All six District 22-5A teams opened their seasons in Week 0 and three of them opened with hopes of celebrating wins on the home turf of Newcomb Field at Pasadena Veterans Memorial Stadium. But it was the three district teams that traveled away from home for their openers who came away with victories, while visitors stole the weekend celebrations at the Pasadena ISD stadium.
The Sam Rayburn Texans opened the 2011 season on Thursday night in Pasadena. But the home field was no friendly haven against Summer Creek.
The Texans committed six turnovers, including four interceptions against quarterback Eric Aldava, which resulted in four scores for the Bulldogs, who rolled to a 43-10 win.
Rayburn’s offense was held to 208 total yards, 74 of which came on the team’s lone touchdown drive with two minutes remaining in the game.
The Texans’ defense had trouble containing Summer Creek quarterbacks Aaron Sharp and Jonathan Blackman, who combined to complete 20 of 21 passes for 219 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Sharp, the sophomore starter, completed 17 of 18 attempts for 184 yards and threw scoring passes to Erik Munoz and Torrey Johnson.
One bright moment for Rayburn came with 4:14 in the third quarter, when Alexis Manjarrez connected on a 43-yard field goal for the Texans’ first points of the season.
South Houstondidn’t fare any better on Newcomb Field on Friday night against Atascocita. The Trojan defense was sliced for 456 rushing yards by the Eagles and South Houston fell, 35-14.
Senior quarterback Rudis Requeno rushed for one touchdown and passed for another for the Trojans. Requeno finished with 25 pass completions in 46 attempts for 310 yards. Junior receiver Torre Daniel caught 13 of those passes for 188 yards and a touchdown.
Meanwhile, the three teams that hit the road on Friday night found much greater success.
Pasadena traveled west to Tully Stadium and came away with a 35-26 win over Spring Woods. The Eagles overcame three turnovers with a 319-yard rushing performance against the Tigers.
Junior quarterback Nick Bernal and senior running back Julian Nance combined for 309 of those rushing yards. Bernal carried 23 times for 191 yards and Nance rushed for 118 yards on 19 attempts.
Bernal scored three touchdowns and Nance found the end zone twice.
Deer Park went south to Dickinson and overcame a sluggish start to defeat the Gators at Sam Vitanza Stadium, 38-21.
Trailing 14-10 to begin the third quarter, Deer Park erased the deficit on back-to-back possessions on long-distance touchdown passes from Austin Rainer to Eric Luna.
With less than a minute expired in the quarter, Rainer connected with Luna for 49 yards to give the Deer a 17-14 lead. The two collaborated for a 51-yard strike on the next possession to increase the lead to 24-14 with 8:10 to go in the period.
For the game, Rainer completed seven of 17 passes for 173 yards. Luna wound up with three catches for 135 yards.
Justin James contributed 124 yards rushing, including a 13-yard TD run near the end of the third quarter. Demetrius Banks rushed for two touchdowns in the game and finished with 83 yards on the ground.
Deer kicker Zane Gonzalez converted five-of-five extra point attempts and also kicked a 47-yard field goal.
Dobie, last season’s district champs, opened at Crump Stadium in Alief ISD, and managed to hold off a feisty Alief Taylor team for a 14-13 win.
The Longhorns got a 25-yard touchdown run from Blake Jackson and a 44-yard touchdown run from Tyler Prestridge in the second quarter and then held off a late surge from Alief Taylor.
The Lions, trailing 14-7 as time wound down, scored on a 51-yard pass play with 37 seconds remaining, but failed on a two-point conversion attempt to give Dobie the win.
Pasadena Memorial was the final district team to open the 2011 campaign on Saturday night at Newcomb Field. But the Mavericks suffered more than just a 30-13 loss on the scoreboard to Clear Creek.
Starting running backs Justin Acosta and Nick Hernandez both left the game with injuries and did not return for Memorial. Acosta left in the first quarter and Hernandez went down late in the third.
Head coach John Snelson had already entered the season looking to replace last season’s 1,100-yard rusher, Thaddeus Stewart, who was injured before the season began.
Five Maverick turnovers led to 24 points for Clear Creek, who methodically pulled away from Memorial the entire game, but the Mavericks scored start the second half on a four-yard run by Hernandez to cut into the Wildcats’ 14-0 lead.
But Clear Creek answered with a scoring drive of their own to extend their lead to 20-6.
Any hope of a Memorial comeback was dashed on the next possession when Brandon Thomas fumbled on the goal line after a pass completion from quarterback Dillon Gallardo.
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joltleft.com 22-5A Player of the Week
Rudis Requeno, senior QB, South Houston: 25-46-1 passing, 310 yards, TD; 7 carries, 27 yards, TD
- Torre Daniel, junior WR, South Houston: 13 receptions, 188 yards, TD
- Nick Bernal, junior QB, Pasadena: 23 carries, 191 yards, 3 TD; 2-6-1 passing, 15 yards
- Julian Nance, senior RB, Pasadena: 19 carries, 118 yards, 2 TD
- Justin James, senior RB, Deer Park: 14 carries, 124 yards, TD
- Eric Luna, senior WR, Deer Park: 3 receptions, 135 yards, 2 TD
- Zane Gonzalez, senior K, Deer Park: 5-5 PAT, 47-yard FG