BACK IN BLACK: Warriors win fourth straight
After more than two hours of lining up against the Beeville Trojans, the Victoria West Warriors had the additional task of doing 34 post-game jumping jacks in the locker room.
This may appear to be a chore after the physical challenge that comes with playing football, but it's not after a win.
Senior quarterback Garrett Rother had 109 yards rushing and passing while the Warriors defense and special teams forced three turnovers to help West open District 30-4A play with a 34-10 win over the Trojans on Friday at Memorial Stadium.
"It's the best feeling ever," said senior offensive lineman Jonathan Vahalik. "Extra work after you do your work, but it's worth it."
The win improves West's overall record to 4-1 while Beeville falls to 2-4 and 0-2 in district play.
The Warriors got their first district win since beating Floresville on Oct. 15, 2010.
"Every year, whoever wins this game usually gets in the playoffs," said West head coach Leonard McAngus. "I don't know what the future holds, but I promise you this is a big step toward that. We've still got five more to go and we'll take them one game at a time."
The previous two meetings between West and Beeville were decided by a total of nine points. On Friday, the Warriors made sure there would be no dramatics by scoring 28 unanswered points in the second and third quarters.
Rother finished the night completing 4-of-6 passes for 79 yards, including touchdown passes to Jacob Armstrong and Malcolm Peoples. Junior tailback Qualian Bryant led the Warriors ground game with 66 yards on 14 attempts and a touchdown.
Six different West rushers combined for 261 yards.
"It doesn't matter who gets the ball, let's get it in the end zone," McAngus said. "That's the main thing."
As a wide receiver, Armstrong hasn't had many rushing attempts this season, but when he did against Beeville, he came up big.
After Beeville scored to cut the West lead to 6-3, the Warriors had to respond and kept the Trojans from building momentum.
On 2nd and 11, Armstrong took an end around, cut outside and avoided a David Garcia shoestring tackle attempt to score a 72-yard touchdown.
"It doesn't suprise me," McAngus said. "He's a hard runner, he's a hard guy to bring down."
Garcia's dive came at the Beeville 23-yard line. Although he stumbled a bit, Armstrong regained his balance to get his second score of the night.
"I thought I was going to go down, but I just caught my balance and kept going," Armstrong said.
The touchdown came on Armstrong's third carry of the season.
Rother found Armstrong for a 10-yard pass on West's first drive of the game to get the Warriors on the board.
"Me and Garrett have really joined together the last two years and we've just become brothers," Armstrong said.
Rother later hooked up with sophomore wide receiver Peoples for a 38-yard short that put West ahead 20-3 with 1:09 remaining in the first half.
"Everyone offensively was just clicking, executing on all of their assignments," Rother said.
The West defense was facing a slot-T offense for only the second time all season and faired better against Beeville than it did in the season opener in Lockhart.
Defensively, the Warriors came up with plays on both occasions when the Trojans threatened in the first half.
Junor linebacker Nathan Hermes recovered a fumble on the West 34 late in the first quarter and the Warriors held the Trojans to a 29-yard field goal by senior kicker Marcos Ulloa after Beeville had a first down from the Warriors 13.
After a 55-yard Armstrong punt pinned Beeville inside its own one-yard-line, Beeville starting quarterback Cameron Kremers was pressured and threw up a lob that was intercepted by junior cornerback Anthony Navarro at the Trojans 15.
The Warriors added injury to insult, literally, when Kremers was injured on the play and backup Tanner Trevino played the rest of the game.
Bryant scored on a nine-yard rush three plays later to put West ahead 24-3 midway through the third quarter.
West also recovered a fumble inside the Beeville 25 with less than two minutes remaining and took a knee on its final three offensive plays. McAngus awarded the West defense the game ball in the locker room after the game for holding Beeville to 231 total yards and forcing four punts.