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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Iraan Ends Plowboy Playoff Run, 35-18

Brayden Beal fires a pass to Max Nemir (5) in the playoff game with Iraan.
It had to happen sooner or later. In the playoffs, all the teams except one eventually suffer a disappointing season-ending defeat, and for the Plowboys it came Friday on a cold, windy evening in San Angelo as the undefeated Iraan Braves snapped Roscoe’s eight-game winning streak in the regional finals. The game’s final score was 35-18 but was closer than the score suggests, as the Plowboys hung tough until the final four and a half minutes, when Iraan scored the first of two touchdowns to put the game away.

Roscoe got on the scoreboard first when Brayden Beal hit Jose Ortega with a 12-yard pass midway through the first quarter. The kick failed, but the Plowboys were ahead 6-0. Shortly thereafter, Iraan responded with a drive ending in a one-yard TD run. Their extra-point kick was good, and they moved into a 7-6 lead, which was the score at the end of the quarter.

Early in the second quarter, Beal completed a 24-yard pass play to Javier Leaños for a touchdown, and the Plowboys regained the lead. They tried a 2-point conversion, but the run failed, which put the score at 12-7 Roscoe. Later in the quarter, the Braves scored again on a 30-yard run and then ran for two extra points to go up 15-12. Then, shortly before the half, Iraan again scored on another long run, this one for 52 yards, and at halftime the Braves were ahead 22-12.

There was no scoring by either team in the third quarter or the first half of the fourth as the defenses dominated, but with 4:35 left in the game Iraan completed a drive with a 7-yard run to increase their lead to 29-12, which pretty well sealed the Plowboys’ fate. Before game’s end they scored another touchdown as did Roscoe on a 5-yard pass from Beal to Isaiah Gonzales, and the game’s final score was 35-18.

The total number of first downs for both teams was equal, 19 each. The Braves amassed 406 total yards while the Plowboys had 324. Turnovers were equal as each team had one lost fumble and one interception.

For the game, Beal completed 22 of 48 passes for 288 total yards and 3 TDs with 1 interception. Leading receivers for the Plowboys were Ortega with 7 catches for 86 yards and 1 TD, Leaños with 5 for 98 and 1 TD, Rafael Aguayo with 4 for 36, Vincent Pantoja with 3 for 42, and Isaiah Gonzales with 3 for 26 and 1 TD. Beal led the Plowboy rushers with 9 carries for 20 yards, while Pantoja had 20 carries for only 19 yards as the Braves effectively shut down the Plowboys’ running game all evening.

The bad weather conditions—a sharp north wind with temperatures in the mid-thirties and wind chill in the twenties—favored the Braves because their offense relied almost exclusively on the run. Of their 406 total yards, 400 came by way of the run. They also benefitted from the fact that the Plowboys had not faced an opponent that ran their flexbone option offense and thus had no experience with defending it. For their part, the Plowboys’ offense relied heavily on the passing game, which is adversely affected by cold, windy weather. The cold made catching the ball harder, and the strong wind affected the accuracy of passes.

So, the Braves now move on to face Albany in the quarterfinals while the Plowboys’ season is over and turns to basketball. Even so, seen as a whole, their season can only be described as a huge success. They rarely played a team as small as they were, their losses all came to eventual playoff teams, most of which were larger both in terms of player size and in their schools’ number of students, and they played hard in every game.

Moreover, their undefeated district run and two playoff victories established them as an area power and raised the bar for the upcoming Plowboy teams. As senior Rafael Aguayo told the Abilene Reporter-News sportswriter who covered the game, “We set the foundation for the underclassmen. This is where it’s going to stay.”

For Aguayo and the other seniors on the team—Javier Leaños, Vincent Pantoja, Max Nemir, Kevin Lavalais, A. J. Renteria, Isaiah Gonzales, Anthony Ortegon, Ray Bohall, Luis and Bernardo Villa, Pablo and Erick Huidobro, and Tristan Navarette—their high school football careers are now history. But for the rest of their lives they will remember this season as the time they exceeded all expectations, won district, bi-district, and area, and went to the regional finals before being eliminated.

For Coach Jake Freeman and his assistants, the playoff run confirms the soundness of their system and the promise of more successful Plowboy seasons to come, for the players coming back and those coming up, it confirms the belief that winning requires teamwork, confidence, hard training, and the will to improve—and for the fans, it has been a joy to see the Plowboys overachieve week after week as they overcame their early losses to go on an eight-game winning streak and make it as far as they did.

Way to go, Plowboys! You done good!



Haley Bridges (35) makes a lay-up against the Lady Gorillas last night.
The Plowgirls showed lots of hustle in their home opener against Trent yesterday evening, but were no match for the Lady Gorillas* with the Beaver sisters, who between the two of them scored 38 of Trent’s 53 points.

The Lady Gorillas wasted no time, jumping out to a 16-4 lead in the first quarter and then coasting the rest of the way to an easy victory. The halftime score was 28-11, and at the end of three it was 41-20.

High scorer for the Plowgirls was Haley Bridges with 10 points, followed by Alejandra Solis with 4, Veronica Cuellar 4, Bergan Trevino 3, Karina Cisneros 3, and Magali Casas 2.

The Plowgirls will next play in the Highland Tournament starting on Thursday. The Plowboys also plan to play their first games of the season there this weekend. The JV teams will be at the Bronte tournament this weekend.

Next Tuesday both the Plowgirls and Plowboys will be back in Roscoe for games against Leuders-Avoca.

* People get a kick out of some of the Texas high school team names (Hutto Hippos, Muleshoe Mules, Ralls Jackrabbits, even Roscoe Plowboys) and even have contests about them (see here or here, for example). In doing so, they always cite the simplest form of the name, the ones the boys’ teams have. But as far as I’m concerned, the names for the girls’ teams can be even funnier. Since they always are derivative female versions of the boys’ team names, most schools generally just add Lady to the school’s team name (e.g., Lady Lions, Lady Eagles, Lady Sting Rays), which is generally awkward at best and in some cases downright ludicrous.

The Lady Gorillas is one that always makes me laugh, because the term Lady implies a degree of elegance, and there is nothing elegant about a "lady" gorilla or a "lady" rattler. In fact, I can think of no other context in life in which a human female will calmly accept--or even be proud of--being referred to as a Lady Gorilla, Lady Mule, or Lady Hippo. 

Another one I find amusing is the Robert Lee Lady Steers, which is a logical impossibility. More correctly, they should be the Heifers, but I guess the implied negative connotation associated with that word when applied to humans is a bit much. The same goes for Lady Bulldogs, whose more correct alternative is also unacceptable for a girls’ basketball team. I think the least abusive name for a girls’ team, at least in this area, is the female counterpart to the Haskell Indians, i.e., the Maidens. But compared to most of the other ones, Plowgirls works just fine. Go, Plowgirls!  



(Photo by Patty McBride)
The Roscoe area experienced an unusual event this past weekend, something I can’t ever remember seeing before—an ice storm with most of the trees still loaded with green leaves. The freeze we had the previous week was the first one we’d had this fall, and it wasn’t cold enough and didn’t last long enough to convince the trees to shed their leaves and go into winter mode.

Then on Thanksgiving a cold front moved in, bringing the predicted precipitation and dropping the temperature down to just below freezing on Friday morning. The high on Friday was only 43°, and there was intermittent rain all day and evening. The temperature dropped to just below freezing that night, and on Saturday stayed that way all day along with light rain falling from time to time. Ice began collecting on the leaf-laden trees, and as they got heavier, limbs started coming down. In a few cases, entire trees tipped over. On Sunday, starting about noon, it warmed up into the mid-thirties and melted all the ice, but the damage was done. Now, many of the trees still have their green leaves, but there are broken limbs on the ground all over town.

That’s the bad news. The good news is the amount of rain that fell. My rain gauge reported .12” on Thursday, 1.28” on Friday, .62” on Saturday, and .78” on Sunday for a total of 2.80”. Roscoe’s official total recorded by Kenny Landfried in east Roscoe was 2.46”, but I heard reports of from three to four inches from various local locations. In any case, there are puddles all over town again, the dry lakes are not dry, stock tanks and area lakes are fuller, and there is plenty of underground moisture for a jump start on next year’s crops.

After over four days of overcast weather, the sun finally came out on Monday at about noon, and temperatures got back into the fifties that afternoon. Yesterday had clearer skies and warmer temperatures with only light and variable winds. The forecast is for similar weather through the weekend--mostly sunny skies, little wind, and afternoon highs of around 60° with early-morning lows in the mid to upper thirties. There is no rain in the forecast.


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