Flour Bluff Hornets 42, Alice Coyotes 21

NEXT WEEK:

Kingsville Brahmas @ Alice Coyotes, Memorial Stadium

FB a Hornets’ nest

Alice’s backs against the 31-4A wall

Pete Garcia

Alice Echo-News Journal

FLOUR BLUFF - A.J. Benavides' teary and swollen red eyes told the whole story. Despite their best effort, which included a revived offense, victory and a shot at closing in on a playoff berth, proved too elusive for Alice Friday night.

The Flour Bluff Hornets scored 28 unanswered second half points to wipe away an early Coyotes' lead and win big 42-21.

It was a crushing defeat, mostly because despite the final score it was a game which Alice controlled for at least part of the night.

"We have a good football team," Alice coach Brent Davis said. "It's just a shame we can't finish. G-P, Rockport and now Flour Bluff, we were right there. You can say all of that should've, would've stuff. I'm tired of saying it. We just need to finish games."

The loss puts Alice's backs against the wall as far as the postseason is concerned. Alice drops to the middle of the District 31-4A standings. At 2-1, the Coyotes are in third behind Kingsville which is tied with Flour Bluff in second.

The Coyotes host the Brahmas Friday night in Memorial stadium before closing out the regular season next Friday on the road against Robstown.

"We gotta win these next two," Davis said. "It doesn't matter what else happens or what else someone else might do. If we take care of buisness in these next two, we're in."

The 28-point second half was completely different than the first half in which Alice was able to outscored Flour Bluff, 21-14.

Alice hit the ground running with an even offensive attack. They quickly moved down field with runs by Deon Hill and passes from Benavides.

A penalty gave the Coyotes a first-and-goal at the 9-yardline, but a fumble and a holding call pushed Alice back. Alice rebounded and reached the end zone with a shovel pass to Mateo Gonzalez who weaved through the Hornets' defense for a 15-yard touchdown.

Flour Bluff was just as efficient in their first possession. After a lengthy kickoff return, the Hornets quickly answered Alice's touchdown with a six-yard scoring pass from Clay Collier to Stephen Shores.

The Coyotes' offense again rolled in their next possession. After a nine-play drive in which Alice converted a fourth down, Benavides put his team ahead by connecting with a wide-open R.J. Gomez in the back of the end zone. Flour Bluff again drove the ball and capped off their ensuing possession with a six-yard Michael Gowens run.

The Hornets regained the ball on an onside kick, but Alice stopped that ensuing possession with a Josh Cavazos interception. Just before halftime, it was another Alice interception which broke the 14-14 tie. Justin Guerrero interception Nico Gomez and returned the ball 60 yards for a go-ahead touchdown.

In the second half, the Hornets switched from their spread formation and went to a wing-formation from which they simply lined up and went straight through Alice’s defense. It proved to be a difference-making halftime adjustment.

"They went straight to their running game… Giving it, keeping it and pitching it," Davis said. "They abandoned what they had been doing because we had them shut down. They were smart enough to know what we were doing and they made the right adjustments. It took us the entire third quarter to adjust to it, and that was the game."

The Hornets scored on their first second-half possession with a long drive ended by a one-yard Gowens run.

They then went ahead later in the third quarter on a 64-yard Justin Brandt scoring run.

Alice’s offense appeared to be on track in the following possession. They moved the ball to the Hornets’ 3-yard line, but a strong defensive effort by Flour Bluff which included a big sack. Pushed Alice back and forced then to try a 39-yard field goal.

The kick was long enough, but bounced off the left upright. Alice came away from that possession with no points.

"We got down there to the two and I didn't think there was any way they could stop it," Davis said. "That was the big difference in the game. If we get in right there, it's a different game. We would have gone ahead right there and who knows what would've happen."

Ahead 27-21, the Hornets kept running the ball and scored again on a two-yard Travis Brumley run. Later in the fourth quarter, they took advantage of several miscues, including a fumble which rolled into the end zone. The Hornets recovered the loose ball for a quick score.

On the ground, Amado Ramirez and Hill led Alice's rushing attack. Ramirez had 10 carries for 44 yards and Hill finished with 38 yards.

Brandt lead the Hornets with four carries for 100 yards. Bryan Twaits had 11 carries for 73 yards.

Benavides finished the game with his best night, completing 18 of 27 passes for 190 yards.

31-4A standings

Standings

Team District Overall

Calallen 3-0 8-0

Flour Bluff 2-1 6-2

Kingsville 2-1 4-4

Alice 1-2 4-4

Robstown 1-2 2-6

Tuloso-Midway 0-3 0-8

Next Week

Kingsville @ Alice, Robstown @ Flour Bluff, Calallen at T-M