St. Joseph in a do-or-die situation
AUSTIN HYDE PARK VS. ST. JOSEPH
7 p.m. Friday at Patti Welder Stadium
RECORDS: St. Joseph 2-6; Hyde Park 6-2
The high school football regular season is coming to a close next week and for some teams the season will continue into the playoffs.
If St. Joseph is to be one of those lucky teams to compete for a state championship they'll need a victory at Patti Welder Stadium Friday night.
If not, then the Flyers' season will come to an end after their regular season finale against San Marcos Academy next week.
"If we lose this week it's pretty much over with," St. Joseph head coach Kevin Auten said. "That loss to TMI a couple weeks ago put us in a bad situation."
Two weeks ago when the Flyers traveled to San Antonio TMI they were sitting at 2-1 in TAPPS Division II, District 3 play and had just handed Austin Regents their first loss of the season. However, back-to-back losses in the last two weeks have put St. Joseph in a win-or-else situation.
"I was upfront with the players, told them the situation and what have to do to be able to go into the playoffs," Auten said. "They know need to come out and play the style of defense we played against Regents."
The Flyers face a much more difficult task this week than they did when Regents came to Victoria three weeks ago. Austin Hyde Park comes to Patti Welder Stadium with a 6-2 overall record and a spot on top of the district standings.
FLYERS MUST BOUNCE BACK FROM BIG LOSS
St. Joseph didn't help itself much with last week's loss to San Antonio Holy Cross, losing the game 46-14. The loss dropped the Flyers to 2-4 in district play and 2-6 overall.
"We gave up several big plays," Auten said. "They scored on their opening play with a long pass. A couple times we jumped offsides, they threw it deep and scored a touchdown."
Holy Cross threw for 300 yards and ran for another 253 en route to the huge victory.
In the Flyers' most impressive victory against Regents, they gave up just 131 yards of total offense. To knock off another Goliath-like opponent St. Joseph will need a similar performance.
RUSHING ATTACK KEY FOR BOTH SIDES FRIDAY
St. Joseph has found the most success running the ball this season, but so has Hyde Park. The Flyers feature a more balanced offensive attack with quarterback Jerry Vasquez able to throw downfield with ease. However, Hyde Park's running game has been so good this season they haven't needed to throw much.
Panthers' quarterback Cooper Goen has only thrown the ball 57 times this season for 351 yards. They have gained nearly 2,500 yards of rushing offense, though.
"They're big. They do what they do and do it well," Auten said. "They're able to get a good push up front. They'll make a crease and go."
Running back Dustin Quigley has gained the most rushing yards for Hyde Park with 832 and has also found the end zone 10 times this season. Jackson Effiom has run for 326 yards and five scores, while Deshawn Phelps has gained 228 yards and pair of touchdowns. The trio combined averages 9.43 yards per carry.
One of the few bright spots for St. Joseph a week ago was the rushing attack, gaining over 200 yards on the ground.
"I think that's been a strong point for us this year," Auten said. "We do throw when we need to. Our focus is to run the ball to win games."
HOME IS WHERE THE FLYERS PLAY BEST
Both of St. Joseph's victories have come at home this season. In general, though, the Flyers have played their best games at Patti Welder Stadium.
"We just seem to play better at home," Auten said. "Being on our home field and being able to stay in our home routine helps a lot."
Along with a 69-0 victory over Austin St. Dominic Savio and the 19-9 upset over Regents, the Flyers nearly knocked off Schulenburg in the second week of action and, if not for a fumble recovery and second half kick off returned for touchdowns, St. Joseph may have won that game also.