Two-way players help West beat Tuloso-Midway
By BY JULIE GARCIA - JGARCIA@VICAD.COM
Nov. 2, 2013 at 6:02 a.m.
Preparing for a dynamic, and often confusing, offense like the one Tuloso-Midway presented against Victoria West on Friday night was hard to prepare for, said West coach Leonard McAngus.
That's when a backup plan comes into play.
West quarterback Tony Navarro and offensive powerhouses Zevaughn Shelton and Gamarquis Girdy all made major strides for the Warriors' defense, which aided the team to a 30-22 victory over Tuloso-Midway.
"(Navarro) started last year on our defense - he was a two-way starter," McAngus said. "We try to keep the quarterback from playing defense, but when the going gets tough and you gotta win one, you gotta put everybody on the field that can help you, and he's definitely one of our better defensive players."
With playoffs on the horizon, the Warriors (6-3, 3-2) were in need of a win after two consecutive losses to Calhoun and Calallen.
With light rain and palpable humidity, West slipped and slid all over the field against Tuloso-Midway (4-5, 1-5), which had more than a few offensive surprises for them, including a hook and lateral late in the first half and a flea flicker toward the end of the fourth quarter.
"They run a very diverse offense; they do all kinds of crazy stuff," McAngus said. "I'm very proud of our defensive staff and what they've done."
Putting Navarro in at defense was planned, McAngus said. Offensively, Navarro rushed for 78 yards on 15 carries and had six completed passes for a total of 62 passing yards.
"We just tried to limit as many reps he gets on defense," McAngus said. "We need him at quarterback and can't afford to lose him there, but he's heck of a defensive player, too."
When he wasn't aiding the defense in forcing turnovers, Shelton had 25 carries for 203 yards for the offense. Shelton's season total passed the 700 mark early in the game and came up just 10 yards shy of 900 after the fourth quarter.
Shelton, who is described as a humble player with great athletic ability by McAngus, was proud of his teams' defensive effort toward the end of the game.
"We came back in the fourth quarter when we needed it," Shelton said, amid cheers from the visitor's side at Warriors' stadium. "I did what I was supposed to do - helped the team out, helped defense turn the ball over a couple times."
Though Tuloso-Midway kept West guessing with its offense, three fumbles in the red zone and other mistakes gave the Warriors more opportunities to move the ball down the field and score.
The Warriors have adjusted their game strategy to accommodate for injuries on the defense and because more of the key players display two-way talent on the field.
"With some of the injuries we've had, it's been forcing kids to have to play both ways," McAngus said. "We've prepared for that so our kids are ready for it. It shows what good condition they're in."
Shelton said he conditions by going hard in the weight room and during practice.
"Whey the tell us to run, we run 100 percent and fire off. We're relentless," he said.
A relentless attitude is what the Warriors will need to catapult this momentum into their final district game at home against Gregory-Portland next week.
Gregory-Portland was defeated by Victoria East earlier this season, a team that West defeated by three points in their rivalry game.
"We're just going to go hard," Shelton said. "You never know; anything could happen. Hopefully, we'll do the same thing and come out with a win."