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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - November 29, 1991, New Braunfels, Texas Friday, November 29, 1991Sports HerakJ-Zfftung, New Braunfels, Texas Page 9 Canyon's Miguel Martinez (#40) often left would-be tacklers in the dirt during the 1991 season. Martinez was the Cougars’ leading rusher and receiver, and he also punted and played defense. Cougars 1991 Coogs faced talented opponents Nowotny: Inexperienced team’s effort never a question By JOE BELK Sport! Editor During the Lockhart game this year, the Lions broke open a close football game to defeat the Canyon Cougars in the second half. This, unfortunately, became a pattern for the Cougars, who would hang in games with District 26-4A’s elite before allowing second-half scores. “I think the youth and inexperience of our football team showed up. It wasn’t necessarily conditioning or anything like that,” Canyon Coach Larry Nowotny said. ”1 didn’t ever think it had anything to do with effort. We played hard against real good football teams, and sooner or later, we eventually wore down. “We played some decent football against Lockhart, against Clemens and against Bastrop. The Bastrop game was 21-0, but it was 14-7 if we don’t throw that interception. Those are the kind of things that happen to you when you’re struggling.” Nowotny said the football seemed to bounce away from the Cougars in their 0-5 District 26-4A campaign, noting a game against Hays in which the Rebels had approximately nine fumbles and recovered all but two. “When you’re playing well, the ball seems to bounce right to you and the close calls seem to be going your way,” he said. ‘‘When you’re struggling and fighting for everything you get, those things seem to go against you. That’s what happened this year.” But as Nowotny talks about the inexperience of this year’s team, he is also looking forward to an experienced returning group next season. I “For the first time in the years I’ve been here, we have some people coming back with significant varsity experience,” he said. ‘‘Defensively, we’ve got a good nucleus of individuals. That’s got to make us better.” The Cougars started the season on a strong note, defeating Leander soundly before winning a close, high-scoring game at Del Valle. Canyon then suffered lopsided loss to strong Boerne and Southwest teams before earning a winning preseason with a victory against Randolph to complete the nondistrict season. ‘‘The three teams we beat were all non-playoff contenders. Those were teams we were probably pretty equal to,” Nowotny said. “We deserved to win those games.” He said the games against Boerne and Southwest helped the team know what it would be getting into in district. “Those were two good football teams, talent-wise,” he said. ‘‘You like to play good football teams early in the year. You like to play some you know you can win or that will be close, and some against playoff contending teams to know where you stand. After those games, you’ve got to try to make some adjustments to better yourself.” The experience of those two games helped Canyon, as the Cougars played sporadically well against the tougher 26-4A teams. Canyon played Lockhart well for a half, and held Clemens to a 6-0 lead through three quarters. The Cougars shut out Smithson Valley in the second half of a 26-7 loss, then held Bastrop scoreless for more than 32 minutes in the season finale. The Cougars were led offensively by Miguel Martinez, the top rusher and receiver for Canyon. The senior moved from running back to inside receiver midway through the season, and provided some offense in the district games. “Miguel Martinez was a bright spot. He provided the offensive spark in several ball games,” Nowotny said, adding that Martinez was instrumental in the two close games that the Cougars won. “He had a great game against Del Valle and a great game against Randolph. (In district,) we had to sacrifice some of his running ability to get his receiving ability.” With Martinez at receiver, both P.J. Riley and Jeremy McElroy were able to pick up some of the rushing slack. *‘Jeremy and PJ. came in and had some big plays rushing the football,” Nowotny said. The problems at receiver due to injuries and grades which forced Martinez to move to receiver also caused the season of Anthony Bueno to suffer, Nowotny said. Bueno had more than 250 receiving yards in his two best games, but the Cougars often had trouble getting the ball to the big-play threat. ‘‘He did good in the first game, good in the last game and had trouble in the eight games in between,” Nowotny said. “Especially once we had the injury problems, that made it obvious he was going to get the football.” The Cougars have several skill players returning, such as Riley, quarterbacks Marty Robles and Johnny Schaas, and every receiver except for Sh COUGARS, Pmg« 11Cougars 38, Leander 3 Canyon enjoyed an outstanding season opener by routing the Lions. That would become a habit for 26-4A teams, as Bastrop, Smithson Valley and Lockhart would all later defeat Leander in preseason play. Many Robles threw for 208 yards, including 131 to Anthony Bueno — a season-high single-game receiving total for any Cougar. Robles threw touchdown passes to Harvey Gomez and Roy Vela, while Miguel Martinez rushed for two scores. Canyon’s lead was 14-3 at the end of three quarters before a 24-point fourth, and the defense bailed the Cougars out three times within the 10-yard line after turnovers.Cougars 41, Del Valle 36 .Canyon defeated the Cardinals despite allowed Del Valle more than 500 yards of total yards: receivers James Harris and Oms Jones both caught more than IOO yards, while Kevin Atwood rushed for 217 yards and three touchdowns. Miguel Martinez had a monster game for Canyon, with 1% yards on just 11 carries. Four of those went for touchdowns. Three of Canyon’s scores came on the first play of a drive, while one of the other three took two plays. The longest drive of the six took 1:20.Boerne 46, Cougars 0 A Boerne team which would eventually qualify for the playoffs routed the Cougars. The Greyhounds out-gained Canyon 403 yards to 80, with the Cougars held to negative rushing yards. Boerne tackle Darren Baldwin had an exceptional defensive game, while backs Jeff Smith and John McCracken both topped IOO yards. Most of the damage was done in the second half, as the Cougars held Boerne to 14 first-half points. Southwest 40, Cougars 3 Again, Canyon played a good defensive half against a talented team before running out of gas after halftime. The Cougars held powerful Southwest — a playoff contender in District 28-5A — to a 13-3 halftime lead at Dragon Stadium. An early second-half interception took away Canyon’s momentum, and the Dragons broke the game open with a 20-point third quarter. South-west’s star running back, George Collins, had 128 yards and three touchdowns.Cougars 21, Randolph 20 Canyon secured its goal of a winning preseason with this home victory against the Ro-Hawks, holding Randolph twice on two-point conversion attempts. Randolph scored and converted in the final minute, but remained one point short. Miguel Martinez scored three touchdowns for the Cougars: two rushing and one receiving. The senior rushed for 117 yards in die game.Lockhart 35, Cougars 10 Lockhart broke open a close game after Canyon had held the Lions to a 14-10 lead midway through the second quarter. The Cougars led twice in the contest: Anthony Bueno opened the scoring with a 40-yard field goal, and Pi. Riley added a go-ahead touchdown after Lockhart’s first score. The Lions pulled ahead after that and held Canyon to no more points. Lockhart split end Raymond Kane-meier, who entered the game averaging 50 yards per catch, was actually held below his average with three catches for 144 yards and two touchdowns.Clemens 27, Cougars 0 Canyon held the eventual 26-4A champion and current Region IV semifinalist to six points through three quarters, in one of the team's best defensive efforts of the year. The Cougar offense left the defense on the field for too long (31:25), and Clemens finally wore it down with 21 fourth-quarter points. Buffalo tailback Randy Wright scored two touchdowns and rushed for 133 yards, but fullback Tobie Dyl-la was held in check — his 80 yards were below average for the capable Clemens FB. Miguel Martinez was the bright spot offensively for Canyon, with five catches in his new role at receiver.Hays 29, Cougars 6 Hays’ Jamey Whitlock, perhaps District 26-4A’s best offensive player except for Bastrop all-state candidate Anthony Hubbard, had his most productive district game against the Cougars. Whitlock rushed for 184 yards on IO carries, with the Rebel quarterback scoring twice on third down with runs of 90 and 68 yards. He also completed five of five passing attempts for 85 yards and a touchdown. Canyon QB Marty Robles, entering the game late despite a shoulder injury because of an injury to backup Johnny Schaas, broke a nine-quarter scoreless streak with a 29-yard run in the fourth.SV 26, Cougars 7 Smithson Valley won the Comal Bowl for the first time, although Canyon kept the game close early when a 38-yard run by Jeremy McElroy cut the Ranger lead to 14-7. The Rangers padded their lead in the second quarter, before Canyon’s defense held Smithson Valley scoreless after the half. McElroy was a bright spot on offense with 47 yards while platooning with PJ. Riley at single-back.Bastrop 21, Cougars 0 Canyon held a Bastrop team which may be 4A’s best — the Bears were ranked #1 by the Associated Press until forfeiting two games because of an ineligible player — scoreless until the 3:59 mark of the third quarter. The Cougars had an outstanding offensive game, with more first downs (19-18) than Bastrop. Jeremy McElroy became the only Canyon rusher to break the 100-yard mark in district, while Anthony Bueno caught four passes for 80 yards. Bastrop fullback Anthony Hubbard rushed for 230 yards, winning the 4A state rushing title by seven yards. NB tops Rebels AUSTIN — The New Braunfels Unicorns won their first basketball game of the season Wednesday night, prevailing in an exciting battle at Austin Travis. “We played just as hard as we did the night before (in a loss to McCal-lum),” Coach Cliff Wilkins said. “We didn’t play quite as well, but we played good in the fourth quarter when it counted.” The Unicorns held off a Travis team which was rallying furiously in the final minutes. New Braunfels had broken open a seven-point lead with three minutes to play, and maintained that lead until the last minute. Travis hit a three-point shot, and after a New Braunfels miss, hit an unlikely desperation three-pointer to cut the lead to one. The Unicorns went back down court and worked the ball around, setting up an open shot for Michael Sierra. “Mike hit a big three-point basket to put us up four,” Wilkins said. Sierra’s shot came with 20 seconds left, but Travis went down and hit another desperation trey. New Braunfels was fouled, with the 8m UNICORNS. Pag* IO Wise men shop early Wk ''    &    **** ■MI mwn Wise women, too. Because ourjust-in selection of holiday gifts, greeting cards, and wrapping paper is at its eye-popping best. So hey, wise up and hurry up! For completing your holiday shopping in no time, there's no time like the present. And no presents like the ones that are in right now. Rolling Oaks Mall A difference that registers IO am. to 9 p m. Monday thru Saturday. 12 to 6 p m. Sunday. Loop 1604 at Nacogdoches €> 1991 Melvin Simon & Associates ;