GONZALES — This time of year, the only wins and losses that count are in evaluation. The Gonzales Apaches may have got into the end zone twice during their scrimmage against Smithville last Friday, but the results Head Coach Kodi Crane was looking for were whether the team showed progress this early in the process.
“We wanted to be a better football team whenever we left than whenever we stepped on the field and I think we accomplished that,” Crane said. “I think there were some really good things that we did. It’s a process. I think there’s some things we definitely have to improve on, without a doubt, but we did some great things tonight.”
The scrimmage was split into scripted plays and then a live quarter to end the night. The first part involved 12 plays for both teams, then 10 plays, 10 plays again and eight plays before a live 12-minute quarter ended the scrimmage.
Offensive line will be one to follow for the Apaches. Crane’s focus this season will be on improving the running game and that starts up front.
“I thought they did pretty well, we ran the ball pretty well,” Crane said of the linemen. “We got up and down. I think we missed a couple holes with our backs, and obviously yes I’m sure whenever we look at tape we’re going to step with the wrong foot every once in a while or bust an assignment every once in a while, but as a whole, I think we’re in a good spot. That was one of the key points for this football season, this football team is the development of the offensive line and I definitely think they are better right now than they were.”
Starting quarterback connected on a pass and later scored on a read-option keep a yard out from the goal line to start their first series. Left-handed backup quarterback Jessie Segura also had a hand in scoring when the second-team offense took to the field, connected first on a 21-yard pass then later on a 31-yard touchdown pass.
Crane highlighted many of his players for their play that night.
“I think Kenny Cavit had an awfully good game defensively and then he made that good catch” he said. “I think JT [Jared Esparza] played a good game defensively and was a physical blocker offensively. I think Marvin [Cardoza] had a good showing. I think our running backs… our offensive line, Trent Wilkerson. With those guys, you almost got to see it on tape. Alex Villa had a really good game. I think there were some good things.”
Many players were able to carry the ball during the scrimmage, and though the Apaches have been known in recent history to give the all off to multiple athletes, Crane did suggest that last Friday was to make sure they had tape on all of their backs and further evaluate their options at running back.
“This is our time to evaluate and see, like we talked about the other day, we have a lot of running backs and we just got to see which one is the best,” he said. “But yes, there’s going to be multiple carries for a lot of people because they all do different things.”
Defensively, the Apaches agitated the Smithville Tigers. In their first defensive series, the Apaches accomplished three three-and-outs, or “turkeys” as Crane likes to call them, while also forcing an interception. The young defensive ends also played well, sacking the quarterback twice during the live quarter.
“I think they did good,” Crane said of his ends. “There’s some technique/scheme things we got to clean up there whenever the quarterback got the edge on us and those things we got to fix and we will.”
It’s just August, but Crane knows that his team got better, and that’s all that matters for now.
“It’s one step at a time to get better.”
The Apaches travel to Jourdanton for a scrimmage with the hosts and George West tonight. Gonzales’ first regular season game is on the road at Geronimo where they take on the Navarro Panthers, with kickoff set at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 31.