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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - November 26, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas Page 8A — Herald-Zeitung — Saturday, November 26, 2005 Dennis Saur roots for his Canyon Cougars. SPORTS The next round A look ahead for Canyon, SY football Herald-Zeitung To have your sports event publicized. contact Will Wright at 625-9144, ext. 223, or by e-mail at [email protected] E DAILY l-C-K-ET Canyon hosts Smithson Valley Cougars welcome Rangers in Comal boys hoop showdown. Time: 7:30 p.m. Cougarette Classic begins Canyons annual girls basketball tournament features nine area teams. Time: ll a.m. Rangers-Mavericks rematch District 26-5A co-champs face each other for 5A-II Region IV title. II Time: I p.m. (KNBT-FM92.1) mmAggies give Horns all they can handle before succumbing, 40-29 COLLEGE STATION (AP) — Battered and bruised, Vince Young and No. 2 Texas are still undefeated and a step closer to the Rose Bowl. Even if it was a much tougher step than most expected. While far from perfect, Young and the Longhorns were good enough to keep their national title hopes intact with a tough 40-29 win over Texas A&M on Friday. Ramonce Taylor ran for two touch downs, Cedric Griffin returned a blocked punt for a score and the Longhorns survived Young's shakiest game of the season. The I leisman Trophy candidate wasn’t even the best quarterback oil the field against the Aggies, and for the first time since Texas won at Ohio State by three way back in September, the Longhorns had to put in a full (SO minutes oil work to notch the W. “I was never nervous. That’s not me,’’ Young said. ‘‘Nervousness, scariness, that’s not even in our vocabulary.’’ Young is one of the leading contenders for the I leisman T rophy, but A&M freshman Stephen McGee made the plays and provided the inspirational leadership the Longhorns usually get from their quarterback. Starting in place of injured senior Reggie McNeal, McGee ran for 108 yards and a pair of touchdowns as A&M made a strong run at pulling off one of the biggest upsets in a 111-year-old rivalry. “I wanted to have fun and lead these guys. I want to do it with every-thing I have,” said McGee, who raised his arms after both of his touchdowns to whip up the excited home crowd. “I’m already sore. I know ITI be sore tomorrow.” Young came in likely needing a big game to keep pace with USC’s Reggie Bush in the Heisman chase — and his penchant for making big plays in Texas’ biggest games seemed to guarantee it. Instead, he struggled against a defense ranked 109th in the country with 162 yards passing, 19 rushing and two turnovers that led directly to Aggies’ touchdowns. He did throw for a touchdown and led two key late drives for field goals. “There are some great guys in the running," for the Heisman, Young said. “I just want to keep playing and keep winning.... may the best man win.” Despite Young’s off game, Texas (11-0, 8-0) moves on to the Big 12 title game next Saturday against the winner of the North Division. Win that game and the Longhorns are a lock for a return trip the Rose Bowl on Jan. 4 to play for the Bowl Championship Series title. The Aggies (5-6, 3-5) did everything they' could to spoil those plans. Behind McGee and the punishing running of265-pound freshman Jor-vorski lane, the Aggies had the Longhorns reeling before finally running out of gas late in the fourth quarter. Lane ran for 104 yards on 17 carries. See HORNS, Page 9ASY thrashes Horns, returns to quarterfinalsDefense, special teams come up big in 56-28 win By Will Wright Sports Editor SMITHSON VALLEY — Larry I HU doesn’t mind if his team gives up a lot of yards — as long as the Rangers do the little things right to win. That’s exactly what happened against Laredo United in Friday’s Class 5A Division II regional semifinal, as the Rangers’ special teams and defense paved the way for the offense in a 56-28 rout of the Longhorns before 9,000 at Ranger Stadium. The Rangers had three kickoff returns lead to touchdowns and a fumble recovery lead to another as Smithson Valley turned a 14-7 deficit into a 35-14 lead at halftime. Smithson Valley tacked on two more touchdowns for 42 unanswered points and a 49-14 advantage with 2:32 left in die third quarter. Smithson Valley (12-1) is in the state quarterfinals for the sixth time in eight seasons. The Rangers will play District 26-5A foe San Antonio Madison (11-2) for the second time this season in the Region IV title game at I p.m. Saturday at Comalander Stadium. Laredo United, which had never gone this deep in the state playoffs, ends its season 11-2. The teams combined for over 1,000 yards offense, with United totaling 453 yards and DAVID INGRAM/H erald-Zeitu ng Smithson Valley's Blane Oertli (43), Kendal Volz (9) and Matt Pfister (15) make a meal out of Laredo United quarterback David Garza during the Rangers' 56-28 victory over the Longhorns Friday in the teams' Class 5A-Division ll regional semifinal game at Ranger Stadium. Smithson Valley tallying a season-high 559. But the Rangers initially had a tough time solving the Uinghorns’ pass-happy offense, akin to the attack Round Rock Westwood had in its 37-15 season-opening loss to Smithson Valley in August. United quarterback David Garza completed 25 of 38 passes for 307 yards, but got most of it in the first two drives of the game. Smithson Valley countered with a stellar performance by junior quarterback Bryan I fill, who completed 18 of 19 passes for 209 yards. I fill passed under the Longhorns zone, hitting nine different receivers for gains. None of his passes went for more than 20 yards, but the sum total took its toll. I lis son wasn’t quite perfect, but the coach said he ll take it all the same. “Wily did he have that one? He shouldn’t have had any,” Hill jokingly said of Bryan’s one incompletion. “But they were laying off of us and we were throwing underneath. We should have had a high percentage, but Bryan did a good job of deciding when to throw. That was a big deal, too.” Hill wound up with three scoring passes, with one to Stephen Hall and two others to Cody Beyer, who led Rangers receivers with eight catches for 82 yards. But it was the kicking game that jump-started the Rangers, as Clay Fuller’s 72-yard return set up Smithson Valley s first score and Andrew Sendejo’s 36-yarder set up the second. “No one ever talks about special teams — they want to know how many returning starters you have on defense and offense,” Hill said. “But we have our two deep snappers and kickers and everybody returning kicks back from last year. We spend a lot of time on it, and it might have made the difference today.” Smithson Valley countered Garza’s 30-yard scoring run and 46-yard TD toss to J.]. Urrtangawith BlakfcSchrodkSs TD rims of 7 and * yards in the first quarter. Ryan Moczygemba’s fumble recovery set up Hill’s I-yard plunge that made it 21-14 with 7:JO left in the second quarter. Cody McKinney’s 18-yard run had helped set up that score, which turned the tide for the Rangers. “We finally got the momentum back in our direction. We hadn’t stopped them yet and they hadn’t stopped us,” Hill added. “But we didn’t want to get into trading touchdowns with them. But that fumble recovery and then we got the big run, that seemed to get us going.” Sendejo’s 20-yard kickoff return set up Hill’s 10-yard scoring toss to Hall, and another short drive was capped by Hill’s 13-yarder to Beyer that made it 35-14 with 56 seconds left in the first half. See RANGERS, Page 9A Cougars beat E-E, reach quarters ALEX JONES/McAllen Monitor Canyon defenders Brian Hidalgo (45), Dustin Schuetz (42), Matt Conklin (23) and Jems Springfield (9) bring down Edcouch-Elsa quarterback Jorge Rubio (5) during the Cougars' 38-10 victory over theYellowiackets Friday in the teams' Class 4A-Division ll regional semifinal playoff in Corpus Christi. By John Allen Sports Correspondent CORPUS CHRISTI — After two weeks of second-half drama, Canyon was preparing to end the streak Friday night in the Class 4A-Division II Region IV semifinals. Then Cougars quarterback J.D. Kunz ended up on the wrong end of a helmet-to-hel-met hit. Dazed for the moment, Kunz went to the sideline and last year’s starter, Cameron Henk, found himself in the middle of the season’s important drive to date and trailing 10-7. The senior ran for 33 of the final 48 yards on the drive, including the go-ahead touchdown, as the Cougars handed Edcouch-Elsa its first loss of the season, 38-10, at Buccaneer Stadium. Canyon (12-1) advances to meet Corpus Christi Calallen (12-1) in the regional title game next weekend at a site and time yet to be deter mined. “Cameron’s a pretty good quarterback,” Cougars head coach Les Davis said. “He was our starter last year and for the good of the team moved to safety. He still gets some time at quarterback, and we’re comfortable with him in there.” Davis also likes having I lenk on defense, where the safety had a tackle for loss and ended an Edcouch-Elsa scoring threat with an interception in the end zone in the fourth quarter. T he Cougars’ defense gave up two scoring drives in the first 13 minutes, but did not allow a first down in the second and third quarters. “Early in the game (Edcouch-Elsa quarterback Jorge) Rubio made a great run on the cutback,” Davis said. “But we settled down. The kids adjusted on the run. The linebackers did a better job of taking good angles." Erie Skolaut and Adrian Milburn also had interceptions for Canyon. Skolaut returned his off a tipped pass 30 yards for a fourth-quarter score. Matt Conklin forced a fumble and had two tackles for losses. While Rubio tallied 110 yards total offense in the first quarter, he had only 101 the rest of the game. Edcouch-Elsa running back Ronnie Vil-lalpando, who had more than 1,000 yards rushing on the season, had only four yards Friday night. With the defense settling in, the offense churned behind the offensive line and running back Chase Wilke. “We haven’t given Chase as many carries as he is used to getting the last couple of weeks,” Davis said. “Tonight, he got his carries, and sooner or later he’s going to break one.” Wilke did just that to open See COUGARS, Page 9A ;