Antlers shut out Minutemen - Sports

Antlers shut out Minutemen

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Posted: Friday, October 18, 2019 1:41 am

The Tivy defense held San Antonio Memorial to minus 7 yards in the first half, 61 total yards on the night and scored two touchdowns, while the Antler offense pounded the Minutemen for 49 points enroute to an eventual 62-0 shutout Thursday night at Edgewood Veterans Stadium.

Tivy scored on the first play of their opening possession when quarterback Trapper Pannell connected with Colten Drake on a 30-yard touchdown pass in the first 2:06 minutes of the game. After Jared Zirkel’s extra point kick, the Antlers jumped to a 7-0 lead.

Damien Hernandez intercepted a Memorial pass to score on from nine yards out only 1:29 minutes later. Zirkel split the uprights and with 8:25 remaining in the first quarter, Tivy was up 14-0.

Pannell scored on a 33-yard keeper at the 4:30 mark and Zirkel made good on the extra point kick for a 21-0 Antler lead.

Capping off a dominating first quarter, the Antlers squeaked in one more touchdown when quarterback Cole Miears teamed up with Drake on a 48-yard touchdown pass with :37 seconds left. Zirkel pounded in the extra point and Tivy finished the first quarter of play with a 28-0 lead.

Stoney Rhodes padded Tivy’s lead after grabbing a 41-yard toss from Miears to score with 10:08 left in the second quarter. Zirkel once again made good on the extra point kick.

Brooks McCoy scored the next two touchdowns on passes of six and 63 yards by Pannell. Zirkel’s point after kicks were good and the Antlers upped their lead to 49-0 at halftime.

Before heading to the locker room, Coach David Jones and his team took a seat beyond the endzone to watch the band perform in support of one of their teammates, Jett Traylor, who is both a member of the football team and the band.

“Jett was marching tonight and we wanted to support him. He’s one of our players and we just wanted to make sure he knew we were supporting him,” Jones said. “That’s not something I’ve ever done before, but I thought it was appropriate in this case. We love Jett. We care about him and that’s something he’s passionate about, so we wanted to let him know that we support him.”

Traylor was deeply moved by the gesture.

“It made me feel like I was the only person in the world in that moment,” Traylor said. “It was a great feeling to have them support me and watch me march. I’ve been in band since freshmen year and finally getting to march was a great opportunity for me.”

Traylor is a trumpet player, who began an interest in band as a student at B.T. Wilson. Traylor has also played football for Tivy since he was a freshman, but this is his first year on varsity, so the conflict is relatively new for him.

“Having the team sit out and watch us perform is something I will never forget,” Traylor said.

With a hefty halftime lead in their pockets, Jones set out to make more memories for his players when he pulled most of his starters and allowed underclassmen and nonstarters to take over in the second half.

“I thought the first half went really well. I was proud of our starters,” Jones said. “They executed everything pretty well. We scored every time we had the ball and I’m proud of that. In the second half, we saw some younger kids and younger linemen get to play and it gives us an idea of what we have for down the road.”

Making a memories in the second half was senior Noah Rhodes, who scored his first varsity touchdown from a 23-yard pass thrown by sophomore Fisher Middleton, who is a starter at running back, but served as quarterback the final two quarters of the game.

“I wasn’t too excited at first, because I was all alone in the endzone, but when I saw Cole (Miears) rushing up to congratulate me I was pumped,” Rhodes said. “He such a great guy and a great quarterback and that meant a lot to me.”

Rhodes said that while he doesn’t get much playing time, he is excited about his team and the prospects for a great year.

“With this defense, I see us going super far (in playoffs),” Rhodes said. “I play behind Brooks (McCoy) and he’s killing it, so I’m probably not going to play much, but I’m so excited to see where we go this year.”

Rhodes’ touchdown came with 6:25 left in the game and followed two carries by sophomore running back Ryan Mayberry, who rushed for 98 yards on 13 carries against Memorial.

Mayberry said he grew up in Kerrville and couldn’t wait to become a Tivy Antler and his time on the field Thursday night was a dream come true.

“It’s been so different coming up from JV, where I played a lot to waiting my turn on varsity,” Mayberry said. “But getting out there is so much fun. I was working the outside and made sure when I got hit to get back up and on the line.”

Also from the running back position, J.D. Rodriguez stayed on the field for Tivy in the third and fourth quarters, going 61 yards on 14 touches.

“I loved it,” Rodriguez said. “This is my last year and I’m hoping we can get past that third round of playoffs this year and go all the way.”

The final score of the game came with under five minutes left to play when Tivy defensive lineman Hayden Poe recovered a Minuteman fumble and carried the ball 42 to yards to paydirt, setting up the Antlers’ 62-0 victory.

Zirkel’s kick was blocked and scooped up by Memorial’s Phoenix Lopez, who had a healthy headstart towards ending Tivy's shutout, but his effort was thwarted after being chased down and tackled by Miears.

Tivy finished with 285 passing yards and 208 yards rushing, while Memorial managed only 61 total yards on the night.

Pannell completed six of 10 passes for 137 yards and three touchdowns. Miears went 5-for-7 for 124 yards and two touchdowns. Neither quarterback took a snap in the second half of the game.

Cole Mixon also recorded an interception and Poe pulled off a dramatic sack for an 11-yard loss early in the game.

The Tivy defense has consistently performed at a high level throughout the season, impressing both their teammates and defensive coordinator Jeremy Hickman.

“I’m super proud of the focus and the effort these kids put forth every day in practice and on Friday nights,” Hickman said. “I feel like they keep getting a little bit better each week and that’s what we want them to do. We still have a good three weeks of guaranteed work and we just need to take advantage of the time we have left before playoffs.”

Hickman said he was especially impressed with his defensive line Thursday night.

“The kids are playing real well together,” Hickman said. “It’s not one or two ‘superstars’ they are all doing great and they work hard for each other. They don’t want to let each other down. There are 24 kids on defense and it doesn’t matter whose on the field at the time, we all consider ourselves one unit.”

The Antlers are undefeated are currently sitting in the top spot of District 14-5A contention. Tivy will face Alamo Heights on Friday at Antler Stadium at 7:30 p.m.

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