Gonzales’ high-octane running offense wasted few opportunities as the Apaches made short work of their hosts, the Austin Crockett Cougars, in a 49-8 win at House Park in Austin Friday, Sept. 3.
After forcing a punt by Crockett with 5:24 left in the first quarter, Gonzales got to work on its first possession. Starting first and 10 at the Crockett 32, Cesar Matamoros took the ball down to the 15 on with the first carry of the night and then Braden Barfield then motored to the 2 to make it first and goal.
Matamoros then finished off the drive with a two-yard TD run. Junior QB Jarren Johnson then ran in the two-point conversion to make it 8-0 for the visiting Apaches with 4:41 left in the first.
The Cougars put together a drive on their second possession of the night, but Gonzales put the kibosh on Crockett’s scoring chances with an interception deep in Apache territory.
On Gonzales’ ensuing possession, Johnson found a huge hole in the Cougar defense and appeared to score on a 76-yard run with less than a minute to play in the first quarter, but unfortunately, a holding penalty wiped out the gain. However, Derrick Garza would score early in the second quarter on a 21-yard run with 11:07 left in the second. Johnson caught Crockett napping on the two-point conversion run to make it 16-0 for Apache Nation.
Matamoros picked up his second TD of the night later in the second quarter on Gonzales’ third possession with a 12-yard run. Yet another Johnson two-point conversion run made the score 24-0 with 7:05 left in the first half.
Crockett gave the Apaches a gift with a botched punt snap on their next possession that put Gonzales at the Cougar 9. That led to Matamoros’ third TD of the night on the very next play on a nine-yard run out of a Wildcat formation. The PAT kick was good, making it 31-0.
Special teams also came into play on the next Crockett drive as the Apaches blocked the next Cougar punt to give them the ball inside the Crockett 40. Garza scored his second TD of the night to make it 37-0 and the PAT kick was blocked with the Cougars running it back for a two-point conversion of their own to make it 37-2 with just over two minutes to play.
The second half opened with much of the same for the Apaches. Johnson showed off his arm with a long TD toss to Josh Esparza to make it 43-2 with 9:11 left in the third quarter. The PAT attempt failed.
With 30 seconds left in the third quarter, Gonzales looked prime to score yet again, but a lost fumble ended a promising Apache drive when Crockett recovered the ball at their own 17.
Braden Barfield broke a punt return, going from one side of the field to the other before taking it to the house, but unfortunately, the play was wiped out by a holding penalty on the Apache special teams. T.J. Riojas then went to work and finished off a drive with a one-yard plunge to make it 49-2 with seven minutes left in the game. The PAT attempt failed for the Apaches.
Crockett did get a last-minute touchdown run by quarterback Cameron Dickey after a direct snap with 1:19 left in the game to make it 49-8. However, the two-point conversion run was stuffed by a Gonzales defense that was stout all night.
Matamoros led all rushers with five carries for 72 yards and three scores, while Garza had six carries for 33 yards and two touchdowns. Other Apaches toting the rock included Barfield (three carries, 26 yards), Bryce Brown (4-22), Riojas (4-20-1 TD), Tyrann Webb (3-20), Johnson (3-14), Eleby (3-13), Jaydon Blackwell (2-10) and Sam De La Garza (1-2).
Johnson had a perfect night passing the ball, hitting on all seven attempts for 132 yards and one TD.
Barfield had three catches for 56 yards, while Esparza had one for 44 and the TD. Brett Breitschopf had two for 23 yards and Eleby had one for nine.
With the victory, the Apaches run their season record to 1-1 overall, while Crockett falls to 0-2. Next week, Gonzales plays their first home game of the season, hosting the Fredericksburg Billies at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 10, at Apache Stadium. It's Homecoming for Apache Nation.