Buckaroos grind out a victory, rushing for 339
Christopher Maher, Jim Wells County Correspondent
PREMONT — In a game that was marked by contrasting styles, the Freer Buckaroos defeated the Premont Cowboys in Premont Friday night, 24-8.
The Buckaroos offense kept the ball on the ground for most of the night, rushing for 339 yards and pounding out five drives of 10 plays or more throughout the game. The Cowboys offense countered primarily through the air, as quarterback Steven Cavazos completed 11 of his 18 passes for 119 of Premont's 197 yards of offense. Cavazos actually accounted for all but 15 of the Cowboys' total yards on offense, as he added 63 rushing yards to his 119 yards passing.
Freer dominated the time of possession, using up nearly the entire second quarter on its first scoring drive. The Buckaroos took possession on their own 8-yard line and put together a 17-play drive that was capped off by a 28-yard touchdown run by Josh Lopez, with 4:43 to go in the first half. Lopez finished the game with 109 rushing yards on 12 carries.
The Premont offense went three-and-out on its next possession, forcing a punt that left the Buckaroos on their own 18-yard line with only 2:52 remaining in the half. Freer quarterback Matthew Reyes marched the team 70-yards down field in 14 plays, but the Premont defense managed to hold them out of the end zone. The Buckaroos settled for a 10-yard field goal off the foot of Rey Guzman as time expired, and went into the break up 10-0.
Premont started the second half firing, as Cavazos connected on a 37-yard bomb to Juan Hinojosa that took his team to the Freer 10-yard line, and then a quick 6-yard pass that brought them to the 4-yard line. With the Buckaroos covering the pass, Cavazos kept the ball on second down and ran up the middle nearly untouched for the score. He found receiver Clay Weeks in the end zone on a pass for two points, which brought the score to 10-8, with 7:30 to go in the third quarter.
The Freer offense continued to methodically wear down the Premont defense, however, as the Buckaroos ran the ball on 12-consecutive plays in the ensuing drive, capping the effort with a two-yard touchdown rumble by Tyler Stewart. The extra point was missed, bringing the score to 16-8. Stewart would seal the game in the fourth quarter, rumbling for a three-yard touchdown on fourth down.
He finished the game with 88 rushing yards on 15 carries. Lopez ran in the two-point conversion, giving the Buckaroos a 24-8 lead they would not surrender.
Following the game, Premont head coach David Montano said his team had suffered from a lack of focus.
"I thought we did well, but we had some missed assignments and some missed tackles at some key moments," Montano said. "We're trying to get used to playing four quarters of football. We seem to only be playing two quarters."
Freer head coach Joseph Alvarado said he was pleased to put an end to what had been a four-game losing streak.
"Offensively, we executed well and cut some of our mistakes," Alvarado said.
With the win, the Buckaroos bring their record to 2-4 (1-1), while the Cowboys drop their fourth straight and fall to 1-5 (0-2).