After viewing tape of their 21-20 victory over Cuero, Gonzales head football coach Mike Waldie noticed that his offense had opportunities to score that they didn’t take advantage of.
“We had two drives that ended in field goal attempts, missed both, and a drive after a turnover that because you missed two field goals, now you’re gun shy, so we basically had three possessions inside their 30 that we came away with zero points,” he said. “When it’s a 21-6 game, it could have been a 42-6 game, three field goals it could have been a 30-6 game, two field goals could have been 27-6, it would have changed the whole dynamic of the fourth quarter.”
“Putting all that together, ‘finish’ is our concept this week,” he added. “Offensively we moved the ball on a very good defense. Now we got to finish drives. If we had finished all six of those drives, it would have been a totally different fourth quarter.”
The defense has been a strength for the Apaches (3-1) program this season. However, late in the game, the Gonzales defense was a bit sluggish in large part to the offense’s inability to score during those drives. As Waldie explained, when the team scores, that adds about another six minutes of real-time rest before the defense heads back out to the field. If Gonzales can finish drives with a score, the defense will have enough rest to be effective.
This Friday, the Apaches host the Hondo Owls (1-3) for their final game of the non-district season. An historic powerhouse, Waldie notes that the Owls are well-coached and “very disciplined.”
“They’re the type of program that you know does things right all the time,” he said. “Therefore, you got to go back to basic fundamental football that is winning the line of scrimmage and I think the team that does that will take control.”
The Apaches have a size advantage over the Owls, but Hondo’s offensive line does well with their techniques.
Two players to look out for on the offense include quarterback #5 Brandon Garcia and running back #22 Trey Dickens. Defensively, #63 Mason Bragdon is a force on the line.
With this being the last non-district game of the season, Waldie and the coaching staff aims at being one step closer to becoming a team that can potentially win a district title and have a deep playoff run.
“I think we’ve been battle tested,” Waldie said of the team’s tough schedule, “we got one more run at this to kind of figure out what our identity is going into district play. It’s really all you can ask for, other than one more win, I’ll take another win, but the ultimate goal is to find out who we are. We’re way closer to that than we were a month ago, I can tell you that.”
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Apache Field.