Victory almost comes at a cost for Titans
By BY ALBERT ALVARADO - AALVARADO@VICAD.COM
Sept. 4, 2011 at 4:04 a.m.
The Victoria East Titans offense was clicking and racking up points against Kingsville on Friday. So why did Memorial Stadium suddenly become quiet early in the second quarter with the home team up by 31 points?
Running back Johnathan Garner suffered an ankle injury trying to get into the end zone for a second time against the Brahmas.
Garner didn't return, and things looked worse when the medical staff pulled out a pair of crutches for the senior running back.
Titans fans can breathe a sigh of relief, though. Garner suffered a left ankle bruise - much less than it looked - and is expected to play against Calallen.
Garner said he hopes to look back on this as just a hiccup during a successful season.
"That just gives us more of a motive," Garner said. "We've had a couple of minor setbacks, but we've just got to get back on top and handle things."
One week earlier, the Titans lost starting quarterback Nic Wallace to an ACL tear and losing Garner for an extended period of time would have been tough on the Titans backfield.
The offense can ill-afford to lose the senior running back, who is the centerpiece right now and has put up gaudy rushing totals in the first two weeks. He ran for 322 yards on 25 carries against Harlingen South, then ran for 122 more on seven carries in a quarter and a half of action.
He is averaging 15 yards per carry this season, and had a total of five touchdowns, all rushing.
Garner has accounted for 47 percent of the Titans total rushing yards this season.
Victoria West defense shows promise, despite loss
Friday night was not the kind of season debut Victoria West or coach Leonard McAngus were hoping for.
The Warriors built a two-touchdown lead early, but couldn't hold off San Antonio Brackenridge late, giving up 14 fourth-quarter points in a 20-14 loss on Friday.
The Warriors are 0-1 and will look for a stronger finish on Friday at Corpus Christi King.
One bright note for the Warriors was their defense, particularly against the run.
In 2010, the Warriors allowed 248 yards per game on the ground, and 148 yards in a home win against Brackenridge.
The run defense was an area McAngus and defensive coordinator Scott Williams emphasized during spring football practice and in the preseason.
On Friday, Victoria West held Brackenridge to 98 yards rushing.
Salazar goes for Titans
After losing Nic Wallace for the season with a torn ACL, the Titans called upon Brandon Salazar to run the offense against Kingsville.
He only had to that for less than a half in a 51-0 blowout of the Brahmas on Friday at Memorial Stadium.
Salazar completed 3-of-6 passes for 49 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 25 yards and another touchdown.
"There were a lot of jitters, but he did good," said Victoria East head coach Mickey Finley about Salazar's performance.
Although Salazar started the first Titans scrimmage a month ago, he had yet to start at quarterback in a regular season game for Victoria East.
He showed his poise, connecting with Justin Kalinowski for a 39-yard touchdown pass after being flushed out of the pocket.
Broooks shows what he can do in backfield
When Daniel Brooks' transfer became official, Sandcrabs' fans wanted to see what he would do coming out of the Calhoun backfield.
And they saw yet another 100-yard rusher for the Sandcrabs in a 42-21 win over Corpus Christi Ray.
Brooks, a commit to the University of Oklahoma, showed why Calhoun opponents will have a lot to worry about this year.
Brooks carried the ball six times for 140 yards and three touchdowns while Brandon Griffith rushed for 166 yards and Jeremy Loya had 173 yards and a pair of scores.
Testing against Calallen
The Calallen Wildcats aren't in District 30-4A, but you couldn't tell by glancing at their schedule.
The Wildcats open the season with home games against Calhoun, Gregory-Portland and Victoria East.
The Sandcrabs beat Calallen 27-7 a week ago while Gregory-Portland was shut out by Calallen 21-0. They host the Titans on Friday.
Zeros for G-P in 2011
Gregory-Portland is carrying around two dubious zeros as they head into Week 2 at Corpus Christi Carroll: zero wins, and zero points scored this season.
Gregory-Portland has started the 2011 season by losing to Port Neches-Groves 42-0 and Calallen 21-0.
The Wildcats haven't picked up yards in chunks this season, and this was apparent against Calallen. Although they managed 260 total yards, only 24 fewer than Calallen, it took them 72 offensive plays to accumulate this amount. That's an average of less than four yards per play.
The one offensive area where Gregory-Portland managed to beat Calallen was first downs. Gregory-Portland managed 14 first downs to Calallen's 12.
Carroll could be the Wildcats' first win. The Tigers are coming off of being shut out by Harlingen, 72-0.