Texans Get Payback and End Navarro's Undefeated Season At Same Time With Dominant Performance
San Antonio, TX — Wimberley completely flipped the script on their 13-4A DII district rival Navarro following the 42-14 shallacking at the hands of the Panthers in late October.
Now 11-3, the Texans lost their last three games of the regular season, but have proven it pays to get hot at the right time, especially in the playoffs. In Friday afternoon’s rematch, quarterback Cooper McCollum accounted for all six of Wimberley’s touchdowns, 5 through the air and one on the ground.
McCollum, running back Moses Wray, and a stout defensive front were too much for the previously unbeaten Navarro Panthers.
Here’s how it happened.
Wimberley quickly got started with a 68 yard touchdown drive. Junior Josh Limely returned the opening Navarro kickoff 22 yards to the Texan 32, and senior quarterback Cooper McCollum and company jogged onto the field.
A swing pass to star running back Moses Wray, and a screen to wide out Jaxon Watts gave them four yards on the first two plays. On 3rd and 6, the Texans spread the field and handed it off to Wray up the middle. Wray, who is only a sophomore, had his first of many great runs and worked his way across midfield to the Navarro 44.
From there, McCollum hit Watts on a slant in between two Panther defenders, picking up 17. Wray dragged defenders on first down for 8 more down to the 19. A false start moved them back, and it looked as if Navarro would stop them. But on 4th and 4 from the 21, McCollum looked right and found junior Christian Marshall on a post at the left hash. Marshall shook off a Navarro defensive back at the goal line and was in for his first touchdown of the night. 7-0 Wimberley with 7:27 in the first quarter.
After an Edgar Jimenez touchback, Navarro started their first possession at their 25 and picked up one first down before punting. On first down, running back Jean Sims got only 1. On second, Euler Deleon doubled that for 2. Quarterback Nick Billings, a sophomore, was forced to pass on 3rd and 7, and he hit Sims in stride in the flat for 12 yards.
Deleon was stopped for no gain on the next play, and a Billings incompletion set up 3rd and 10 from the 40. Alegria picked up 8 of the necessary 10, but a holding penalty made it an even harder 3rd and 18. The Panthers went backwards again after losing the ball in the backfield and falling on it at the 23.
Sims’ punt netted only 22 yards as it sailed out of bounds at the Navarro 45.
Already in Panther territory, a five yard Wray run followed by a designed McCollum keeper had them at the 33. After a false start and Kolby Goforth sweep, it was 2nd and 8. McCollum then diagnosed the Navarro zone defense that they had been running all game, and threw a dart to Marshall on a slant. Marshall then made a man miss and ran into the end zone for his second touchdown on as many catches. 14-0 Wimberley with 2:55 in the first.
Navarro kept getting in their own way. Jimenez again booted it deep and forced the Panthers to start inside their own 15, this time at the 14. After gaining 5 on first down, they went backwards for a loss of four and then mishandled a pitch in the backfield.
Wimberley senior Jadon Potts recovered the loose ball at the Navarro 6, and McCollum found Josh Limely for a touchdown on a rollout to the left on first down with 1:18 still to go in the first quarter.
Navarro started to get going on the ensuing possession, and a big reason why was the shifty Johnny Alegria. On first down from the 12, Alegria took a jet sweep to the right 18 yards to the 30. Two consecutive false starts put them back at the 20.
Navarro called a timeout to regroup, and called an inside handoff to sims that picked up 16. On 3rd and 3, Alegria broke a tackle at the line of scrimmage and ran up to the 48 for a first down. Whitson gained 5 on the next play, and Deleon moved them to the Wimberley 39 on the next play.
Five yard runs from Whitson and Deleon had them at the 47 with a fresh set of downs. On 3rd and 7 from the 28, Navarro called their second timeout knowing how crucial a play call this was. They decided to feed Whitson, and the sophomore rumbled his way to the 24. Now 4th and long 2, Deleon worked his way through the Texan line to the 16.
On the next play, Alegria bolted to the goal line, put a viscous spin move on a Wimberley safety inside the five and ran in for 6. The extra point would be no good, making the score 21-6 with 7:33 in the second quarter.
The touchdown put some wind back in the sails of the Navarro defense, and they stopped the Wimberley offense a yard short on 4th and 7 inside the Panther 40. The Texans picked up 23 yards on six plays before turning the ball over.
Starting with their best field position of the day at the 36, Navarro gained 7 yards on the first three plays, and called their final timeout to talk about their 4th and 3 call. They decided to call a rollout pass to Whitson, but the pass just a tad bit behind him and bounced off his hands.
Wimberley got the ball back at the Navarro 43 with 2:56 left in the half. They gained 15 yards before starting to take shots into the endzone with under a minute left. On 3rd and 8 following and incompletion inside the 5, Troy Howard and Brian Holmes teamed up to sack McCollum back at the 37 with 30 seconds left.
Now 4th and 17, the Texans let the clock run down to 3 seconds before calling a timeout and sending one last shot to the endzone. McCollum’s pass would not have scored anyway, but his receiver dropped the ball at the 5 before being his by a pair of Panther defenders.
21-6 Wimberley at Halftime.
Navarro came out of the break amped up and ready to get back to a one possession came on their opening drive. Starting at their 11, Deleon and Whitson teamed up for four yards on the first two plays. On 3rd and 6, Billings handed off to Algeria who ran to the right side and out of bounds to the 26.
They gave it right back to him on 2nd and 10, and he started on the right side before crossing up the enter Wimberley defense and darted for the left pylon. If not for a great hustle play from Juan Olmedo, Alegria would have scored. Instead he was dragged down at the half yard line.
The biggest defensive stand of the game came on the next couple plays. A false start immediately made it harder for Navarra and made it 1st and goal from the 6. They made it back to half yard line on second down, but the Texans buckled up.
Deleon could not break through Wimberley’s defensive line of Ethan Lancaster, Carson Minnix, Walt Gold, Potts, and Jake Milam. On 4th and inches, Billings tried to sneak it in and was very close to reaching the ball over the line. The referees called him short, though, and an unsportsmanlike penalty when the Panther sideline contested the call moved Wimberley out of the shadow of their endzone and to the 16.
The Texans took advantage of Navarro’s blunder and marched 84 yards down the field to score. A steady dose of Wray runs and short McCollum completions set them up inside the red zone. The 6:03 minute, 11 play drive was punctuated with the QB’s fourth touchdown pass of the game. This time, he found Watts on a 13 yard slant from his right side with 59 seconds in the third quarter. 28-6 Wimberley.
Navarro was not done, however. They answered Wimberley’s score with a 2 minute and 18 second, 76 yard drive of their own. The biggest play came on the first snap of the fourth quarter. Billings rolled right and threw it back left to a wide open Whitson who was finally tackled at the Texan 16. The pass picked up 29.
Alegria found pay dirt on a three yard scamper a couple of plays later to make it 28-12 with 10:20 remaining in the game.
The final nail in their coffin was after Wimberley recovered the ensuing onside kick.
The took the ball at their 49 and moved nearly unimpeded until McCollum ran it in from the 1 with 6:17 to play.
Navarro punted on their next possession, and the final points came on a 56 yard deep shot from McCollum to Limely to end things with a bang with 2:51 remaining.
The Panthers punted again, and all Wimberley had to do was take a couple knees to advance to the State Semifinal next week.
They will now play Silsbee next week in the State Semifinals. The 9-4 Tigers beat the #3 ranked and now 10-2 West Orange-Stark Mustangs 35-28 Friday night.
You can follow this link for a photo gallery from Friday's game.
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