Dawgs dispose of Brackettville
Friday night, they went above-and-beyond the call of duty.
Taking advantage of four interceptions and four fumbles, the Bulldogs busted Brackettville 54-22 at venerable Alamo Stadium in a bi-district matchup for their first playoff victory since 2006.
By coincidence, the Bulldogs will now face the team that they last defeated in the postseason.
Thorndale (9-2) will take on La Villa (9-1) in the Class A, Division I, Region IV area tilt Friday at Victoria Memorial Stadium.
The game time has been changed from 7 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
The Bulldogs defeated La Villa 18-14 in the regional round in 2006.
(In that come-from-behind victory, Marcus Gest and Josh Culp had 100 yards each as the Bulldogs did not complete a pass. La
Who—Thorndale Bulldogs (9-2) vs. La
Villa Cardinals (9-1).
What—Class A, Division I, Region IV
When—Friday, 5:30 p.m.
Where—Victoria Memorial Stadium
(14,000 capacity, artificial surface).
Last week—Thorndale 54, Brackettville 22. La Villa had a bye.
Last meeting—Thorndale 18-14 in
2006. Bulldogs’ last playoff win.
Playoff history—Thorndale has 33
wins in 24 appearances.
District—La Villa was District 16A
champions at 3-0.
Last playoff appearance—Thorndale
2009, La Villa 2011.
Tigers to watch—Triplets, Robert
(QB), Ramon (DT) and Roman (OL)
Next up—Mason or Three Rivers.
Villa came into that game 11-0).
The Bulldogs nine victories are the most they have posted since that 10-4 season in 2006.
Mason is led by former Thorndale coach Kade Burns (14-6 in 2009-10).
The Bulldogs took the first step in meeting their old coach by bullying Brackettville (7-4), which finished the season with three straight losses.
The Bulldogs are riding a fourgame win streak and in their last three contests, are averaging 47 points a game.
Thorndale bolted out to a 41-6 halftime lead and cruised the rest of the way.
“They (Brackettville) just got rattled and were struggling on offense in the first half and we were working with a short field most of the time,” said Thorndale Coach Brent Brevard. “We capitalized on that, we didn’t have to drive more than 30 yards. All of that got them down and out of rhythm, out of sync.
The Tigers actually put the ball on the carpet eight times, but were able to retrieve half of them.
Bulldog quarterback Riley Schaefer and receiver Colton Austin formed a lethal connection through the air as Riley tossed four touchdown passes with 179 yards on 15-of-31 accuracy.
“We were able to hit some long passes and mix up the offense a little, but the only disappointment I have is that we had seven dropped passes—that’s too many.”
Austin, a sophomore, gathered in seven passes for 134 yards including a 48-yard bomb from Schaefer.
Schaefer and Aust in also accounted for half the Bulldog pickoffs. Schaefer has nabbed seven passes so far this season and the team has snared 20, almost two picks a game.
Schaefer now has 1,623 yards passing and 21 touchdowns this season, both school records. The junior has eight touchdown strikes in the past two games.
The Bulldogs had whisked to a 33-0 lead before most people had settled in the seats.
Of Thorndale’s five first half scores, three came through the air as Schaefer found Sam Stockton (13 yards), Keon Mays (4 yards) and Austin (48 yards) for touchdowns.
Austin broke off a seven-yard run to open the scoring and Darius Brooks closed out the first half blitzkrieg with a five-yard scamper into the end zone, following his 10-yard score at the outset of the second quarter.
Brooks wound up with 72 yards and a pair of touchdowns and is just 43 yards away from reaching the 1,000-yard plateau.
The last Bulldog to accomplish the feat was Marcus Gest in 2006.
Speaking of rushing, Thorndale completely clamped off the Tigers’ attack, limiting them to just 60 yards on 36 carries—an average of 1.6 yards per carry.
Scouting La Villa
The District 16A champions received a bye last week and enter Friday’s area contest with a ninegame winning streak in tow.
The Cardinals haven’t been on the losing end of a score since a 42-14 setback to Grulla in the opening week of the season.
La Villa, which is located between Edinburg and Harlingen and is 362 miles from Thorndale, allowed just 21 points in its three district games.
The Cardinals are led by firstyear coach Daniel Perez, who guided them to their first district title in four years.
“It feels good because our guys worked their butts off,” Perez said. “The kids were excited, the fans, everybody. Football is big in La Villa. It had been a while, and it’s awesome for our kids.”
La Villa features a trio of brothers (triplets) in quarterback Robert (6-foot-2, 180 pounds), defensive tackle Ramon (5-8, 230) and offensive lineman Roman (5-11, 220) Serna.
“It’s confusing,” Perez said. “I always get the kids’ names and initials mixed up.”
Robert returned from an ankle injury to throw four touchdowns in the Cardinals’ regular season 58-6 finale win over Santa Maria.
Receiver/defensive back Porky Castillo (5-foot-5, 140 pounds) is a two-way threat for La Villa. He’s the Cardinals’ top receiver as well as earning first-team All-State honors by the Associated Press last season.
The Cardinals, who for years were a run-dominant team, now employ a spread offense that features a passing attack.
“They basically run the same plays that we do,” Brevard said. “I have been really impressed with their quarterback and their overall athletic ability.”
Holland (5-6) made a hasty exit from the playoffs after being ousted by District 16A runner-up Ozona 41-21.
District 13A champion Weimar, which had a bye, will get Ganado in the area round after a 55-35 win over Ben Bolt.
Rushing—Brooks 145-957 14 TD,
Miller 42-286 3TD, Austin 41-277
5 TD, McCoy 51-276 TD, Barker
46-243 4TD, Mays 27-154 TD, Guzman 11-102 TD, Schaefer 44-158
4TD, Miller, J. 18-39, Salinas 2-(-23),
Passing— Schaefer 110-201-4,
1,623 yards 21 TD; Miller, J. 5-13-1,
95 yards TD; Mays 3-8-0, 36 yards,
Receiving— Mays 32-470 5TD,
Austin 25-478 7TD, Stockton 15-277
3TD, Guzman 5-120 2TD, Miller, J.
5-109 2TD, Gomez 8-85, Salinas
9-82 2TD, Miller 6-65 TD, Hafley
5-41, Bigan 2-10, Brooks 4-14, McCoy
This week—Thorndale vs. La Villa in Victoria; Weimar vs. Ganado.
Last week—Thorndale 54, Bracketville 22; Ozona 41, Holland 21; Weimar had a bye..
thorndale 54, Brackettville 22
THORNDALE—Colton Austin 7 run (Austin
THORNDALE—Sam Stockton 13 pass from
Riley Schaefer (Austin kick) 3:28
THORNDALE—Keon Mays 4 pass from
Schaefer (Austin kick) 1:21
THORNDALE—Austin 48 pass from Schaefer (run failed) 11:32
THORNDALE—Darius Brooks 10 run (Austin
BRACKET—Chris Cruz 75 pass from Colten
Stephenson (kick failed) 5:24
THORNDALE—Brooks 5 run (Austin kick)
THORNDALE—Austin 16 pass from Schaefer (Austin kick) 9:19
BRACKET—David Ortega 11 run (Cooper
Newsom pass from Quirez) 7:47
THORNDALE—Jake Miller 1 run (kick
BRACKET—E.Z. Rivas 11 pass from Johnathon Quiroz (Ortega pass from Quirez) 2:14
RUSHING—THORNDALE: Brooks 15-72
2TD, Austin 5-27 TD, Miller 10-60, Miller,
J. 3-12, Mays 1-2, Schaefer 3-(-8).
PASSING—THORNDALE: Schaefer 15-31-
1, 179 yards, 4 TD.
RECEIVING—THORNDALE: Austin 7-134
2TD, Stockton 2-15 TD, Mays 3-20, Brooks
1-8., Bigan 1-4.