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Football Gamer :)

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by TX Writer, Sep 23, 2007.

  1. TX Writer

    TX Writer Member

    Critique please!


    Nixon head coach Brad Hopkins talked with his team about painting masterpieces Friday night.
    But San Antonio Southwest spoiled the canvas.
    The Mustangs were doomed by a subpar first half despite a valiant effort in the final two quarters.
    Behind a devastating rushing attack, the Dragons managed a 28-14 victory at Shirley Field to send the Mustangs to 0-2 heading into district play next week.
    “At halftime, I told the team that yesterdays were gone,” Hopkins said. “I told the boys we have a beautiful chance to make a great masterpiece and start things over, and what I mean by that is what’s done was done. We couldn’t focus on the first half. We had to come out and play and go from there.” Southwest (2-0) scored on three of its first five possessions to take a 21-0 halftime advantage.
    Behind junior running back Stephen Salinas’ 57 rushing yards and two scores within a six-minute span between the first and second quarters, Nixon (0-2) never could fill gaps and stop penetration.
    Of the Dragons’ 284 total yards, 231 was through the ground attack, setting a deliberate pace that Nixon never could overcome.
    “It was hectic,” junior defensive back Joel Zavala said. “We did everything possible and we have nobody to blame. Southwest had a good team and did everything they could.”
    The Mustangs punted on five of their eight first-half possessions and never could establish consistency on offense.
    But everything changed in the second half.
    Behind Hopkins’ fiery halftime speech, Nixon’s morale picked up considerably, playing with an aggression that was nonexistent in the first half.
    After a Southwest fumble late in the third quarter, senior quarterback Chris Cazares connected with junior Eric Quevado on a stop-and-go 25-yard touchdown reception.
    The Dragons responded on Cody Zanks’ 80-yard burst up the middle on the first play of the following series before the Mustangs countered with a quick slant from junior Rolando Gonzalez for a score midway through the fourth period after Zavala nullified Southwest’s previous possession with an over-the-shoulder interception.
    “We knew we had to be better and execute,” junior back Cesar Sepulveda said. “We have to work as a team and family and we weren’t doing that in the first half.”
    Despite two interceptions late in the fourth quarter that stifled a brief attempt at a rally, Cazares was more patient and poised in the pocket after halftime.
    Following a 7-for-15 passing performance for 63 yards in the first half, he completed 14-of-29 passes for 147 yards in the second.
    Not only was Cazares more efficient with his yards-per-completion, but he also connected with seven different receivers to add variety.
    “We executed a lot better,” said Sepulveda, who carried the ball three times for 43 yards. “We attacked the ball and caught more balls. The blocking and receiving was improved.” Defensively, the Mustangs were also stronger in the final 24 minutes.
    Southwest turned the ball over on downs on three of its seven possessions.
    The other four drives ended with a fumble, touchdown, interception and punt.
    “People were lost out there in the first half,” said Zavala. “We tried to react quicker and our coach gave us a hell of a halftime speech. We did everything possible, sticking our stunts and our defense tried hard.”
    Overall, the Mustangs were more productive that Southwest, compiling 316 total yards of offense to the Dragons’ 284.
    The Mustangs will revamp before playing Eagle Pass Winn in their first district contest next week.
    “We talked about how important it is to make plays and keep drives going,” Hopkins said. “We didn’t do that (Friday) but we saw good things happen and we’ll move on.”
  2. jgmacg

    jgmacg Guest

    Tex -

    Thanks for posting your work for us to share.

    Nice job on a solid piece. I especially like your restraint in not taking the "masterpiece" metaphor too far, and torturing the reader with overwrought comparisons to brushwork and the shadowed chiaroscuro of a football field by night.

    That said, I'd move the halftime score a little higher, just to make the point that the game was pretty well lost by the time the coach made his speech.

    The coach sounds like a quote machine - "yesterday is gone," "masterpiece" - right out of Lefty Frizzell and Michaelangelo. Be sure to line him up for a feature if you can.

    Thanks again for posting.
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