Apaches score 24 unanswered to complete second-half come back


HONDO -- Down 14-0 headed to the half, the Apaches were out-played on all phases of the game. Yet at the half, the team adjusted, and Gonzales would score 24 unanswered points to end a two-game skid, moving the team to 2-3 overall.

Although the team turned around their luck on offense, defense and special teams, Seth Gibson’s play was one to highlight.

As the Apaches drove to the goal line down 14-0 with merely 5 seconds left on the clock, the team ran a trick play, similar to the one the Philadelphia Eagles ran in the Super Bowl. Gibson was inaccurate with his throw, missing an open Marvin Cardoza in the end zone, leaving the half with no points.

“We ran a trick play and pressure right before half got us and Seth felt really bad about it,” head coach Kodi Crane said. “But we trust our kids. We put the ball right back in his hands and he went and made a play.”

Down 14-7 early in the fourth, Gibson had a chance at redemption, picking up a fumble ball and returning it for the 79-yard touchdown. The scoreboard may have read 14-14, but Crane believed that play was essentially the game winner.

“That [fumble recovery] was the tying touchdown,” Crane said, “and that was the straw that kind of broke the camel’s back.”

The defense would not give up another first down for the rest of the game.

Meanwhile on offense, the Apaches run game opened up with halftime adjustments made to their blocking on outside runs. Elijah Holiday and James Martinez found the end zone with one rushing touchdown each. Daniel Cruz connected on a 26-yard field goal to make it 24-14 after the special teams unit recovered a pooch kick. That unit also faked a field goal which led to the Apaches first score of the night.

“Special teams played a huge role in this game,” Crane said. “The fake field goal leads to our first touchdown. The pooch kick we got back led to the field goal and then the field goal ices the game. Couldn’t be more proud of those guys.”

Matthew Velasquez-Banda ended the night with a defensive exclamation point, an interception to seal the game.

Gonzales (2-3) travels to Waco for a neutral-site game against Mineral Wells (4-0) on Thursday.