EDNA – Last week’s loss at Yoakum, its first of the season, may have left Edna with a sense of uncertainty.
The Cowboys eliminated any doubt they may have had about their ability with a 17-7 victory over third-ranked Goliad on Friday night in a District 14-3A, Division I matchup at Cowboy Memorial Stadium.
“This was a pretty big win,” said Edna senior running back Kenny Haynes, who racked up 151 yards on 30 carries. “We slipped up last week, didn’t capitalize on the mistakes. But we’re back at it.”
Edna (8-1, 3-1) used its ball-control offense to grind out the victory. The Cowboys ran twice as many offensive plays as the Tigers (7-2, 3-1) and dominated the time of possession.
“That’s what our offense is all about,” Haynes said. “Coach says we demoralize teams. We hit them for three yards, four yards, three yards, four yards. They’re going to get tired, and that’s when we pop a big one.”
After a scoreless first quarter, the Tigers were the ones who popped a big one, getting on the board with a 77-yard scoring run by Logan Bland midway through the second quarter. Edna kicker Santiago Villanueva booted a 22-yard field goal just before halftime to make it 7-3 going into the break.
Javonte Seymore returned the second-half kickoff to the Goliad 36-yard line to give the Cowboys great field position to start the third quarter. Eight plays later, Seymore scored on a 7-yard run to give Edna a 10-7 lead.
The Cowboys’ Logan Carroll intercepted a Cameron Morris pass on the Tigers’ next possession, and Edna proceeded to methodically move the ball down field again.
“They dominated the time of possession,” Goliad coach Bobby Nicholson said. “In the second half, we had three offensive series. That’s taking the ball out of our hands, and that’s what an offense like that does. We preached all week that time of possession was critical. We can’t give them first down, second down and third and six inches. They’re going to get that every time, and they did a good job of that. That’s clock management.”
The Cowboys used four different ball carriers to rush for more than 240 yards on 53 carries.
“They whooped us up front, and that’s just a testament to them,” Nicholson said. “It was nothing that we did wrong, just that we didn’t get after them like we should have.”
A 20-play drive that ate up more than 11 minutes off the clock set up the Cowboys with a fourth-and-six at the 17. Reese Orsak connected with Ahmad Callis with a scoring pass that more or less put the game out of reach.
“I know my coaches believe in me, and I know that we’ll throw the ball when we need to,” Callis said. “When it’s time to throw the ball, I’m getting the ball. I’m coming down with it. This was a huge win. Coming off the Yoakum loss, the coaches told us we had to believe, keep our confidence up. We came out, played our hearts out and got the win.”
Edna coach Jerry Long never had any doubts about going for it on fourth down.
“The kids have to know we believe in them,” Long said. “It’s that time of the game when the kids are running out of gas. You got to go for it. They want to get it, so that’s what we do.”
For Long and the Cowboys, it was a huge win.
“These guys knocked us out of the playoffs last year in the third round, and they’re ranked (No. 3) in the state,” Long said. “It’s a huge win for us, our program, the culture in Edna. I couldn’t be more proud of these kids. They worked so hard, and they want to believe, and tonight will go a long way to solidifying that.”
The Tigers will look to bounce back as they close out the regular season with another big district matchup at home against Yoakum next Friday.
“In this district, you can’t worry about one (game); you have to move on to the next one, whether you win or lose,” Nicholson said. “We know that we have to come to work next week because we have one more left. We still control our own destiny, so we’re fixing to find out what kind of team we are.”
Edna finishes up the regular season at Jackson County rival Industrial next Friday.
“The sky’s the limit for this team,” Long said. “If we can put that kind of energy together and play four quarters like we did tonight, we’re going to be hard to beat.”