Archive for October, 2009

Head scratcher for Spurs

October 30, 2009

There’s never any shame in losing the second game of back-to-backs in the NBA, especially when you’re on the road and your opponent is rested.  And there’s certainly little, if any point in getting too analytical over the second game of an 82-game regular season schedule.

But the Spurs’ loss in Chicago Thursday night is a bit of a head scratcher.  Follow me on this.  The most “aging” of the “aging veterans” on this team, Tim Duncan, played 34 minutes last night, shot 13-19, put up 28 points and hauled in 16 rebounds.

Fast forward the calendar to April, look back on the complete regular season, and pull all the box scores from the second night of back-to-backs.  How many of those do you think will show Duncan posting a 28-16 in 34 minutes?  The answer is “not many.”  Heck, the answer might be “one…on the second night of the season in Chicago.”

My point is that when Timmy is feeling that sprightly on the second night of back-to-backs and delivers a performance like that, the younger guys on the team have to hop on for the ride and find a way to squeeze out a win.  Didn’t happen Thursday, as Tony Parker, Richard Jefferson, and Roger Mason gave San Antonio virtually nothing in support of the team’s aging anchor in the middle.

Again…not much point in picking apart Game #2 on an 82-game schedule, especially when there are new faces on this team still learning how to play together.  But for Duncan to dominate and the Spurs to lose in that scenario is a bit of a head scratcher.

Panthers correctly play the odds, go for two

October 20, 2009

Navarro survived a hairy District 28-2A contest Friday with a 29-28 road victory over Poth, and the Panthers eked out that final one point margin with a touchdown and two-point conversion (both by Jacob Garcia) with just 25 seconds remaining in the game.

I’m excited to talk to Coach Les Goad in this week’s Panther Report about his decision to go for two rather than kick a tying extra point after Garcia’s touchdown.  Be sure to tune in to 1580-AM, KWED, or listen online at www.seguintoday.com for Coach Goad’s thoughts on the game – the interview will air during the 6 p.m. hour Friday leading up to our broadcast of the Seguin – Boerne-Champion game.

I’m going to go ahead and hazard a guess as to what Coach Goad was thinking, and tell you that I love the decision he made.  Keep in mind that Navarro kicker Tim Gill is a perfect 35-35 on PAT kicks this season.

Basically, Navarro had two choices in that scenario: 1) Hand the football of to All-State running-back Jacob Garcia one more time and ask him to make two yards, to win or lose the football game.  2) Play an alternate-possession overtime in which you have to start at the 25-yard line, find a way to score, and then stop a Poth team that’s given you fits all night from scoring when they get their turn on offense.

So the question, I’m guessing, that went through Coach Goad’s head was “Will an alternate possession overtime give us a better opportunity to win the football game than one handoff to an All-State running-back from the two-yard line?”  The answer is a resounding “no.”  And that’s why I love Coach Goad’s decision.  The Panther offensive line already had the Poth defense on its heels, and Garcia had already found the end zone four times in the game. 

Again…I’m purely speculating about Coach Goad’s thought process, but I plan to ask him about it during this week’s Panther Report.  I’m anxious to hear what he has to say.

As I see it, the decision was no gamble, but rather the polar opposite.  Given Navarro’s personnel in the backfield and on the offensive line, there’s no way on earth an alternating-possession overtime presents a better opportunity to win a football game than one handoff to Jacob Garcia at the two-yard line.  Coach Goad did play the percentages.  Going to overtime would have been a far greater gamble.

Mats appear eliminated in 27-4A playoff race

October 19, 2009

Upon further examination of the District 27-4A football standings and remaining schedule, it appears that Seguin may have already been eliminated from playoff contention.  Unless there’s some quirky tie-break scenario that I’m not aware of, I don’t see how they get in.

At 0-4 in district play, The Matadors’ best possible 27-4A record is 3-4 if they win out. 

Here’s how it works out in terms of trying to catch the top five teams in the current standings:

* Seguin has no way of catching Steele or Alamo Heights.  Both squads are 4-0 in district and can finish no worse than 4-3.

*Seguin CAN catch Kerrville-Tivy, which currently has a 3-1 district record.  The problem is that Tivy owns the head-to-head tiebreaker between the teams after defeating the Matadors 31-14 earlier this season.

*The two teams tied for fourth with 2-2 district marks are Clemens and New Braunfels-Canyon.  Seguin could still actually SURPASS one of those teams, but only one.  Clemens and Canyon haven’t played each other yet, so the winner of their matchup is guaranteed a district record of now worse than 3-4 (again…that’s Seguin’s best potential finish now).  And both of those teams own the head-to-head tie-break over Seguin because they’ve both beaten the Matadors this season.

*So what it all boils down to is that when the dust clears at the end of the District 27-4A regular season, there will unavoidably be four teams with either better records than Seguin or equal records and the head-to-head tie-break. 

Unless, again, there’s a scenario and tie-break that I haven’t thought of, this all means that Seguin will miss the state football playoffs for the third consecutive season.

Red River thoughts

October 18, 2009

As a Sooner fan living in the heart of Longhorn country, I’ve had some interesting dialouge over the past 24 hours with Texas fans, as I do each time this year after the annual Red River Rivalry game. 

This season’s contest goes to the Longhorns in a 16-13 defensive slugfest that saw OU quarterback Sam Bradford leave the game after re-injuring the sprained A-C joint in his throwing shoulder – the same ailment that knocked him out of the BYU game over a month ago. 

Let me preface the rest of this by admitting that I’m about to come off as a whining, flailing OU fan trying to rationalize what’s turning into a bad season.  Guilty as charged.  At least I don’t lack self awareness.

Given the circumstances – no Bradford, no All-American tight-end Jermaine Gresham, and top receiver Ryan Broyles playing hurt with a fractured shoulder blade – I’d say no OU fan could have asked for the Sooners to play much better Saturday.  All the cards were lined up for a Texas blowout, and the OU defense didn’t let it happen.  Two dropped interceptions by OU linebacker Keenan Clayton and a touchdown saving tackle by Colt McCoy after throwing a pick to Brian Jackson allowed the Longhorns to survive this one.  And hats off to them – wounded opponent or not, a win is a win in this rivalry.

But here’s what I find interesting in talking to some Texas fans (some…not a blanket statement here…just some).  There’s a school of thought among some of them that OU fans are just “making excuses” when they blame their three losses (by a combined five points) on injuries.  Right.  As if the presence or absence of a  Heisman winning quarterback (Bradford), All-American tight-end (Bradford), and the nation’s leader in TD receptions (Broyles) don’t have enought impact to swing a one-point or three-point game in the other direction.

What’s really neat about this is the fact that in 2006, when Colt McCoy was hurt late in the season, those same Texas fans had no problem using that injury as an excuse in losses to Kansas State and Texas A&M (and they were right…and I agreed with them).  So to be sure I’ve got it right:  When a Texas player gets hurt, it’s a legitimate reason for losing, but when an OU player gets hurt, Sooner fans are “whiners”.  Airtight logic.

Also had a dialouge with my best friend, who also happens to be a Texas fan, about Bradford’s injury.  His contention is that OU fans have no right to complain about the injury because poor offensive line play has allowed Bradford to take a lot of hits, and with more hits comes a greater risk of injury.  He has a point on some level, but it’s not that simple.  

My rebuttal is this:  There are 120 teams in Division I college football, and OU ranks 34th in fewest sacks allowed, with eight.  That means there are 86 teams in the nation with quarterbacks who have been hit MORE than Sam Bradford this season, and NONE of them have sprained AC joints in their throwing shoulders.  So I think my contention that Bradford’s injury is a rare, flukish, unlucky, freak occurence is well supported by the numbers.  By the way, Texas has actually allowed one more sack than OU this year, and Colt McCoy’s shoulder is not in a sling – again evidence that shoulder injuries to quarterbacks are rare, not common. 

Now… to what this game means for the college football season…Texas, at 6-0 and with a favorable Big-12 schedule in front of them, has a tremendous opportunity win its second conference title in the Mack Brown era, and to advance to the BCS championship game.  The Horns shouldn’t have a problem on the road at Missouri this Saturday, but visiting OSU in Stillwater on Halloween could get hairy, especially if Dez Bryant is reinstated by the NCAA & suits up for the Boone Pickens Pokes.  Remember – the Pokes (refuse to call them the Cowboys – the Cowboys play in Dallas) gave UT a scare in a 28-24 game in Austin a year ago, and they’ve got plenty of offensive firepower. 

Texas, by the way, has offensive line issues of its own to work out.  Frankly, I was shocked to see the stats reveal that the Longhorns had actually given up more sacks than OU this season.  But in the past two games, against OU & Colorado, UT has struggled to protect Colt McCoy and has had to rely almost exclusively on defense and special teams play to win.  This will have to get fixed as the stakes get higher later in the year. 

As far as the Sooners go, the season goals have dramatically changed…OU came into the year with national title aspirations, and anybody with common sense has to admit that those hopes would still be alive if the Sooners had the fortune of fielding a healthy team this year.  But the reality of it is that three losses by five total points leave OU at 3-3 and unranked for the time being.  The focus for the Sooners now is on just trying to win out and let the chips fall where they may.  Texas has to lose twice for OU to have a shot at another Big 12 title, and that’s highly unlikely to happen.  So we Sooner fans are now relegated to seeing a 9-3 regular season and Cotton Bowl berth as a successful season.  That’s life.  The cupboard isn’t bare in Norman, and OU will be right back in the hunt next year.

There…the whining OU fan now has it out of his system.  Cowboys are off today, so I’m off to the driving range to work on my golf swing – a pursuit even more hopeless than the Sooners’ national title chances.

Tough weekend for Mats & Bulldogs

October 18, 2009

Not a great weekend for the area high school teams we featured in our broadcast games.  Friday night, Seguin dropped to 0-4 in District 27-4A with a 28-0 loss to Clemens in Schertz.  Saturday evening, Marion fell to 0-2 in District 27-3A with a 39-0 loss to Sam Houston at Alamo Stadium in San Antonio.

That’s a combined score of 67-0 in two nights.  Didn’t get to make a single touchdown call as the play-by-play voice of area teams this weekend.   Those of you who kept listening in the fourth quarter of those games get a gold star.

A common theme this weekend for the Matadors and Bulldogs was struggling offenses running into fast, ball-hawking defenses.  Seguin had any hopes of coming back from a 14-0 halftime deficit dashed in the third quarter Friday when Clemens returned two interceptions for touchdowns.  Likewise for Marion, who trailed 13-o at the half on a pair of Sam Houston touchdowns that were set up by interceptions.

Another common theme was each team’s defense struggling with a fleet footed dual-threat quarterback.  Clemens signal-caller Stanley Harris gashed the Mats for 124 rushing yards and two touchdowns Friday, while Sam Houston QB Dominique Broadnax-Lee scrambled his way to 67 yards on just eight carries and tossed three touchdown passes.

Both teams now find themselves in dire straights as far as their respective district races go.  Seguin faces the prospect of having to win out (with Steele – the top 4A team in the San Antonio metro area - still on the schedule) and receive lots of help if the Matadors hope to secure a playoff berth.  Marion finds itself in the same conundrum, with rapidly improving Luling, always dangerous Poteet, and regional power La Vernia still looming on the slate. 

All either squad can do now is just keep fighting and competing every Friday night, and let the chips fall where they may.


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