For the second straight week, Victoria East hits the road looking for its first win of the season.
Facing an Alice team that held its own in a 22-20 loss to Corpus Christi Veterans Memorial — the defending District 15-5A, Division I champion — the Titans will be looking for their first win against the Coyotes in program history.
“Knowing that we lost our first game, we have to stay focused,” said East quarterback Jadon Williams. “I don’t think anybody wants to start their season off 0-2 regardless if it’s in district or out of district. It really just puts a chip on our shoulder and makes us even more focused than we already are.”
East (0-1) dropped its season opener 41-32 against Columbia in West Columbia.
The Titans offense put up points against the Roughnecks. Williams accounted for all five touchdowns with 113 rushing yards and three touchdowns, plus 284 passing yards and touchdown passes to wide receiver TJ Vargas and running back Jacarrien Giles.
But East’s defense struggled to stop the run, giving up 364 yards and six touchdowns.
“We need to come together and work hard and focus more in practice,” Giles said. “We need to improve on our defense. They had a tricky offense for our defense, we really don’t work on that. So, by next game, we should be good and come up with a dub on Friday.”
East and Alice (0-1) are playing for the first time since 2015, when Alice won 28-27. Alice also won 54-41 in 2014 and leads the series 2-0.
The Coyotes have reached the second round of the playoffs in consecutive seasons and was a two-point conversion away from possibly forcing overtime against Veterans Memorial in their season opener.
East is ready to move on from its Week 1 loss.
“We learned we can all work together and we did a lot better than I expected,” Vargas said. “I think we’ll be good this year as we keep working and the progress we make will be good. Especially the first game, not too bad. I know we lost but it still showed a lot of progress.”
Noah Cervantes led Alice with a fumble recovery touchdown and a rushing touchdown against Veterans Memorial. Quarterback Josh Camarillo threw for 147 yards and a touchdown pass to Landon Rodriguez.
East will look to continue its offensive production, but will have to find a way to break through an Alice defense that returns seven starters.
“One of the main keys we need to do is have fun,” Williams said. “Because at the Columbia game it was a high-scoring game, but it was fun. We were going back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, so just having fun, staying focused and working hard in practice will be key.”