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Ganado becomes champions with late success (video)

Nov. 4, 2013 at 5:04 a.m.
Updated Nov. 5, 2013 at 5:05 a.m.

Ganado assistant coach George Banda, left, practices with the defensive backs for their final regular-season game Monday.

Ganado assistant coach George Banda, left, practices with the defensive backs for their final regular-season game Monday.

GANADO - Ganado coach Jimmy Thompson never questioned the ability of this year's team.

Thompson knew there were doubters after the Indians were thrashed by Hallettsville in their season opener, struggled to beat Van Vleck and Tidehaven and lost to Flatonia.

But Thompson didn't have much convincing to do after Ganado traveled to Shiner last Friday and came away with a 20-7 win that clinched a share of the District 15-1A, Division I title and the top seed in the playoffs.

"At times, we had growing pains," Thompson said. "I think right now, we're playing our best football. We're not missing a whole lot of assignments as far as blocking and tackling. We've got kids where they are supposed to be, and I think we're playing as well as we can."

Ganado senior Billy Jones scored two touchdowns in the win over Shiner, but he was more proud of the Indians' defensive effort.

The Comanches had only one first down in the second half and finished with 213 yards of total offense.

"Everybody was giving their best effort," Jones said. "That's the best I've seen our defense play. They're a good team, so that's an accolade on our part."

Thompson knew his team would have to adapt to the adjustments he and his staff made this season.

"Even though we're running out of the same 27, our reads are so much different defensively," Thompson said. "It was a matter of getting the kids acclimated to what we're doing. Offensively, we're a lot more crisp with our blocks. We're picking up things, and we know who to block. We've changed our offense a little bit to where we just don't line up and run over people. We actually do some things that actually go to our strengths."

One of the biggest pluses for Ganado has been its ability to limit turnovers, which plagued them early in the season.

"We've been working on that a lot," Jones said. "Several of our turnovers have been on plays we've been running for four years, and that shouldn't happen."

Ganado wraps up the regular season Friday at home against Three Rivers. The Indians don't need to be reminded that Three Rivers beat them last season and knocked them from the second to the third seed.

Ganado lost to Weimar in the area playoff round, and the Indians are looking for a much deeper run this season.

"We made sure we were the district champs," Jones said. "We made sure that we were going to give ourselves a chance to be a great team this year. We want to be a good, outstanding playoff team."

Around the area

Bloomington's last game of the season will be its first at home.

Bobcat Stadium, which has been undergoing renovations, will be ready for Friday's Bloomington-Natalia game.

The Bobcats (1-8, 0-6) will be attempting to end a 64-game district losing streak against the Mustangs (0-9, 0-6).

Refugio quarterback Travis Quintanilla and Victoria East quarterback Jonathan Ortega were nominated for the Gridiron Legends player of the week.

Quintanilla passed for 360 yards and seven touchdowns and ran for a touchdown in the Bobcats' 77-0 win over Santa Gertrudis Academy.

Ortega passed for 254 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 150 yards and one touchdown in the Titans' 76-55 loss to Calhoun.

To vote, go to texasfootball.com/highschool/.

Playoff scenarios

• District 25-3A: El Campo has clinched a playoff berth. Wharton will make the playoffs unless Sealy beats Bellville by six points or more and Columbus beats El Campo.

• District 26-3A: Cuero and La Grange will play for the district title, and both have clinched a playoff berth. Gonzales has clinched a playoff berth by virtue of its wins over Giddings and Yoakum. Yoakum needs to defeat Giddings to make the playoffs.

• District 14-2A, Division I: Hallettsville and Hempstead will play for the district title and have clinched a playoff berth. Edna and Rice Consolidated have clinched playoff berths and will play for third and fourth seeds.

• District 15-2A, Division I: Goliad has clinched a playoff berth by virtue of its win over George West.

• District 13-2A, Division II: East Bernard and Danbury play for the district title and have clinched playoff berths. Van Vleck has clinched a playoff berth and the third seed. Tidehaven has clinched a playoff berth and will be the fourth seed by virtue of its wins over Brazos and Hitchcock.

• District 14-2A, Division II: Schulenburg would clinch a playoff berth and the second seed with a win over Lexington. If Schulenburg loses to Lexington, it would not make the playoffs unless Universal City Randolph defeats Blanco. Schulenburg, Blanco and Lexington would be tied for third, and a points formula would be used to determine to two playoff teams.

District 15-2A, Division II: Nixon-Smiley has clinched a playoff berth by virtue of its win over Karnes City. Nixon-Smiley will either be the third or fourth seed.• District 16-2A, Division II: Refugio has clinched a share of the district title and the top seed in the playoffs.

• District 13-1A, Division I: Flatonia and Weimar have clinched playoff berths. Flatonia will be the second seed and Weimar the third seed.

District 15-1A, Division I: Ganado has clinched a share of the district title and the top playoff seed. Shiner and Kenedy have clinched playoff berths. Shiner will be the second seed and Kenedy the third seed.

District 14-1A, Division II: Falls City, Woodsboro and Runge have clinched playoff berths. Unless Runge beats Falls City by 18 points or more, Falls City will be the first seed, Woodsboro will be the second seed, and Runge will be the third seed.

Mike Forman is a sports writer for the Victoria Advocate. Contact him at 361-580-6588 or mforman@vicad.com, or comment on this column at advosports.com

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