LAREDO - Coming off a loss to open up district play Del Rio HC Frenchy McCrea called their Saturday night game a “must win” and the Rams (5-2, 1-1) delivered spoiling Laredo Alexanders’ (3-4, 1-1) homecoming with a thrilling 24-21 overtime win at the Student Activity Center.
Del Rio’s defense stepped up in key situations, most notably in overtime as the Rams held Alexander to a field goal attempt which was partially blocked by DB Jacob Keaton. Del Rio’s overtime field goal was nailed by Tyler Hopkins to win the game, but the 43 yard kick wasn’t a sure thing as holder Walt Ashley left the game in the first quarter with an arm injury and backup holder Enrique Varela had to come in to be the holder. “Enrique has worked on holding in practice the last two years and we needed him tonight and he saw that all that hard work paid off, I’m so proud of him,” said Coach McCrea.
Del Rio opened the scoring late in the first quarter on a ten yard touchdown pass from QB Steven Salinas to Gaston Flores, which gave the Rams a 7-0 lead. Alexander was quick to answer as on the final play of the first quarter sophomore QB Ezekial Cross hooked up with sophomore WR Peter Brewster for a 60 yard pass down to the Del Rio six. On the first play of the second quarter Alexander tied the game at seven as Coss tossed a six yard touchdown pass to Eric Ovalle. Alexander would take a 14-7 lead late in the second quarter as Coss hooked up with Dante Swain on a 17 yard scoring pass with four minutes left in the second quarter. The Rams would answer with a methodical drive on their ensuing possession capped off by a two yard scoring run by Albert Vasquez to tie the game at 14 heading into halftime.
Alexander would have disaster strike on their opening series of the second half as a snap sailed over their punter’s head forcing a rushed six that resulted in a negative six yard punt that set the Rams up in great field position. Del Rio was capitalize as Vasquez scored on a six yard run to give Del Rio a 21-14 with 7:34 left in the third quarter. After an exchange of punts Alexander was backed up on their own ten yard line, but after a quick first down pass to the 20 RB Fernando Cruz who ended the game with over 200 yards of offense broke loose for an 80 yard touchdown run to tie the game at 21 with 1:30 left in the third quarter. Most of the fourth quarter was a defensive struggle with neither offense finding much rhythm. Alexander finally got a little momentum midway through the fourth after stopping Del Rio on downs near midfield. After a couple of big runs the Bulldogs had a third and goal at their own five when RB Jonathan LeCroix fumbled, Del Rio’s David Saldivar pounced on the loose ball to end the chance for Alexander to win the game. Del Rio would pick one first down up before having to punt with under a minute remaining. Alexander would throw an interception as time expired in regulation setting up the overtime heroics from Del Rio to escape with the victory.