West's Serrano looks to block more kicks against No. 6 Calhoun
By bY CLAY WHITTINGTON - CWHITTINGTON@VICAD.COM
Oct. 20, 2011 at 5:20 a.m.
Updated Oct. 21, 2011 at 5:21 a.m.
To many, extra points are merely a formailty.
Jayce Serrano is not one of those people.
While many fans, and some players, simply associate a touchdown with seven points, the Victoria West senior has become a specialist at blocking kicks and robbing momentum.
Last week's district contest at Floresville is just one example.
After taking a 7-7 tie into the third quarter, the Tigers seized the lead on a 40-yard touchdown run by Hector Villegas.
But on the extra point attempt, Serrano exploded off the edge of the line, slipped past his opposing lineman and made a full-extension dive to deny Floresville a minimal, but valuable point.
In the end, the play was of little significance as the Warriors lost 22-21.
In the moment, however, it infused inspiration into West's sideline.
"Anytime you block an extra point, it can give you a swing in momentum," West head coach Leonard McAngus said. "It shoots momentum (into your team) and takes a little away from the team that just scored.
"(At Floresville, Serrano) did exactly what we needed him to do. It really did inspire our offense to get rolling."
Serrano is responsible for denying opponents four extra points and three field goals this season.
While technique is definitely involved, to the multiposition player, it is simply a case of never giving up.
"I just try to hustle on every play," the free safety/wide receiver said. "Some teams take that play off, like it is just a given point, but I try to hustle and stay on as tight of an angle as I can get that allows me to block it."
Serrano could have ample opportunity to show off his talent Friday night, when West hosts District 30-4A rival and offensive powerhouse Calhoun.
The No. 6 Sandcrabs are averaging 43.3 points per game behind the four-headed rushing attack of Brandon Griffith, Joseph Bargas, Daniel Brooks and Jeremy Loya. Each player has produced at least 575 rushing yards and six touchdowns.
With the ability to finish drives in the end zone, unbeaten Calhoun (7-0, 2-0) has attempted just three field goals all season, making two.
Sandcrabs kicker Victor Almarez Rodriguez, however, is 32 of 38 on extra point attempts, and Serrano is already well aware of their special team's habits.
"We noticed that the guy on the end of their line of scrimmage, whenever they do kick extra points, he steps down," Serrano said. "So, that means I'm going to have to watch where his outside leg is when he is in his stance."
With 52 total tackles, including a team-high 16 unassisted tackles, Serrano's efforts will be required on defense as well if the Warriors (2-5, 0-2) are going to pull off the upset.
"It is hard to find a weakness," McAngus said of the Sandcrabs. "They are solid in every spot.
"(Head coach Richard Whittaker) has done a great job there. They've got a really good senior class that has been with him for a long time, and they've got it rolling."
And even though most believe the game is merely a formality, Serrano is not one of those people.
"I'm pretty excited," he said. "I know it is going to be tough one, but I feel like we can play with them."