Victoria West defense off to a rough start

Sept. 3, 2012 at 4:03 a.m.

Coming into the season, the Victoria West Warriors were looking to improve their defense and help turn things around.

Prior to West's season opener against Lockhart, Warriors head coach Leonard McAngus said the Lions' slot-T offense would serve as a good test for West's new 3-3-5 stack defense.

On Friday, the Warriorsallowed 478 yards and eight touchdowns in a 55-12 loss.

"It goes back to the same thing, we've got to do a better job tackling," McAngus said on Friday. "We didn't react as well as we needed to. We've got to get better at those things, it's got to become second nature to us."

The West defense needed improvement after last year's 2-8 campaign. Opponents averaged 27 points and 379 yards per game.

DEFENSIVE ADJUSTMENTS: The Warriors are still familiarizing themselves with the 3-3-5 stack and the scheme put in place by McAngus and defensive coordinator Randy Perez.

The Lions averaged six yards per rush and scored six rushing touchdowns against West running the Slot-T.

Quarterback C.J. McKinney and running backs Marcus Rodriguez and Curtis Hawkins rushed for 111, 130 and 106 yards, respectively against the Warriors.

The Lions set the tone from the beginning on Friday, despite horrible field position.

West pinned Lockhart on its three-yard line to begin the game, but the Lions marched 59 yards on 11 consecutive run plays to advance to the West 36.

From there, McKinney found Brandon Clinger for a touchdown pass. The Lions appeared to be running another sweep and when the Warriors took the bate, Clinger slipped past the secondary downfield.

The duo hooked up again five minutes later on the same play. That pass went 20 yards and Lockhart took a two-touchdown lead early on.

"We didn't practice the trick play, the kind of got us down," said junior running back and outside linebacker Qualian Bryant.

Bryant's 75-yard touchdown late in the second quarter gave the Warriors a spark and cut the Lions lead, but wasn't enough of a momentum changer.

NO PUNTS: Lockhart didn't punt all night, got 26 first downs and scored touchdowns an all six trips to the red zone.

UP NEXT: West looks to rebound on Friday when it hosts the Cuero Gobblers.

It'll be the first time the Gobblers have come to Victoria since Memorial split into Victoria East and West.

Last week the Gobblers managed 72 rushing yards on 27 attempts against Wharton.

Cuero threw for 326 yards in a 20-19 win over Wharton.

The Warriors have lost six straight games, three of which have come at Memorial Stadium.

The game will also be a homecoming for Cuero head football coach Travis Reeve.

Reeve played his home games at Memorial Stadium for Victoria High.

He was hired at Cuero in March after 14 years as an assistant coach at five different schools.



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