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West falls, but Warriors happy with season's outcome (w/video)

By BY JULIE GARCIA - JGARCIA@VICAD.COM
Nov. 30, 2013 at 5:30 a.m.

Fans line the parking lot of Victoria West High School as they show their support for the Warriors football team headed to San Antonio on Saturday morning.

SAN ANTONIO - Though Saturday's game against San Antonio Brennan ended in a crushing 60-7 defeat, Victoria West's silver lining this season is one they're not likely to forget.

The 9-4 team's losses came at the hands of teams that made it to the regional round of playoffs or further (Calallen and Cuero went out Friday night, while Calhoun will continue to the quarterfinal round).

Turning around West's reputation as being less-than on the football field has been one of the most major accomplishments for senior quarterback Tony Navarro.

"We put ourselves on the map," Navarro said. "Previous years, we didn't come through. Every team, after losing so much, has a point where they want it to stop. That's what our senior class came into the season believing - we were tired of losing, tired of being criticized and downed and having people thinking negatively of us."

In South Texas football, it can be difficult to cause a ripple. But West was determined to cause a splash.

"We wanted to show them that we could play with any of the athletes in Texas," Navarro said.

Prior to Saturday, (13-0) Brennan had allowed only 30 points to be scored on them all season and shut out nine opponents.

West had no intentions of being shut out.

Halfway through the first quarter, West surprised Brennan's defense when Navarro passed to senior running back Jacob Armstrong for a 17-yard touchdown reception.

"They never give up," said West coach Leonard McAngus. "They've always been fighters who love the game of football."

There were tears on the sideline following the game but a few smiles, too.

"You only play high school football once in your lifetime," senior Modesto Martinez said.

"You take for granted how many weeks you have, and then all of a sudden, it's taken away from you," added senior Caleb Marek.

West extended their season by two games, a feat never before accomplished by a set of Warriors.

"Growing up together, playing football together, it meant the world that we could break records that Victoria West had never broken before," Navarro said. "It ended, but you also have to look at what we've done."

"We hope to set the tone for Victoria West as a football team," Marek said.

This year's group of seniors survived four years in the West football program. When they were faced with naysayers in the community and teammates quitting after unsuccessful seasons, they held on to the hope that they could turn it around.

"They've been true," McAngus said about the seniors. "Even through the tough times when their friends were quitting, they stuck it out. It's paid off for them and us."

McAngus knows this playoff run will change the area's perception of the Warriors.

"The effort of our kids, the character of our kids showed through in this game even though it was very lopsided," McAngus said. "I'm proud of them, proud of our seniors and what they've accomplished and just putting us in a position where people will notice us now and add some credibility to our program."

Or as Armstrong simply put it, "We let people know who we are."

Notes

Brennan scored on the third play of the game with a 54-yard run by quarterback Da'Shawn Key, who ended up rushing for most of the team's yardage.

After a fumble on West's first possession, Brennan took the ball again to sore its second touchdown in the first two minutes of the game.

West's second possession was the most successful. Navarro passed to Armstrong for a 17-yard touchdown, which would end up being the only Warrior score.

The rest of the game was littered with multiple turnovers by West and a scoring play on every one of Brennan's possessions except for the final one.

After Marek commented that Brennan reminded him of their game against Calhoun, Navarro said the Warriors were just outplayed.

"They did their job; we tried to do ours," Navarro said. "They just out-skilled us; they outplayed us. They are a very good team."

But even at a 53-point deficit, Navarro never stopped trying.

"When the score is up like that, you always want to try to stay positive," Navarro said. "Being in the leadership role, I have to help lift them up. As the clock is ticking down, and we got possession back, I tried to make the most fun out of it that I can. I know this is my last game, and I had to go out doing what I love."

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