Armstrong provides spark for Warriors
The Victoria West Warriors may have taken the field in cold, windy conditions for the first time this season, but their fire starter returned to the sidelines.
Jacob Armstrong made a comeback after straining the medial collateral ligament in his right knee against Victoria East on Oct. 12.
"He's like a brother, it's great to have him back," said junior wide receiver and cornerback Tony Navarro. "The energy he puts out in the field, it's like no other."
Armstrong and the Warriors (4-4, 1-3) look to break a three-game District 30-4A losing streak when they host the Tuloso-Midway Warriors (3-5, 1-3) on Friday.
"We really have to beat them because this pretty much determines if we get in the playoffs or not," Armstrong said.
The 6-foot, 170-pound junior wide receiver and cornerback said that when the injury occurred, he thought it was a broken ankle.
Armstrong had to miss the rest of West's 54-48 loss to East and sat out West's 42-21 loss to Calhoun a week later.
Armstrong was the team's leading receiver and picked up where he left off in a 38-24 loss to Calallen.
"It's good to see him back, he's a big part of our team and it's good that the injury wasn't as bad as they thought," said West coach Leonard McAngus.
Against Calallen, Armstrong caught four passes for 53 yards, including a 9-yard touchdown reception, and made four solo tackles.
Despite missing an entire game with an injury, Armstrong still leads the team with 20 receptions and has amassed 241 yards and three touchdowns receiving. He also has a 75-yard rushing touchdown and has 20 solo tackles defensively.
"I was confident in throwing to him and it put more receivers on our list," said West senior quarterback Garrett Rother after the Calallen loss.
Armstrong said the brace on his right leg took some adjusting to, but getting back in game mode wasn't difficult.
"I came out in the second half and I didn't feel tired at all," Armstrong said. "I was so pumped up, I was ready to go."
West will look to go get back on the winning track against T-M's three-headed rushing attack of Matthew Dickson, Tyler Smith and Maclavio Reyes.
The trio has combined for 1,590 yards and 18 touchdowns.
T-M's opponents have gained 317 yards and scored 31 points per game.
"They have some pretty tough players, they go hard every play," said Navarro about T-M.
Both Victoria West and T-M are 1-3 in district and tied for fifth coming into Friday's game.
Not only will a win help West, but beating T-M by 12 points or more will help them in their playoff chances.
West could be in a three-way tie with East and T-M for the final playoff spot.
The district uses a points system to determine a three-way tie, with the maximum win margin being 18.
T-M beat East by 29, East beat West by six, forcing West to win by 12 points or more on Friday if they want to gain an edge in a tie situation.
In it's loss to Calallen, field position cost West early and often on the road.
An interception and an 11-yard punt gave Calallen the ball on the West 34 and 39 on its first two offensive drives.
Calallen scored two touchdowns to give itself a 12-point lead less than 10 minutes into the game.
"It's pretty devastating, but we've got to keep pushing through," Armstrong said after the loss to Calallen.
TAKING ADVANTAGE OF MISTAKES
The game came down to turnovers, namely Calallen's ability to capitalize and West's inability to do so.
Calallen scored 18 points on three West interceptions, but West couldn't take advantage of fumble recoveries by Navarro and senior lineman Mario Garcia.
After Navarro's fumble recovery, Austin Castillo intercepted Rother. After Garcia's recovery, West's drive stalled inside the Calallen 30.