Between Isaiah Gonzales and Victor Gonzales, the Beeville Trojans looked to be on their way to snapping a seven-game losing skid that dates back to last season.
Then an injury – and a quartet of turnovers – changed all that.
Victoria West scored 21 unanswered points in the second quarter and then held off the shorthanded Trojans at the Memorial Stadium in Victoria Sept. 3, 41-22.
The Gonzaleses helped Beeville build a 15-7 lead in the opening quarter with Isaiah scoring both of the team’s touchdowns.
However, Victor went down with an injury in the second quarter and never returned.
After that, Victoria West turned its focus to limiting Isaiah, which it did effectively as the team’s offensive unit gashed Beeville for big plays in the rushing attack.
Following Beeville’s quick start in the first, Victoria West posted rushing TDs of 33, 38, 55 and 37 yards, as well as a passing touchdown of 28 yards on its way to the win.
“We got beat up. That hurts,” Trojan coach Chris Soza after the game, talking about the injury to V. Gonzales as well as the injury to Xavier Aleman, Beeville’s top offensive and defensive lineman, who went down in the first quarter and never returned.
“You’ve got your No. 2 quarterback in there, you lost your No. 1 lineman. Those are things that we’ve got to overcome.”
The team’s four turnovers also played a “big” role, Soza said.
“We can’t give the ball up like that,” the coach said. “... We’ve got to do a better job of taking care of the football.
“The kids played hard and we had our chances. We’ve just got to capitalize.”
With V. Gonzales out, Matthew Casas was called up to trigger the offense.
He took over midway through the second on a series that ultimately ended with a Trojan punt that was downed at the VW 8.
The Warriors promptly marched 92 yards in less than two minutes to get within a point, 15-14.
On the first play of the ensuing drive, Casas threw the first of three interceptions.
The Warriors capitalized in just two plays, scoring with 4:36 left in the half to take the lead for good.
“Anytime you lose your No. 1 quarterback, it demoralizes you a little bit,” Soza said about missing V. Gonzales at quarterback. “But, it’s just part of the game. We tell the guys, ‘Next man up. You’ve got to step up.’”
Beeville went three-and-out on its next series after falling behind.
Victoria West again found pay dirt in a hurry, scoring on a 39-yard TD run by Dion Green, who finished the game with 266 yards and four rushing TDs for the Warriors.
Victoria West led 28-15 at halftime.
Beeville cut into that lead in the fourth quarter with Casas throwing his first career touchdown, a 9-yard strike to Colin Gomez.
However, Green capped VW’s next drive with his 55-yard TD jaunt to push the Warrior lead back to double digits.
Green’s 37-yard TD run capped the scoring with a little over a minute left.
“We didn’t give up. As bad as the score was there at the end, we had our chances,” said Soza. “We’ve got to keep getting better.”
Soza said he was pleased with how his team came shot out the gates in the opening quarter.
“We came out right off the bat and executed offensively, just boom, boom, boom,” the coach said.
The Trojans marched down and scored on their opening possession with I. Gonzales capping the drive with a 30-yard TD run.
The junior capped Beeville’s second possession with a 47-yard TD scamper.
For the game, I. Gonzales tallied 126 yards on 11 carries.
Trey Barefield, in his first game as the starting fullback, rushed for 71 yards on 11 carries.
V. Gonzales rushed for 24 yards and threw for 27 yards on 3-for-4 passing before the injury.
Casas finished the night 6 of 13 for 78 yards.
The Trojans fell to 0-2 on the year with the loss and have now lost eight straight games dating back to a Sept. 24, 2020, loss to Moody in Corpus Christi.
They will look to end that skid Friday night (Sept. 10) when they host Pearsall.
The Mavericks, led by quarterback Brady Blackburn and running back Joey Ramirez, are 0-2 on the year with losses to San Antonio schools Burbank (17-7) and Lanier (40-0).
Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Stadium.