Next man up

Apaches rally behind senior leadership to win first playoff game since 2015


JOURDANTON -- This bi-district champion Gonzales Apaches look nothing like the Week 1 Gonzales Apaches. Injuries have forced the Apaches to move players to different positions, but that “next man up” mentality head coach Kodi Crane has on the program proved to be the difference in their 35-15 victory over the Kingsville King Brahmas on Thursday.

Getting the bulk of the carries was senior Seth Gibson, who had a total of four touchdowns, including three in the first half, with nearly 200 yards rushing in the game. Gibson had to step in for senior running back James Martinez who sat the second half with an injury.

“Seth can go,” Crane said. “James was tweaked a little bit and Seth stepped right in and filled the shoes.”

Gibson is a key cog in the Apaches defense, proving as much with an interception to add to his stellar first half. Yet with the reliance now on putting him in the backfield, the Apaches were forced to move some players around defensively.

“Once again, it tweaks our defense a little bit,” Crane explained. “We had [Michael Bosquez] and [Chris] Box step up, making plays on that side of the ball. These kids are next man up mentality. We talked about this senior class the whole time, I mean, how beautiful. So proud of them. Love them to death. Could not ask for more, they’re ultimate competitors.”

The defense was as dominant as ever, even with the lineup changes, forcing five turnovers, including interceptions by Gibson, Kenneth Cavit, Isaac Longoria and Abreyon Dora while also adding a fumble recovery by Trent Wilkerson. The Apaches defense surrounded Brahma’s quarterback #13 Raziel Garcia all night.

The playoff victory is Gonzales’ first since 2015 and their 11th bi-district championship in school history.

“It’s extremely important for the program because of how hard and how good of kids these seniors are,” Crane said of the win. “We asked the kids all the time to give to the program, but whenever you have the opportunity to give back to them and reward all their hard work for everything they’ve done.”

Crane also gave props to a loud Apache community who traveled down to Jourdanton to support the team.

“That’s a community coming together,” he said. “That’s the beauty of Texas High School football, whenever you have so many people with a vested interest. You get out here and look at both sides from pregame, the people of Gonzales cares about football and they’re here supporting these players busting their rear end.”

The Apaches will take on the winner between Liberty Hill and Bay City next week. Details on when and where will be announced.