The Gonzales Apaches (5-1, 1-0) are on the road for the first time since their Sept. 13 victory over Yoakum to take on the undefeated Beeville A.C. Jones Trojans (7-0, 1-0). Gonzales head football coach Mike Waldie believes this game is a preview to what the team could face if they make it to the postseason.
“To me this is a dry run at the playoffs,” Waldie said. “This is the type of team you need to beat to make a dry run. This is a Sealy, La Vernia, Liberty Hill type of team that Beeville is. It’s a turf game, it’s a two-hour road trip, there’s all these analogies to what you’re going to have to do to win a playoff game on the road and that’s what this feels like. It just happens to be for seeding and playoff purposes in our own district.”
Waldie added that admittedly, the good news is the loser of Friday night’s game gets to play more football, instead of going home after playoff loss.
“That’s how we’re trying to hype it up,” he said, “that’s how we’re trying to prepare. At this point, that’s what it is, these last three games are all about what you can and can’t do, making a playoff run and solidifying your spot.”
With just one district game under their belt, the Apaches aren’t mathematically in the playoffs, but they’re in prime position after beating Pleasanton last week. This week’s test, however, will be a tough one. The Trojans will be Gonzales’ toughest game to date, according to the first-year head coach. And they will take on an impressive offense that shows multiple looks, from running the Slot-T to spreading their receivers out wide. Beeville does all of this with their star senior quarterback, Seth Gomez, taking the snaps.
“He’s just a salty football player, man, he’s one of those guys just when you see him get under center and take a snap, he’s just got a swagger and feel about him that you can just tell,” Waldie said. “He’s a super special player and makes them go. He can throw it, he can run it, I’m guessing he’s around 200-220 pounds.”
Adding to the offense is a wealth of talent with their skill position players as well as offensive tackles #70 Jared Silva and #78 Mathayus Perez.
“They have everything on offense that you want,” Waldie said.
Defensively, the Trojans are similar to the Apaches in that they run a 50, with two big outside linebackers.
“There’s a reason why they’re 7-0,” Waldie added. “There’s a reason why their rankings are where they are and we’re just excited we get to play them right now, to be honest with you.”
In order to counter that offense, the Apaches will need to be fundamentally sound and control the line of scrimmage.
On the Apaches side of things, the offense will need to get a fourth or fifth score, according to Waldie, instead of relying on the defense to limit scoring.
“This is not one of those games that you can just hope your defense shuts them out and you score six points,” he said. “We’re going to have to put points on the board, I don’t care how good our defense plays. What that amount is, I don’t know. In today’s style of offense, in my opinion, if you don’t get the fourth score, you have not done enough for your defense. This is one of those games for sure, that the fourth or fifth score is going to make the determining factor.”
Whichever team can win the battle at the line of scrimmage, win the turnover battle and eliminate the big play can expect to stay on top of the district after Friday’s game.
Kickoff for Friday is set for 7:30 p.m.