The Banquete Bulldogs versus the Santa Gertrudis Lions game on Friday night at Javelina Stadium was neck to neck as both teams showed strong defensive lines.
Both teams played with such ferocity that on several different occasions, players from both sides lost either a helmet or a shoe. The Lions elected to receive the ball in the first quarter. The offense started off strong with Eric Garcia gaining yardage and eventually scoring the first touchdown, three minutes into the game. Unfortunately the Lions couldn't get the field goal, Lions 6, Bulldogs 0.
"It was a hard fought battle between both teams, credit goes to both teams. Our defense stepped up when they needed to and make the plays and got us a victory tonight," Banquete Head Coach, Kevin Hermes, said. "It was very close, [Santa Gertrudis] is a good football team, they've been getting better every game. We knew we were in for a battle and we got it."
"Our kids played hard. It was 21-14, that's what it ended up, that's what it was at halftime but we had our opportunities, had a couple missed opportunities," Santa Gertrudis Head Coach, Stuart Burleson, said. "We had a big call that didn't go our way that could've changed the tide but that's just the way it goes sometimes. I tell our kids, that's just a part of life, you just got to fight through them."
Banquete tried to come back strong OJ Ramirez carrying the ball toward the endzone but a tackle caused him to quickly fumble and Lions recovering the ball. It wasn't until a turnover that allowed Banquete to get a touchdown of their own. Ramirez managed to take the ball to the 26 yard line, giving Ryan Ocanas the opportunity to take it all the way for a Bulldog touchdown. The Bulldogs made the field goal giving them a one point lead ending the first quarter with the score Lions 6, Bulldogs 7.
The Lions weren't going to slow down anytime soon with Carlos Rocha managing to run the ball up to the third yard line shortly after the second quarter giving Garcia a chance to score a Lion's touchdown. They were able to score the two point conversion putting them in the lead with Lions 14, Bulldogs 7.
The Bulldogs faced a good scare after Smiley Almaguer fumbled the ball but was quick to recover. Almaguer ran the ball to the 23 yard line and Ronnie Ocanas took it the rest of the way in the next play for a Bulldog's touchdown. The Bulldog's were able to tie the score with a field goal.
It was getting down to the wire as there was only 50 seconds left in the first half. Ramirez was in possession of the ball and was surrounded by Lion players but his Bulldog teammates pushed and pulled him onto the 10 yard line. With seconds left in the second quarter, Ramirez was able to score the touchdown ending the first half with the Bulldog's in the lead 21-14.
The two teams came back from halftime with more endurance and looking to take home a win. All through the third quarter they pushed each other back not giving an inch. The Bulldogs would've taken a touchdown towards the end of the quarter, but called back for an illegal block against them.
Santa Gertrudis would not go down so easy. Garcia worked to get past the Bulldog defense giving the Lions three first downs in a row. Just when the Lions looked to be getting a touchdown, Bulldog Daniel Herrera intercepted a pass. Herrera fumbled the ball after being tackled but Almaguer quickly recovered the ball putting the Bulldogs at the 18 yard line. Unfortunately, a flag against Banquete forced them back to the 30 yard line with the Lions still in possession.
Garcia kept pushing past the defensive line and was able to take the ball all the way toward the six yard line. On the Lions fourth down, quarterback Alvaro Saenz was sacked giving the Bulldogs a turnover with a minute and a half left in the game.
The Bulldogs held onto the ball, running out the clock. They took home the win with the final score Bulldogs 21, Lions 14.