San Diego’s historic season ends with regional semifinal loss to Vanderbilt Industrial
SAN ANTONIO –– Hector Gaza III was proud of what he and his teammates accomplished after San Diego put together another winning season and advanced to the Class 3A Division I regional semifinals for the first time in program history.
But nothing could cure the sting of the Vaqueros' season coming to a close after a 38-6 loss to Vanderbilt Industrial on Friday at Heroes Stadium.
The Cobras used a 21-point second quarter and finished with 604 yards of offense to advance to the state quarterfinals for the first time since 2005.
Industrial improved to 11-2 and will play Lago Vista, a 33-28 winner against Edna, at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3 at San Antonio Alamo Stadium.
“This one hits the heart," Gaza III said. "I've been with these guys since seventh grade and to be with them my high school years... it hits the heart."
San Diego concludes its season at 10-2 after its historic run to the third round.
The Vaqueros' defense kept the game scoreless until Industrial's second quarter surge.
Quarterback Matthew Davis proved to be the difference after passing for 159 yards and two touchdowns. Davis accounted for 266 of the Cobras' 604 yards of offense.
"They were here last year and they're a seasoned team," said San Diego head coach Bo Ochoa. "With a little bit of experience, you're probably going to have the advantage.
"But our guys making history is something they will remember," Ochoa added. "We tried our best to get the win but they (Industrial) schemed well. Hats off to a great Industrial team with coach (Jaime) Dixon. We got away from Vaquero football and we couldn't recover."
San Diego's lone touchdown came on a 70-yard fumble recovery by Mateo Sifuentes in the second quarter. The Vaqueros also recorded an interception on defense by Sean Maldanado.
Gaza III caught two passes for 36 yards in his final game of the season and had two deflections on defense.
"This season will always be something I'll be able to talk about when I'm older," Gaza III said. "It feels great to accomplish something that had never been done at San Diego High school. I just want to thank my teammates, my family, my fans."
San Diego will graduate 15 seniors in the offseason.
Gaza III said he hopes the upperclassmen were able to lay the foundation for the players returning next season.
"Work hard in the summer because the grind doesn't stop," Gaza III said. "Never give up."
TEXAS HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
CLASS 3A DIVISION I REGIONAL SEMIFINAL
VANDERBILT INDUSTRIAL 38, SAN DIEGO 6
What this game means: San Diego's historic season comes to a close in its first regional semifinal game in program history. Industrial advances to the state quarterfinals for the first time since 2005 and improves to 11-1. The Cobras will play Lago Vista, a 33-29 winner against Edna on Friday. The Vaqueros' season ends at 10-2.
Friday's highlights: Industrial erupted for 21 points in the second quarter behind quarterback Matthew Davis, who passed for two touchdowns. Backup quarterback Ashton Garza added a 21-yard touchdown run for the Cobras' final score of the first half. San Diego's Mateo Sifuentes recovered a fumble and ran 70 yards to put the Vaqueros on the board before halftime. Garza added his second touchdown for the Cobras –– a 42-yard run two minutes into the second half and kicker Rider Ulloa connected on a 32-yard field goal to give Industrial a 31-6 lead. Richard Kurtz scored the game's final points on a 32-yard touchdown run.
Friday's stars: Sifuentes' 70-yard touchdown in the second quarter was a highlight for the Vaqueros. San Diego finished with 152 yards of offense. David led Industrial with 159 passing yards and two touchdown passes. Davis also ran for 107 yards and had an interception on defense. Clearance Hosey caught five passes for 98 yards and a touchdown from Davis. Mason Roe finished with four catches for 54 yards and a touchdown from Davis. San Diego quarterback RJ Valerio led the Vaqueros with 72 passing yards and ran for 50 yards. Sean Maldanado recorded an interception on defense and caught four passes for 34 yards from Valerio.
Next: Industrial vs. Lago Vista in a Class 3A Division I state quarterfinal matchup, 7 p.m. Friday, San Antonio Alamo Stadium.