The Apaches celebrated homecoming with a 43-21 blowout over the Hondo Owls to move to 4-1, their best start since 2013. The 22-point victory didn’t tell the entire story as the Apaches had three touchdowns called back, two in one series, due to penalties.
“Well 4-1 is 4-1,” Gonzales head coach Mike Waldie said. “A little sloppiness puts just a little bit of a weird taste in your mouth and i tell the kids, there’s no style points. You don’t get two Ws for a W. I’m not going to change that now, you know, one-point wins or 22-point wins.”
“I’m disappointed with some of the holding calls on some big plays, I thought we had a chance to put our foot on their throat, which was a goal tonight,” he added. “But you don’t want to be disappointed in a really good win and I’m so proud of the 4-1 start. But I wanted to put a team away and we didn’t quite do that tonight, we gave them just enough life.”
Even with the mistakes, the Apaches played well, with the starting defense giving up just seven points. Hondo’s other touchdowns came off an interception return for a touchdown and a late score with less than two minutes to go against a backup defense.
“Defense really held them to seven points, they played hard,” Waldie said. “[Hondo’s] quarterback is a special kid. He’s a good player, one of the better ones we’ve seen this year. Throws the ball very well.”
Offensively, the Apaches took advantage of their run game, with quarterback Heath Henke, running back Dillen Ramos and occasional wildcat quarterback Arbreyon Dora gashing the Hondo defense.
Up 29-14, the Apaches showed both the good and the bad of their offense, with two touchdown runs called back on penalties. Ramos’ 76-yard touchdown run and Dora’s 42-yard touchdown run were both called back, the former due to offsetting personal fouls and the latter due to a holding call. But the duo of Ramos and Henke still took advantage of holes opened up by their offensive line, with Henke ending the nearly six-minute long drive with a 13-yard touchdown rush. Henke ended the night with three touchdowns. Dora had two touchdown runs and Ramos added another.
“I was proud of the o-line, I thought we set the line of scrimmage fairly well tonight,” Waldie said. “Heath’s a champ.”
The Apaches now 4-1 have their best start since 2013, the season where they lost to La Grange in the state quarterfinals. Next week, the team is on a bye after the coaching staff decided to drop the game neutral-site game in Waco against Mineral Wells.
“I hate, again, I didn’t mean to be disrespectful but it just did not fit our program,” Waldie said of the game, “and I said whether we’re 1-4, 3-2, 2-3, 4-1, 5-0, whatever it was, we wanted to be the best football team getting ready for Pleasanton and now we have two weeks to do that. No doubt we made the right call.”
Gonzales takes on an unbeaten Pleasanton (5-0) team on Friday, Oct. 11 at home. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.