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Football team’s win against PSJA comes down to wire

Hornets start season off right

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Coach Steinbruck speaks to his players following their 33-38 win against PSJA

Coach Steinbruck speaks to his players following their 33-38 win against PSJA

Britney Langdon

Britney Langdon

Coach Steinbruck speaks to his players following their 33-38 win against PSJA

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In a game that came down to the wire, the Hornets prevailed against the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Bears 33-28 on Aug. 31 at Hornet Stadium.

Although the team was behind multiple scores after the first half, the coaches stuck with the running game and the team went on to outscore PSJA 26-7 in the third and fourth quarters. The team rushed for a total of 303 yards on 7.6 yards per carry.

On Sept. 7, the team will face off against their former district rival Calallen at home.

The team was able to find success on their first drive as junior Bryce Hall scored a rushing touchdown to take an early 7-0 lead. However, this would be the only score they could muster up in quarters one and two.

The offense was plagued by turnovers in the first half, which PSJA capitalized on by scoring 21 unanswered points. The teams headed to the locker room after the first half with PSJA leading 21-7.

After some halftime adjustments, players came out in the second half and made it a one possession game after a rushing touchdown by sophomore Isaac Miles. The defense was able to force a three and out on PSJA’s next drive to get the offense back on the field. After the punt by PSJA, the team started the drive on their opponent’s 45.

With two minutes to go in the third quarter, they were able to take advantage of their good field position as quarterback Braden Sherron found the endzone for his first rushing touchdown of the season to tie the game up at 21.

Senior quarterback Trey Guajardo and the rest of the PSJA offense looked to answer back with a score of their own. They marched down the field to inside the Hornets’ 20-yard line, but were unable to capitalize after their field goal attempt hit off the right post.

As possession flipped back to the Hornets, they hoped to retake the lead. Less than a minute later, Sherron broke off an 80-yard rushing touchdown on a quarterback option to give his team a 27-21 lead.

Once again, the defense was able to contain PSJA and get the ball back. Miles scored his second rushing touchdown of the game to put the Hornets up 33-21. Miles led all halfbacks with 119 rushing yards. The team attempted a two point conversion to try to put themselves up by 14, but they couldn’t convert.

PSJA would respond with a rushing touchdown to cut the deficit to five. The Hornets would get the ball back, but would be forced to punt with a little over two minutes left in the game.

The Bears needed to gain 79 yards in order to reach the end zone and win the game. They were able to gain significant yardage on a few pass plays and made it inside the Hornets’ 20- yard line with ten seconds left on the game clock.

On the previous play, PSJA had gotten a first down, but they were unable to get out of bounds to stop the clock.

There was miscommunication between the opposing players and coaches, and it resulted in them being unable to get a snap off before clock hit zero. The Hornets defense was able to bend but not break at the end and the team preserved their comeback win.

Before the game, coach Chris Steinbruck said he was proud of the way the team had prepared for the season.

“I was really pleased with the attendance during our summer workouts. Our coaches also put a considerable amount of work in this summer to get the players ready to go,” Steinbruck said.

The team’s focus this offseason has been mostly on the fundamentals. “We have been working on blocking and tackling,” he said. “UIL had some new rules on how and when we could start contacting with pads, so we’ve worked through all that and have improved every single day.”

With only three returning seniors on offense and some new faces on defense, Steinbruck sathe returning starters have taken some of the pressure off the younger players. He credits the team captains, who are seniors: Colton Gohlke, Simon Aleman, Braden Sherron, Kenny Whitehurst and Kadon Luke.

“I would put these guys up against anybody as far as their leadership qualities,” Steinbruck said. “They are not extremely vocal, but they don’t have to be because their actions speak much louder than words and they’re leading this football team the right way.”

Steinbruck said he enjoys coaching this team because, “it’s rewarding to see when these guys come in as freshmen and develop into the great young men that they are when they’re seniors.”

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Football team’s win against PSJA comes down to wire