will only be losing six seniors from this years team. A huge congrats to the Horns coaches and players on yet another successful season of Longhorn football!

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