The Horns defense was tested again for a second week in a row by a high octane 3A offense.
Thew Horns started off excellent on both sides of the ball, but the team was unable to keep up with the Dogs as they managed to squeak by the Horns in a narrow victory, 27-20.
George West started the scoring on their first possession of the night when they traveled 50 yards after receiving a punt from Orange Grove.
Senior fullback Andrew Katzfey would get the call from 1 yard out, and he leaped over the top of the Dogs’ defense to cross the goal line.
A successful PAT by senior Jessie Haros would make it 7-0, George West with just a little more than 5 minutes to play in the first quarter.
Orange Grove then answered on their next possession with a long 85-yard drive, chewing up all 5 minutes that remained in the first quarter.
Bulldog running back Ricky Martinez put his team on the board with a 5-yard touchdown run. A missed PAT would leave it 7-6 George West, with 11 minutes to play till the half.
The Horns initiated a big return on the ensuing kickoff by senior Hudson Wallace deep into Bulldog territory. But George West failed to capitalize on the opportunity after they would turn the ball over on downs on the Bulldog 35-yard line.
The quick-strike offense of Orange Grove took two plays to get to the end zone. After a long completed pass down to the 1-yard line, Bulldog quarterback Ruben Lopez crossed into the end zone for the go-ahead score.
A failed 2-point conversion left the score at 12-7, Orange Grove with 9:44 in the second quarter.
Wallace then lined up the Horns’ offense with great field position again after a 40-yard kickoff return to the Bulldog 40- yard line.
But the Horns’ offense sputtered again as they turned the ball over on downs for the second time in a row.
Orange Grove then began a quick drive to pay dirt, mixing up both a passing and ground game. Bulldog running back Martinez went in for his second touchdown of the night, a 4-yard run scamper around the left edge.
Martinez ran the 2-point conversion to make it 20-7, Orange Grove with 3 minutes till halftime.
On the ensuing kickoff, senior Jacob Almaguer returned the kickoff deep into Bulldog territory, down to the Orange Grove 18-yard line. George West took advantage of the opportunity and scored just a few plays later when senior quarterback Brady Jones raced around the right end for a 14-yard touchdown run. Another Haros kick made it 20-14 for the half.
In the third quarter, after a couple of traded punts, the Horns would convert a fourth-down play to get into Bulldog territory.
The drive capped off when Jones hit senior Joseph Feist in the corner of the end zone from 12 yards out for a touchdown. A blocked PAT would leave it at 20 a piece with 2 minutes to play in the third.
The Dogs returned the ball to midfield on the ensuing kickoff. Then the high octane offense struck again, this time taking one play: a 50-yard touchdown pass from Lopez to Martinez. The PAT would split the uprights to make it 27-20, Orange Grove, to end the third quarter.
Midway through the forth quarter, after George West turned the ball over on downs, the Dogs would get rolling again.
Orange Grove drove deep into Horns’ territory and attempted to put the game away with a score.
However, the Longhorn defense stopped the Dogs on three straight plays on the goal line to force a field goal attempt.
The kick sailed wide left, giving the Horns some hope.
The George West offense traveled the length of the field with 6 minutes to play. Jones converted a big fourth down play at midfield when he leaped over two Bulldog defenders to get the first down.
Later, on a second fourth-down attempt, Jones fell a yard short at the Orange Grove 25-yard line with a minute to go.
Orange Grove took a knee with under a minute to play to escape with a narrow 27-20 win over George West. The loss would drop the Longhorns’ record to 1-2 on the season, after playing three straight 3A teams.
This coming Friday, George West will host Three Rivers in the Battle of Live Oak County. Three Rivers will be coming into the game with a perfect 3-0 record after wins over Skidmore-Tynan, Nixon-Smiley, and Natalia. Gametime will be at 7:30 p.m. at Longhorn Field.