After a two-game night in Blackwell on Friday, the following day reporter and videographer extraordinaire, Jennifer Rios, and I traveled to Midland's Grande Communications Stadium to cover the Central Bobcats' game against El Paso Coronado. Let me tell you, this was a slug-fest. And it all started a week before when the team Central was supposed to face, El Paso El Dorado, was being suspended by the Texas University Interscholastic League, the governing body of high school athletics in the state, after reporting they had an ineligible player on the roster. El Dorado filed an appeal with the UIL and it was uncertain who the Bobcats were going to play in the first round of the playoffs the week leading up to the game. Eventually the UIL up held the suspension and required El Dorado to forfeit the two games the ineligible player played in causing them to lose their place in the playoffs. That in turn boosted Coronado into the playoff game with Central. Whew! What a mess. So now that we knew who Central would be playing, everyone had the attitude that Central would clean house with no problems and advance to the area round playoff game against Arlington Martin the next week. I mean, come on, they were playing a team that didn't even have a record good enough to get them into the playoffs in the first place, right? Well, someone forgot to tell Coronado that this game was just a formality and that they should just curl up in the fetal position and let Central run all over them. Coronado came out swinging. Their defense played superbly, all but shuting down Central's running attack, and they could move the ball on the ground and through the air, for the most part, with ease. I was actually surprised that they were trailing 7-3 when the game entered the fourth quarter. This is when the real fun started. With about 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Central sideline and stands all exhaled a sigh of relief when Central quarterback Logan Sawyer, the same infamous Logan Sawyer who ruined my Gatorade dunking shot of Coach Davis the week before, ran in a touchdown followed up by a point after attempt to put Central up 14-3. Now they have some breathing room.
The Bobcats kickoff to Coronado who, during their possession of the ball, ate up the clock and managed to kick a field goal to make the score 14-6. Then they kick and recover an onside kick. They move the ball 48 yards to throw a touchdown pass with 2:45 to play in the game. Coronado then lines up for a two-point conversion. The Central players on the bench were wringing their hands together with anticipation. I even heard one of them say, "We can't lose to this team. They're not even supposed to be here."
The ball is hiked, the play rolls left, the ball is thrown, the pass is incomplete. You've never heard such a roar of relief as the Central fans let out after that pass was dropped. Nobody wanted to see this thing go into overtime. Coronado again tried the onside kick, but they recovered the ball before it had traveled the mandatory 10 yards. On the next play, Logan Sawyer ( I'm still shaking an angry fist) runs the ball 49 yards for another touchdown to make the score 21-12 in Central's favor. That's how the game would end. If you would like to read the game story Paul Harris wrote you can go HERE. I have also posted a gallery of the game HERE.
Next up for the Central Bobcats is, of course, Arlington Martin who beat Central last year in the area playoff game in San Angelo. Central will have to travel to the DFW area this year for the game since Martin came to San Angelo last year. Its going to be a rematch of sorts, though Martin is the big favorite. After this Friday's game I'm taking a break from work to go see a good friend in Nashville and to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with my family in DFW. I hope that when I get back in a week that we still have teams in the hunt for a championship.