GONZALES — That key stop just wasn’t there in the third quarter as the Gonzales Apaches (1-2) lost their homecoming game 33-14 against the Yoakum Bulldogs (2-1).
Down 14-7 to start the second half, Gonzales’ Arbreyon Dora (10) returned the opening kickoff for a 79-yard touchdown. The ensuing extra point made it 14-14, just 10 seconds into the third quarter. That score would end up being the Apaches final score of the night.
“We did some really good things. We were, minus one play, outstanding on special teams,” Gonzales head coach Kodi Crane said. “I think Arbreyon showed a big-time spark out there, something we can build off of and learn from.”
Yet the next series, the Bulldogs drove it down the field on a 10-play, 69-yard touchdown drive that ended with a two-yard run by Yoakum’s senior back Montreal Jones.
The Apaches offense couldn’t answer, going three-and-out before punter Adrian Rodriguez’s kick was blocked by Deandre Johnson and picked up by Caleb Byrnes for a 29-yard touchdown, making the score now 27-14. Yoakum’s final score came a series after, a five-play, 41-yard touchdown drive for the insurmountable 33-14 lead.
“We couldn’t get ourselves off the field,” Crane said of his defense.
Yoakum couldn’t convert on third down in the first half, but was 3-of-5 in the second half, including a 31-yard run by Mayson Arkadie on 3rd-and-7 on the scoring drive that gave Yoakum 33 points.
“There’s turning points in every football game,” Crane explained, “and at that point, we got to go out there and get a stop and we didn’t. and we let them get their momentum back under them and go.”
Meanwhile on offense, the Apaches went 2-of-6 in the first half and 1-of-5 in the second half on third down.
The offense failed to convert a first down in the third quarter, then got three first downs, two of which came on the final possession of the game.
“We did not have the consistent run game that we got to have to beat a team of that caliber,” Crane said. “[Yoakum] is an outstanding team, so to beat those type of teams … we have got to have a consistent and steady run game. It was in spurts tonight, but not constant enough.”
Although the dangers of inclement weather pushed the game to Thursday, Crane doesn’t believe that was a factor in the loss against Yoakum.
“They had to play on Thursday too,” he said. “No matter when you play the game, you got to play the game.”
Crane continued by saying the team will use Friday to review film, then “play it by ear from there what we think is best for our football team moving forward.”
The Apaches (1-2) take on Cuero on the road for their annual rivalry game. Cuero (1-1) plays El Campo Friday night.