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Buttons shatter rival Apaches in decisive Homecoming victory

Kaiwen Wang

Kaiwen Wang

Gary Pocrnich, Staff Writer

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The Central Catholic Buttons shattered their rival, the Antonian Apaches, in a decisive 41-20 Homecoming victory on an autumnal Friday evening at Bob Benson, ’66 Stadium. The win snaps Central’s three game skid and leaves the Buttons at 6-3 and 1-1 in District play. Friday’s contest was Central’s final game of District play.

After a discouraging loss to Brownsville, a district opponent Central has beaten in close contests over the last two years, Central lost control of their own destiny in terms of a District championship. Though this final home game was a rivalry and Homecoming game, the biggest component of the game was its playoff implications. Central’s defensive line coach, Coach De los Santos, told the defensive line: ”This game isn’t just important because it’s Antonian.” Rather than having to play the one seed out of Houston, Central will most likely be slated with the six seed from Dallas because they won this game.  

On defense, the Buttons absolutely put themselves in the driver’s seat to take control of the game’s momentum. The stingy Central defense forced 5 turnovers and had two defensive touchdowns, both of which were pick sixes. The first came off of an 80 yard bolt from Safety Josh Madrid in the second quarter. Next, Central’s corner, Hilario Gomez snatched and dashed for a 30 yard pick and score. The sudden interception spike has to do with Central’s new found focus on rushing the passer with defensive-line twist blitzes and more zone coverage in the secondary. The Buttons also gang tackled to force two fumbles with the first of those setting up the offense with a short field on a mid-first quarter Button scoring drive. Star defensive tackle, Seth McCrum, dazzled on Friday as he shut down multiple Apache screenplays and made pivotal stops in the backfield. Middle linebacker, John Montelongo also came away with two impactful sacks to shut down the Antonian offense. The defense resoundingly responded to Central defensive coordinator, Coach Gomez, who told the players in the heat of the fourth quarter “You guys have the lead. It’s your job to keep it.” Central shutout Antonian in the fourth quarter to slam the lid and drive the nails in the coffin.

Offensively, Central consistently simmered through the game as they scored in three of the four quarters. Without star running back Zach Davidsmeyer, who is sidelined with an injury, the Buttons lateraled the ground game to Sophomore, Gibby Garza. Garza was pivotal in this rivalry game garnering 59 of Central’s 88 yards overall rushing, all of which were hard earned. In the air, QB Nick Chavez and his arsenal of deep threat receivers found the end zone four times with 178 yards passing. H-back, Charlie Gomez and receiver Jared Torralva both came away with TD grabs each over 40 yards long. However, the play of the game had to be the 5 yard, fourth quarter grab from playmaker, Jack Perkins, as he laid out in the end zone to palm a batted ball before it fell to the ground.

To put it simply, Central did what they do best on this Homecoming Friday night. Offensively, they took the ball away from Antonian and opened up explosive scoring bursts. Defensively, they swarmed, stymied, and virtually stopped the Apache offense in the second half. Clearly, the intensity of these two rival foes is still very present in this annual matchup, but both teams exhibited a mutual sense of respect. Coach Santiago praised the game play, describing it as, “classy”, to the players after the game. The Homecoming victory over Central’s rival was much needed for the team’s morale as Central hadn’t won a game since September 29th. However, the relief and satisfaction of the victory will be short lived as Central’s final regular season opponent is the number one ranked team in TAPPS. The Fort Worth All Saints are currently undefeated and present a challenge that will surely ready Central for playoff competition, but this scrappy Button football team wouldn’t have it any other way. Outside linebacker Coach, Coach Simpson, best described the team’s mindset telling the defense,”This is an opportunity to open some eyes.”

Kaiwen Wang
Kaiwen Wang
Kaiwen Wang
Kaiwen Wang
Kaiwen Wang
Kaiwen Wang

Kaiwen Wang
Kaiwen Wang
Kaiwen Wang
Kaiwen Wang
Kaiwen Wang
Kaiwen Wang
Kaiwen Wang
Kaiwen Wang
Kaiwen Wang
Kaiwen Wang

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Buttons shatter rival Apaches in decisive Homecoming victory