Ganado wins rivalry game over Industrial
By BY MIKE FORMAN - MFORMAN@VICAD.COM
Sept. 2, 2011 at 4:02 a.m.
Updated Sept. 3, 2011 at 4:03 a.m.
VANDERBILT - Josh Labay's statistics in Ganado's season-opening win over Hallettsville weren't spectacular. But statistics can lie.
"Last week, our blocking was out of sync and we didn't get things done and it looked like he didn't have a good game," said Ganado coach Jimmy Thompson. "He really did. He needed to have a big game for us, not for confidence, but he needed it. Our team needed it."
Labay rushed for a career-best 287 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Indians to a 33-13 win over their Jackson County rival Industrial on Friday night at Cobra Stadium.
Labay had 29 carries and scored on runs of 18, 80, 41 and 2 yards as Ganado, ranked No. 2 in Class 1A, improved to 2-0.
"We did what we wanted to do all year," Labay said. "Last week, we couldn't really do that in the second half and we practiced hard this week and we knew it was going to be a big game. Coach told us we were going to have to play four quarters and we came back in the second half like we were supposed to."
Ganado overcame a 7-0 deficit with a pair of second-quarter touchdown runs by Labay and took control in the second half, when it lined up in the wishbone and ran right at the Industrial (1-1) defense.
"We thought with our size we could do that," Thompson said. "We were able to. You've got to give them credit. They played tough. We were able to find a seam here and a seam there. Our goal is to make 4 or 5 yards a play if we can do that we're happy with it."
Labay had nine runs of 10 yards or more and none was bigger than his career-long 80-yard touchdown run that came one play after a Trey Thedford interception in the end zone with the Indians trailing 7-6.
"It means a lot really that's the longest run I've ever had in my career so it was a pretty big run and it sparked the whole team," Labay said. "It got everybody pumped. It meant that we could line up and run the ball on them and we actually did and that's how we won."
Industrial had some success throwing the ball. Quarterback Jake Smiley completed 11 of 24 attempts for 128 yards, including touchdown passes of 13 yards to Alan Fellers and 25 yards to Bryce Pruitt.
"I was excited about our offense," said Industrial coach Shane Lothman. "We're young and I thought they did a great job. They moved the football at times."
But Ganado moved the ball consistently in the second half, racking up 178 of its 332 rushing yards.
"Defensively, we didn't play quite as well," Thompson said. "We had several fourth-down plays we didn't make. We didn't fly to the football like I like to see us, but offensively we were much more crisp with our blocks.
"The two plays when we stop them and then Josh goes 80 yards in one play I thought was a huge change in the game."