New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - November 12, 1991, New Braunfels, Texas
SportsPage 6 HerakJ-Zt/fting, New Braunfels, Texas
Jason LaRue was one of several individually outstanding football players for Smithson Valley this season.
Tuesday, November 12, 1991
Rangers prove competitive
Talented SY still looking to improve in tough 26-4A
By JOE BELK Sports Editor
Smithson Valley Coach Joe Matulich knows his Rangers are playing quality football. However, in the distnct Smithson Valley is rn, he added thai ii wili take another step to reach the top.
“Looking back in retrospect and trying to be objective, we had a good year.” Matulich said. “That’s three years in a row we’ve played real good football. Still, we haven’t been able to get over the top as far as making the playoffs or winning a lot of games in district.”
The Rangers went 1-4 in an extremely tough Distnct 26-4A, which had four of the top area 4A teams rn Bastrop. Gem ens, Lockhart and Hays. Smithson Valley entered distnct with a 3-1-1 record, with the other loss coming to a Boerne team which qualified for the playoffs.
“Of the team’s we lost to, Boerne had the worst record ai 7-3; everyone else was 8-2 or (better),” he said “We competed with them for the most pan. and they’re all going to the playoffs expect Lockhart and Bastrop. It’s encouraging to know you played with the two people thai are represent
ing your distnct. Maybe the kids gained some respect.”
Smithson Valley was very close to winning games at Clemens and Hays, dominating the Rebels in a loss and having a chance to defeat district-champion Clemens. Those two games followed a turning point for the Rangers, as the team finished strongly after its one bad outing against playoff-contending Lockhart.
“I was encouraged by the way we played the last three ball games,” Matulich said. “After two losses, we rebounded and finished on a real good note. We only won one, but we had a chance to win all three.”
Smithson Valley opened its district season against Bastrop, with the Bears at the time ranked first in the state rn 4A. The Rangers lost 16-0, bul only one of Bastrop’s IO opponents — Clemens — held dw Bears to fewer points.
“We played Bastrop real well. We moved the football on them real well; we just didn’t score,” Matulich said. “We’ve played them good the last two years.”
He said that District 26-4A was extremely com
petitive and not likely to become any easier in future seasons, as teams such as Bastrop and Clemens are dynasties while Hays and Lockhart have quality programs which have improved in the past
“We’re playing good people. With the overwhelming strength of the district, you know you have to play every Friday night," Matulich said. “We played hard almost every ball game. It’s just a tough league.”
He said the Rangers proved that they had a lot of talent and heart, playing hard and playing well against the toughest of the district teams.
“As far as playing good football, we did play some really good football,” Matulich said. “Parts of the Boerne game and the Lockhart game were the only two where we really didn’t play. We played — for the most part — pretty good, mistake-free football.”
Smithson Valley had a number of impact players on the team, with many of the top skill players and linemen having to play both ways for all or most of
SM RANGERS, Pag« 7
Rangers 7, Fredericksburg 7 (tie)
Smithson Valley scored on its opening drive and then never again in a rain-soaked contest at Fredericksburg. The Billies’ touchdown was on virtually their only big gain of the game. Hie Ranger defense did a good job of holding off Fredericksburg, with Jeremy Stewart flying across on the field on a memorable play to knock down a pass on a faked field-goal attempt.
Rangers 58, Floresville 0
One of the most lopsided wins in school history occurred in Week 2 at Floresville, as three Smithson Valley backs topped IOO yards. Jason Boss led the way with his biggest game of the year, with 150 yards and four touchdowns on only eight carries. Corey Henderson and Jeremy Stewart also had more than IOO rushing yards each.
Rangers 47, Leander 6
This was the second rout in a row for the Rangers, with Leander being held to one first down before a late, inconsequential scoring drive. Boss had 132 yards and two scores, while quarterback Jason Long passed for two touchdowns. Stewart, who alternated at quarterback, completed three of three passing attempts.
Rangers 36, Cole 14
Smithson Valley threw two passes in this game, with both of them being touchdowns to sophomore split end Bryan Wieland. One of the passes was from Long and the other from Stewart. The rushing attack was extremely balanced, with Long and Amulfo Hernandez tying for the team lead with 66 yards. Cole’s scores came on two long pass plays, as the Cougars were otherwise kept in check.
Boerne 21, Rangers 3
Boerne scored two touchdowns in the first seven minutes, then held on to win an otherwise tight game. Greyhound backs Jeff Smith and John McCracken both had big games, with Smith breaking two long touchdown runs. Smithson Valley’s score followed a blocked field goal by Mark Cooper, with Jason Long making two big plays to get the team downficld for a Walter Cordaro field goal which was tipped but still just cleared the uprights as the first half ran out. Boerne held the Rangers on a crucial fourth-down play at the 6-inch line early in the third quarter.
Bastrop 16, Rangers 0
The state’s leading rusher, Anthony Hubbard, was the only Bear to hurt Smithson Valley. The Bastrop fullback ran for 167 yards and two touchdowns. Bastrop had 198 penalty yards with 19 infractions, hurting themselves as three apparent scores — two touchdowns and a safety — were called back. The Rangers had the most success of any team to that point against Bastrop, holding the Bears to 150 yards less than their average total offense and getting more than twice the yards (239) the Bears had been giving up. Jason LaRue had a phenomenal game defensively, with the linebacker stopping several would-be touchdowns.
Lockhart 23, Rangers 0
Smithson Valley played its worst game of the year against its second undefeated opponent in a row. The Rangers were held to five first downs, one of which came on a fake punt that was the best offensive play of the game. Lockhart QB Mark Mosqucda had 163 yards and three touchdowns.
Clemens 21, Rangers 18
Extra points were the difference in this game, as the Rangers had two blocked and missed a conversion pass against the eventual 26-4A champions. However, the game was a remarkable return to form after the Lockhart debacle, with Smithson Valley’s adjustments paying off in a big way. Jason LaRue — whose offensive role was expanded for the game — ran for a touchdown Mid caught a TD from Jason Long, while Long also ran for a score.
Rangers 26, Canyon 7
Smithson Valley scored all of its points in the first half, winning the Comal Bowl for the first time in school history. Jason Long and Jason LaRue each scored two touchdowns, with Long rushing for 144 yards. Jason Boss added more than 90 yards, with LaRue rushing for 79. The Rangers rushed for 398, yards, while compiling almost 500 yards of total offense.
Hays 12, Rangers 6
Turnovers hurt Smithson Valley in a game the Rangers otherwise dominated, with an early fumble taking away a scoring opportunity and a late one giving Hays position for the tie-breaking touchdown. The Rangers held Hays to 169 total yards while amassing 307 of their own and controlling the ball for more than 29 minutes. Two Walter Cordaro field goals accounted for the team’s only points. The Rangers had a balanced offensive attack, led by Jeremy Stewart’s 95 yards of tandem offense and Jason Boss’ 59 yards rushing.
Bears go to basics
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Chicago Bears wort back to the basics on third down — and there was almost no stopping them.
Using short passes and up-the-
middle runs — along with some Minnesota miscues — the Bears convened seven of 13 third downs ami one fourth down en route to their best offensive performance of Ihe year and a 34-17 victory over the Vikings Monday night
The victory, their first at the Metro-donie rn lour years, gives the Bears (8-2) a two-game lead over Detroit in their quest for their seventh NFC Central title in the last eight seasons
“lf there's one thing that Coach
Ditka stresses, its winning the division games, and our goal is to win them all,” said Chicago quarterback Jim Hut haugh
With five games left fur the Vik-mgs (5-6), coach Jerry Bums ail but conceded the division utle to the Bears
To a player and a coach, credit for Chicago’s clutch, third-down success was given to Mike Ditka’s decision to use tricd-and-irue plays instead of the new plays usually added to anack the weakness of that week’s opponent.
“They were all plays that we’ve run the last two years,” Harbaugh said. * ‘They gave me a chance to have a little more input on the third-down plays, and the ones that they were calling tonight were the ones that I was really the most confonable with. And I felt so confident every time that one of them came in that I knew I was going to hit ti.”
With the Vikings’ help, the Bean convened six third- or fourth-down situations on their first two drives to take a 14-7 lead
The Bears kept their first drive alive with two third-down conversions — one when Reggie Rutland was called for pass interference and the other cai Harbaugh’s 12-yard pass to Wendell Davis. Five plays after Davis’ catch. Neal Anderson scored on a 6-yard run lo tic *he game.
Unicom basketball meeting Wednesday
The New Braunfels basketball program will host a preseason meeting for parent* and boosters on Wednesday.
The meeting is scheduled for 7 pun., in Room D-l I ai New Braunfels High School.
Season tickets me currently on sale, and may be purchased at the meeting
or at the high school.
New Braunfels will host a scrimmage on Saturday, with Dripping Springs, Madison, Lockhart and the Unicorns participating The scrimmage it set to run between IO un. and I pun., before Saturday's 2 p.m. bidistrict football playoff game at San Antonio’s North East Stadium.
Three stars share Player of Week honor
by JOE BELK Sports Editor
Each Comal County team had an outstanding offensive player in Week IO, with all three sharing the HeraldZettung's Comal County Offensive Player of the Week honor.
Dennis Bryan of New Braunfels had a phenomenal game, catching four passes for 68 yards and a touchdown. Three of Bryan’s receptions came on third-and-long situations, with two extending drives and the other ending one with a touchdown.
“He just played a tremendous game,” Coach Lew Simmonds said after Bryan’s heroics helped the Unicorns defeat Seguin and — combined with a Hallandale upset of McCollum — win the District 25-5A title. “He made catch after catch when we just had to have it. That's probably the best game we’ve had from anyone this year.”
Bryan also returned a punt 80 yards for a score, and intercepted a Seguin pass on defense.
Rushing for 102 yards isn’t easy on anyone, but to do it against one of the toughest defensive teams rn the state is a major feat.
Canyon’s Jeremy McElroy did that against Bastrop, with the Cougar single-back hitting 102 yards on 15 carries.
“That’s a great job,” Canyon Coach Larry Nowomy said. “We might have had the most yards anyone’s had on diem all year — we £<* 267 yards on them.”
The Cougars lost to Bastrop 21-0, but held the Bears scoreless until Anthony Hubbard's touchdown late in the third quarter. McElroy had by far the best rushing game of any Cougar during district
For Smithson Valley, Jeremy Stewart was a catalyst in Smithson Valley’s offense against Hays.
The wingback rushed for 52 yards on IO carries, and caught three passes for 43 yards.
“He made what was really a great catch on one of those,” Smithson Valley Coach Joe Matulich said. “He just had a good game overall.”
Defensively, Smithson Valley’s Walker Steubing earns the Player of the Week award after an outstanding game against Hays.
The senior defensive tackle made IO tackles and a VA sacks of Rebel standout quarterback Jamey Whitlock, who was sacked five limes by a concentrated Ranger defensive effort.
“He played areal good game.” Matulich said.
New Braunfels* top defensive players also deserve mention, as free safety Andrew Juarez and linebacker Jason Turner both had strong efforts against the Matadors.
Juarez intercepted a Seguin pass, but was nominated primarily for consistent play throughout the game.
"He just graded out real well,” Simmonds said. “He played a real solid bal! game.”
Turner, the Unicorns’ leading tackler, had nine tackle* and 12 assists during the season finale. In six district games, Turner made 92 tackles.
Free safety Trey Daffin finishes as the Cougars' defensive MVP for the second week in a row, with the junior having a strong game against Bastrop.
“Trey really had a big night,” Nowotny said. “He made some big hits md some big stops '
Honorable mentions for the Cougars were Mack
Mills and Blake Soechting on defense. Mills stopped Bastrop twice on fourth down, while Soechting was tough up front with some big plays behind the line of scrimmage.
Anthony But., j had one of his best games receiving, catching four passes for 80 yards against the Bears. Rodger Mack also helped the Canyon offense with a strong effort receiving.
*' Both of them deserve a lot of credit,' ’ Nowotny said.
Jason Boss and Jason Long received honorable mention for Smithson Valley, with Boss rushing for 59 yards on IO carries and Long passing for 118 yards while rushing for 39.
Defensively, Jason LaRue had IO tackles to tie Steubing for the team lead, and he teamed with Steubing on a sack Mike Dwyer and Doc York both had seven tackles and a sack, while Larry Sloan added five tackles and a sack.
Three players on New Braunfels’ offensive line earned mentions: Todd Kading, Mail Busmen and David Walter.
“They’ve had great years,” Simmonds said. “This is one of die most solid, consistent lines we’ve had. They're all good; diere’s just not a weak link.”
Tailback Jacob Leos and quarterback Michael Sierra also played well for New Braunfels. Defensively, James Sargent had an interception and a strong overall game, and die Unicorns also received good efforts from Shawn Jurica, Daniel Cantu, Erie Lieke and Dustin Simons,
“We just really had good games across the board,” Simmonds said.