Victoria West running back Gamarquis Girdy avoids being tackled by Cuero's Hunter Fales during the first quarter of Friday's game.
As of Saturday, September 8, 2012
VIDEO: Sites and sounds from Friday's games (Sept. 7)
Victoria West might have experienced its darkest days under head coach Leonard McAngus last week when they were embarrassed in its season opener.
But, McAngus is a man of faith, and he knows better than most that joy will come in the morning - or in this case, the next time his team steps under the Friday night lights.
Victoria West jumped on Cuero in the first half, and sustained that momentum all the way to a comprehensive 40-19 victory Friday night at Memorial Stadium.
"It's tremendous. That's what all the work is for, our kids persevered through some tough times, not only this year, but going back to last year there were some really tough losses," McAngus said about a team that lost seven straight games entering Friday. "Last week was as tough a loss as I've experienced in a long time.
"I was proud of our kids for coming back and fighting back. They believe in each other, they believe in what they are doing and they love playing football. They are not going to get down. It would have been easy to get down after that loss. I'm just proud of them."
West took a 20-0 lead into halftime after a trio of first-half rushing touchdowns - two from quarterback Garrett Rother and one from Malcolm Peoples.
"We came out and didn't have a very good first half," Cuero head coach Travis Reeve said. "They played extremely well. It was a learning experience for our team. We have to do better in a lot of areas. Give Victoria West and Coach McAngus credit, they played a great game tonight."
West outgained Cuero 351 to 307 Friday. But most of that Gobbler yardage was after halftime, when they trailed by three scores.
Their physicality on the offensive and defensive line, as well as their victory in the turnover margin were the keys to victory, McAngus said.
Jonathan Vahalik called the win "amazing." The senior left guard couldn't contain his smile. When asked how the Warriors were able to run for 282 yards and six touchdowns, Vahalik said the offensive line played low, made their reads and assignments.
"That was huge," Vahalik said about West having a plus-2 turnover margin. "That was one of our main problems coming into this game. We really turned it around. We worked hard this week to do that. We held onto the ball and made big holes for our running backs, blocked the linebackers so they didn't have to get hit."
The Warriors know Cuero is always a good team. McAngus said the Gobblers (1-1) are only going to get better under first-year head coach Travis Reeve.
Justin Kremling scored on a 42 yard touchdown run for Cuero, with 7:38 left in the third quarter, following West's only turnover of the night. From there the teams traded touchdowns drives.
Cuero's Blake Reeve had 215 total yards and two touchdowns, one rushing, one passing. Rother ran for 109 yards and three touchdowns. Qualian Bryant added a pair of second half touchdowns for Victoria West.
Junior linebacker Nathan Hermes said the Warriors practiced a lot harder in practice this week. He added the win, following a 55-12 loss at Lockhart last week, got the bad taste out of their mouths.
Hermes had five tackles and recovered a fumble on a kickoff return with eight minutes left to set up Qualian Bryant's second rushing touchdown of the night.
Jacob Armstrong led the Warriors with seven tackles. He also caught three passes for 23 yards. The senior said his team won because they hit hard, and protected the football - something they didn't do in that season-opening loss.
"I'm ecstatic," We ended a losing streak right there and I'm excited, it was 40-19. There are no words I can say for it."