Short and steady helping West win games
Sept. 20, 2012 at 4:20 a.m.
The last two weeks have seen a new type of Victoria West passing game, along with wins.
The Warriors have cut down on the number of down-field gambles and the offense has found more success with shorter passes.
"It's way better getting the completions for short yards than trying to go deep and not getting as much," said senior quarterback Garrett Rother. "But (with) the running game that we have, throwing short passes is a short plus and it messes up the defenses even more."
Although the Warriors haven't thrown a passing touchdown this season, this approach has paid off the last two weeks in wins over Cuero and South San Antonio.
Against Cuero, Rother's longest completion went for 14 yards, against South San it was for eight yards.
In 2011, his first year as a starter, Rother had a 51 percent completion rate. That is up to 65 percent this year, including a 6-for-8 performance for 34 yards in West's 45-25 win on Friday.
A more patient, efficient passing game has helped the Warriors match the number of wins they had all last season.
TURNOVERS MAKE A DIFFERENCE
The Warriors may have opened up the season with a flat showing against Lockhart in which they turned the ball over four times. But the team has gotten the turnover under control in recent weeks.
West won the turnover battle against Cuero, and only had one against South San.
Through the first 25 games of the program's history, West is 5-2 when they win the turnover battle, 2-2 when the turnover margin is even When they lost the turnover battle? A record of just 3-11.
After making a solid home debut against Cuero, freshmen running back Gamarquis Girdy turned heads with a 96-yard kickoff return against South San.
The kick return was big considering that South San just kicked a 39-yard field goal that cut the West lead to 31-10 with inside of a minute remaining in the third quarter.
Girdy's score killed any momentum the Bobcats built up seconds earlier.
Against Cuero, Girdy rushed for 60 yards on seven carries.
SHORT TRIPS FOR WEST
The West offensive unit wasn't on the field very long against South San because it didn't have to.
Defensive stops helped West take over on the South San 28, 39 and 40 on its first three possessions.
"It makes it a lot easier to call plays and do things when you already have the ball on their side of the field." said West head coach Leonard McAngus.
The Warriors took advantage of the field position scoring 21 points on 14 plays in the first 13:15 of the game.
"They just get hyped up knowing that the defense gave us that great field position and we need to go capitalize on it and score," Rother said.