Big plays doom Flyers in home loss to Schulenburg
St. Joseph head coach Kevin Auten saw a drastic improvement in his Flyers' performance from a week ago. If not for two big plays at the start of each half, the outcome against Schulenburg may have been different than the 30-15 final score.
Shorthorns' junior Gerardo Montoya recovered a Barclay Proctor fumble on the fifth play of the game and returned it 45 yards for the game's first score. At the start of the second half, junior Jeffrey Lara returned the opening kick off 90 yards to give Schulenburg a 23-8 lead.
"Really I don't think it hurt us," Auten said about Montoya's fumble return. "We faced adversity and I felt like we played through adversity. I feel like this was a different team than what was on the field last week."
In some ways, it was a different team. Flyers' quarterback Jerry Vasquez threw for just 46 yards last week. Against Schulenburg Friday night at Patti Welder Stadium, the senior threw for 124 yards.
In other ways, it was the same team. St. Joseph had 130 yards on the ground (254 total yards) on 34 rushes, compared to last week's 169 yards on 44 carries.
"We worked on the passing game a lot," Auten said. "I knew Jerry could throw the ball and I knew we had some guys who could catch the ball. I think by running the ball the way we did it helped open up our passing game."
The defense for the Flyers also improved over the last seven days. After giving up over 400 yards of total offense to Goliad, St. Joseph held Schulenburg to 283 total yards, only 79 of which came from the right arm of Ross Bludau, who threw for over 200 yards in the season opener. Junior Doug Wall picked off one of Bludau's passes early in the second quarter that prevented the Shorthorns from adding to their 7-0 lead.
"We didn't get into a real good synch," Schulenburg head coach Tommy Bludau said. "I thought St. Joseph did a great job on the defensive side."
Bludau finished the night 6 of 12 for 79 yards and 10 rushes for 51 yards, including a 3 yard touchdown run late in the second quarter that put Schulenburg up 13-0.
The Flyers' offense finally found the end zone after an 11 play, 72-yard drive that ended on a 2-yard sneak by Vasquez with 36 seconds left in the first half. The drive nearly stalled out at Schulenburg's 41 yard line, but Vasquez found Harrison High, who managed to get behind the Shorthorns' secondary.
A pair of pass interference penalties on St. Joseph allowed Alex Lara to get in position for a 27-yard field goal that put Schulenburg up 16-8.
Then lightning struck with Jeffrey Lara's 90 yard touchdown return. Lara would strike again late in the third quarter on a 9 yard reverse play, giving the Shorthorns a 30-8 lead.
St. Joseph managed to find the end zone once more on a 25 yard touchdown run by Eric Alvarez. A 43 yard pass from Vasquez to Clayton Davidson put Alvarez in position for his score.
The improved Flyers were noticed by more than just Auten.
"They looked much improved since the first week against Goliad, I can guarantee that," Bludau said. "We didn't do things well. They have some reasons why that happened to us."
The Flyers (0-2) will be on the road next week at Weimar (0-1), while Schulenburg (2-0) will travel to Shiner (1-1).