Titans show muscle in bi-district game
Nov. 14, 2010 at 5:14 a.m.
Updated Nov. 15, 2010 at 5:15 a.m.
Victoria East (10-1) vs. Mission Veterans Memorial (10-1) Saturday, 8 p.m., Alamodome, San Antonio
VICTORIA WEST (6-5) VS. WESLACO EAST (10-1)Saturday, 7 p.m., Comalander Stadium, San Antonio
Mickey Finley's been coaching for more than 30 years. He's been involved in numerous playoff games, but he's never had a running clock in a playoff game.
There's a first time for everything.
"It surprised me. I've never had that in a playoff game," he said.
The move was surprising to no one Friday night at Alamo Stadium, though, least of all Finley, who admitted the game was over at half time.
"It was over, everyone knew it was over," Finley said. "We scored those two right before the half and that pretty much ended it. ... I'm sure (the running clock) was a decision the coaches had probably made.
"I was ready to get it over, there wasn't anything to be accomplished by prolonging it."
Defensive coordinator Rick Bivins said he didn't even notice the change.
The veteran coach said his team wasn't out to make a statement against San Antonio Brackenridge, a team that sneaked into the playoffs by crazy mathematical formulas even I don't understand.
Statements were the least of his concern. Rather, Finley wanted to keep the rest of his team healthy once the win was in hand.
"We were just looking to win a ballgame and get our kids out of here," he said.
But the best kind of statements are the one no one intends to make. The Titans (10-1) may not have intended to send a message to the other teams in their playoff bracket, but they did: That they are better than originally advertised.
The destruction on Friday night was total. Brackenridge had rallied from two scores down in the final game of the regular season against San Antonio Burbank just to get to this point.
Victoria East was out to make sure that didn't happen again.
The Titans picked off Eagles quarterback Anthony Garza five times (it goes down on the score sheet as four because one of Austin Bivins' two interceptions was on a two point conversion.)
After two long catches, one for a touchdown, 6-foot-7 wide receiver Gabriel Taylor was a nonfactor.
And this week, they face a team in Mission Veterans Memorial that hadn't left the Rio Grande Valley for a game until last Friday, when it beat Flour Bluff in Corpus Christi.
The Patriots are, like Brackenridge, a pass-heavy team. Their quarterback, Adrian Morales, has thrown for 2,155 yards in the regular season and 27 touchdowns, although he threw just one TD pass in the final two weeks of the regular season, a close win over Weslaco East and a loss to Edcouch-Elsa.
They are 10-1 this season, but figure East to approach them with the same ferocity they have everyone else.
END OF SOMETHING SPECIAL
The season Victoria West volleyball just finished in a way no one wanted it to finish.
At the hands of a juggernaut in an utter rout.
But that doesn't take away from the achievement they had this season. The 36-6 Warriors captured the attention of a lot of people in the community, many of them couldn't have told you the difference between a kill and a casaba melon.
Entering the season, the Warriors were a squad that hadn't really played together, and lacked experience.
Just three players had varsity experience, and most of that was on the bench, said West coach Sandy Longoria.
Only one player, Jessica Mickey, was a senior. The rest were untested juniors and sophomores.
Longoria was the right person for the job. But she wasn't the first picked, having been hired in June to take the job after the previous selection backed out.
And they made the most of it, dominating almost everyone and showing a business-like cool when they needed to most.
Hopefully, this is the beginning of a long love affair between this city and the sport.
John Hornberg covers Victoria East and West for the Victoria Advocate. Contact him by e-mail at email@example.com, or comment on this column at AdvoSports.com.