Pirates take 42-14 win over Harper in district opener - hccommunityjournal.com: Home

Pirates take 42-14 win over Harper in district opener

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Posted: Saturday, October 12, 2019 12:00 am

Head coach Guy Walters referred to his team beginning of District 29-2A football action as the “second season” and the Pirates responded positively by rounding up the Harper Longhorns 42-14 on Friday at Pirates Stadium.

With the win Center Point (4-2, 1-0) accomplished several things: 1) Snapped a two game losing streak, 2) Beat a big rival for the second straight year, 3) Opened district with a win. That last item on the checklist was most important.

“Getting off to 1-0 in district gives us a better chance at making the playoffs,” said Walters. “It doesn’t matter who it is, the fact that it was the district opener and we won is a big deal,” Walters said.

Not that the Longhorns went quietly to slaughter, however.

After the Pirates took the opening kickoff and marched smartly downfield in seven plays and 62 yards for a score, when Kolten Kitchens plunged over from the one yard line, Harper stiffened up somewhat when it looked like Center Point was going to blow up early on.

The Longhorns forced the Pirates to punt on their second series of the first quarter and then thwarted another move by recovering a Pirates fumble at Harper’s 27 yard line later in the period.

In the second quarter Center Point capped off 75 yards when Cody Daily followed blocking back Jake Laque two yards to the end zone with 9:36 to go before halftime. Kitchens converted for two points and Center Point led 14-0.

Daily’s first touchdown in a game where he rushed for 232 yards on 14 carries (16.5 avg.) was set up by Alvaro Bustamante who intercepted Brandon Strickland’s pass at Center Point’s 25 yard line.

In addition to Bustamante’s steal, the Pirates recovered three fumbles, sacked Strickland half a dozen times and had a dozen pressures to force early pass releases. Strickland wound up with 11 completions for 161 yards but Sean Baethge with seven for 135 yards was the lone threat. And on two separate occasions the Pirates caused so much chaos that Strickland had seven straight incompletions.

“We did get a lot of pressure and we played much better on the back end of the defense in his game. The secondary improved and played things well” said Walters.

The only time Harper mounted any sort of threat came on its opening drive of the third quarter with a 49-yard move that was highlighted when Strickland and Baethge hooked up for 37 yards and a score. Baethge converted two points and 14-8 was as close the Longhorns would come.

After halftime and Harper’s opening points the Center Point's vaunted rushing attack continued pummeling the Longhorns into ground beef. Minus turnovers and minimal penalties in the second half, Center Point’s game total reached 436 rushing yards on 41 attempts. The Pirates did not throw the ball once.

“But we did spread the ball around and that was good for us,” Walters said.

Alex Valadez complimented Daily’s massive night by averaging 15.6 yards per tote and finished with 94 yards on six carries, which included a 48-yarder. Quarterback Kitchens rushed for 79 yards on 15 carries from behind center Cade Crawley and the rest of the offensive line of Bryan Arreola, Nick Mohle, Fernando Fuentes and Joseph Carmouche. Alvaro Bustamante added 23 on four rushes and Laque had eight yards on two carries.

Daily’s second score of the game was also compliments one play after a fumble recovery by Trent Cabaniss at Harper’s 24. Daily’s run came with 5:16 in the third and Daily booted the first of four successful point after kicks, upping the Pirates' lead to 21-8.

Alvaro Bustamante turned in a score with a five-yard run to open the fourth quarter and the Pirates had the Longhorns walking the plank at 28-8 with 11:17 in the contest.

After Sammy Bustamante broke up a fourth down pass attempt by Strickland, the Center Point's offense converted quickly again at 9:09 of the fourth when Daily raced 63 yards to paydirt and his PAT raised the Pirates flag 35-8.

Alvaro Bustamante figured once again in setting up his team’s final score when he recovered another Longhorn fumble at Harper’s 42 yardline with 5:21 left in the game. Kitchens ran for the final 20 yards at 3:14 and Daily’s PAT was the final nail in Harper’s coffin, bringing the score to 42-8.

Harper did score a final touchdown with 35 ticks on the clock, but failed on its two-point conversion and limped home 1-5, 0-1 on the season.

In addition to the turnovers generated by Alvaro Bustamante and Cabaniss, Kolby Vincent fell on a loose ball. Sack exchange members were Cabaniss, Sammy Bustamante, Laque, Michael Haese, Haiden Haas. Pressures came from Valadez, Cabaniss, Tyven Gray, Michael San Miguel and Omar Martinez.

Center Point will face a tougher district test on Friday when the Pirates travel to Brackettville to take on the Brackett High School.

The Tigers gave defending State 2A champion Mason all it could handle in a 23-22 loss, where the Tigers had the Punchers in the ground, but could not cover them up. Mason won the game with a “Hail Mary” completion as time expired.

“Brackett may be a little deflated after letting Mason of the hook, but Brackett is a senior-laden team and their place is a tough place to play. We have to clean up our penalties and just have to keep getting better at what we do well,” said Walters.

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