Friday night saw the wind a bit breezy, helping make the weather nice and cool for players and fans alike. Almost official “football weather,” but not quite yet. That didn’t stop the district-leading Pflugerville Weiss Wolves (5-1) from coming into town to show the Wildcats (2-4) why they are on top. And they did.
The Wolves proved to be a solid football team. Nothing fancy, just really consistent and steady in offense and defense and special teams. No showboating that I saw. No gloating. Good power ball.
The Wildcats lost on the scoreboard but not in desire or gamesmanship. They didn’t back down one step to the Wolves. They took the field without their top running back, who averages over 115 yards and two touchdowns per game. Injuries on the defensive line and other positions have led Head Coach Jens Anderson to pull numerous players off the junior varsity team to supplement the rotation of players playing in the contest.
The coach knows that is part of the game and offered no excuses. They lost to a better team. He feels his team is battle-scarred and bruised, but is really pleased how the team has kept up the fight. For instance, after the first quarter, neither of Elgin’s top three running backs were available, but wide receiver Trey I’som and linebacker Max Galvez stepped up and proceeded to run hard against a tough Wolves defense all night long, each scoring a rushing touchdown in the contest. Quarterback Daniel Gonzales showed his leadership skills, keeping the offense upbeat and playing hard throughout.
In an unusual start, due to penalties, Elgin had to kick off three times to start the game before it was official. This was a premonition, as it was a penalty-filled game that kept several Weiss drives alive throughout. In fact, on one particular face mask penalty in the middle of the field on Weiss, I saw the referee throw his flag, then his hat and then his whistle all while rushing in to call the play dead. Never seen that before!
The first quarter saw Weiss score once on a 25-yard touchdown pass with eight minutes to go. Elgin took the ensuing kickoff and made a drive themselves, getting all the way to a first and goal from the Weiss two-yard line, but could not punch it in for a touchdown. They topped the drive of with a 25-yard field goal by Jaden Strong. The score was 7-3 Wiess after one period. I believe Elgin’s inability to score a touchdown affected the rest of the contest, as it seemed Elgin was playing catch-up the rest of the game.
The second period saw the Wolves really heat up and score three touchdowns, the first early in the quarter on a short three-yard run by their running back, bringing the score to 14-3 Weiss. Showing their mettle, the 'Cats offense answered with their own scoring drive, capped off with Gonzales throwing a 22-yard pass to Trevor Magnuson in the end zone, making the score 14-10 Weiss. The last five minutes of the half were not good for Elgin as another Wolves running back weaved through the defense for a 50-yard scoring run. On their last scoring drive before halftime, the Wolves were helped by four major penalties on the Wildcats, and the quarterback kept it to make the score 28-10 Weiss at halftime.
A Weiss field goal and botched snap on an Elgin punt helped the Wolves score a safety for the only points scored in the third period. 33-10 Wiess.
The final quarter was more productive for Elgin as both Trey I’som and Max Galvez, the newly appointed Wildcat running backs, each scored on runs of two and four yards respectively. Weiss also scored a touchdown, and the game ended with Weiss 40, Elgin 24.
The 'Cats have a tough row to hoe to make the playoffs. With games remaining with Brenham (also undefeated in district), Cedar Creek, Bastrop and Georgetown East View, each game is vital. With their running game hampered severely, this will be a strong test of these young men’s attitude and willpower. As in the Weiss game, I have faith they will stand strong and united, regardless of the outcome of the games. They will not take a step back from anyone.
The Cats play at the Brenham High School Field on Friday at 7 p.m. I have noticed Brenham scouts at the last two Wildcats games, so they will be prepared. So will the 'Cats. Come watch Elgin upset the Cubs in their own den!
Other Elgin scores include the junior varsity losing to Weiss and the freshman as well in a tight game 32-26. The Elgin 7th grade A team beat Hutto 20-0 while the 7th grade B team won 24-0. The 8th grade A team also won over Hutto 8-6, while the 8th grade B team easily won 36-6.