Cowboys open district with win
By Jeremy Hadley, Contributing Writer The Edna Cowboys got their first win of the season Friday night, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. They defeated the Goliad Tigers 15 to 8 in a thrilling game that came down to the final play.
The Edna offense got off to a slow start on their first possession and ended up turning the ball over on downs. The Tigers wasted no time getting down the field and quickly scored on a 40 yard touchdown run just four minutes in to the game. A two point conversion made the score 8 to 0 and those eight points would prove to be the last given up by the Cowboys defense for the night.
The Cowboys offense seemed to find some traction on their next drive, and picked up some good yardage on a pass from Jaiden Clay to Layton Ressman. The big pass play got the Cowboys across the 50 yard line, but Goliad’s defense stepped up and forced a punt three plays later.
Edna’s defense appeared to be fired up when they came back out, and Dawson Kallus set the tone with a crushing tackle on first down. Two plays later the Tigers tried to run around the right side for a first down, but Jaqwon Reed defended the edge perfectly and made the tackle to force a punt. After Edna’s next series was cut short by a fumble, the defense came up big again forcing the Tigers to cough up the ball and Reed again made a big play when he recovered it at the goliad 30 yard line. “The defense played amazing,” said Reed, “we came out and fought hard all four quarters.”
This time around the offense was able to take advantage of the good field position. Clay threw a pass out in the flat to Cameron Thornton, who cut through the defense for an apparent touchdown, but a block in the back moved the Cowboys back to the 18 yard line. Undeterred, Clay found Thornton again, this time over the middle, for a touchdown with no flags on the field. Santiago Villanueva added the PAT and the Cowboys were now only down by one.
The first half ended with another good stand by the defense as they bent, but did not break, and kept the Tigers out of the end zone as the first half clock ticked down to zero.
The second half started with Goliad at the 6 yard line, thanks to great kick coverage by the Cowboys. A tackle for a loss by Michael Salazar and Brady Davis forced the Tigers to punt it back to Edna from deep in their own territory. Edna’s offense couldn’t get going either, but a booming punt by Dawson Kallus pinned the Tigers down at their own one. The Cowboys defense continued to dominate and snuff out any chance of Goliad extending their one point lead.
After both offenses struggled to move the ball throughout most of the second half, it was the Cowboys defense who asserted themselves in the fourth quarter.
Goliad was at their own 32 yard line and trying to run the clock out and escape with a win when Paden Bradley came flying in to the backfield and crashed in to the ball carrier five yards behind the line. On the next play, Ressman made a great play when he took on the lead blocker on a sweep and forced the back to turn up and be tackled for a short gain. Heavy pressure by Salazar caused a bad throw on third down, and with the clock winding down in the fourth quarter, the Tigers were forced to punt. As the ball was snapped, Drake Tarver raced past a blocker and got a hand in to block the punt. As the ball bounced back toward the end zone, Tarver picked it up and fought his way all the way down to the goliad 20 yard line.
“I lined up and I knew we needed the points, so I was just going to go through the blocker and see what I could do,” said Tarver.
With the momentum from that great special teams play and the roar from the Edna crowd, it took just one play to give the Cowboys their first lead of the night. With a 20 yard touchdown run by Ashford and the two point conversion ran in by Clay, the Cowboys led 15 to 8 with just two minutes in the game. An interception by Kolton Graham as time ran out sealed the win and put an exclamation point on the end of a hard-fought win for the Cowboys.
Next up for the Cowboys (1-4) is a road game at Orange Grove (3-1).