GONZALES — Beating a team like Giddings (4-4, 3-0) needed near-perfect execution through all three phases of football, from offense to defense and to special teams. The Gonzales Apaches (5-3, 2-1) made too many mistakes Friday night, losing their first district game of the season 38-20 to the Buffaloes.
“Giddings is a good football team,” Apaches’ Head Coach Kodi Crane said. “To beat a good football team you got to play good, you got to coach good and we didn’t do that. I told the kids after the game that’s on me. I’m the head football coach and we got to do better offense, defense and special teams, all three phases we had too many mistakes and we got to limit those mistakes and we’re going to.”
The Buffaloes defense stacked the box, which led the Apaches to some offensive changes early on as Garrett Rickman found Trevion McNeil on deep passes in their second drive of the game, one for 27 yards and another for 13 yards. James Martinez finished off that drive with a one-yard touchdown to tie the game 6-6 after a bad extra-point attempt.
“They had five people up front to stop our front,” Crane explained. “Five down linemen, two linebackers and two outside linebackers, they had people all over the place. We wanted to give it a shot and see.”
Defensively, the Apaches were gashed by quarterback Rustin Grimm who ran the read-option play. Grimm would score late in the second quarter on an 18-yard run to put the Buffaloes up 14-6.
After a bad kickoff return, Kalub Carrizales busted out a 94-yard touchdown run, to cut the lead to 14-13 after coaches opted for an extra-point kick.
“Whenever [Carrizales] got to the second level, he just went,” Crane said. “I’m very proud of him, very proud of the offensive line in that situation.”
But the second half proved to be too much as mistakes continued to pile with the first three Gonzales possessions ending on a turnover on downs and a blocked punt. Gonzales’ final touchdown came in the fourth quarter on a 13-play, almost four-minute drive that ended with a Rickman one-yard dive to the end zone, cutting the lead to 30-20. A failed onside kick attempt later, Giddings used 2:30 of the remaining 2:41 to get in the end zone on a fourth-down run to extend their lead to 38-20.
The Apaches now sit tied for second with Smithville (7-1, 2-1). Gonzales hasn’t clinched a playoff spot just yet since Columbus is at (1-6, 1-2 in district), they are a Columbus loss or a Gonzales win away from doing so.
The Apaches remaining opponents include a game this week against Caldwell (2-5, 1-2) and Smithville. Meanwhile, Giddings takes on La Grange (0-7, 0-3) and Columbus.