Antlers overcome injuries in 48-14 rout of Del Rio - Sports

Antlers overcome injuries in 48-14 rout of Del Rio

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Posted: Saturday, September 14, 2019 3:18 pm

DEL RIO – Tivy’s 48-14 win over Class 6A Del Rio provided all the excitement Antler fans have come to expect and yielded a host of storylines to follow as well.

Plagued by injuries of key performers, the Antlers entered the field with new faces and inexperience facing the Rams Friday night at Ram Stadium in non-district action.

With star kicker Jared Zirkel out with an injury, sophmore Zachary Donaldson was called up from junior varsity to take the field.

Donaldson admittedly was nervous on his first point after attempt, but managed to split the uprights on four of seven attempts and was solid in kickoff efforts.

“It was very nerve-wracking at first. I didn’t know what to expect,” Donaldson said. “Luckily I had a bunch of good guys out there to help me out and mentor me along the way and the second half I came out and did better.”

Tivy Head Coach David Jones said he was pleased with Donaldson’s performance.

“He was a little nervous in the first half, but did a good job for us in the second half,” Jones said. “He had to learn by fire and those are good lessons for players.”

Additionally, key receiver Brooks McCoy was out with a concussion after a stellar performance in Fredericksburg last week.

Senior Stoney Rhodes became the go-to guy for quarterbacks Trapper Pannell and Cole Miears. Rhodes hauled in eight catches for 97 yards, including an amazing one-handed grab with a defender at his waist.

“Honestly, I knew I was going to get hit, so I pulled it in as fast as I could,” Rhodes said.

Shortly after this catch, Rhodes was sidelined with an injury himself, leaving senior Christian Weyand to receiving duties.

Weyand answered the challenge confidently, recording four grabs for 77 yards.

“I had big shoes to fill and I just did what we practice all week,” Weyand said. “It was a great feeling to show my team they can count on me.”

Jones was encouraged to see these players step up for the team and hopes to see his starters return soon as well.

“It’s encouraging to see these guys get on the field and make plays,” Jones said. “We need Brooks and Jared back and have our top line guys ready to play by Friday, but we’ll do the best we can.”

In Friday’s game, multiple players were pulled due to injuries.

“It (injuries) keeps multiplying on us,” Jones said. “We have treatments tomorrow and see what happens.”

Tivy’s running game was driven by sophomore Fisher Middleton, who is new to the varsity level, but averaged six yards per carry. He had 13 touches for 82 yards, despite the size of the Del Rio defensive line, which was massive.

“I’m getting used to the bigger guys,” Middleton said. “After getting moved up (from junior varsity), it gave me a lot of confidence and I work really hard to be prepared for district.”

From the quarterback position, however, it was Pannell who led the ground game with 13 carries for 107 yards and four touchdowns.

Pannell also completed 17 of 25 passes for 213 yards.

Senior Cole Miears, who shares quarterback duties, tossed 13 balls for eight receptions, 135 yards and three touchdowns.

Miears completed a 42-yard toss to Pannell, a 6-yard pass to Pannell and a 6-yard throw to Middleton all for touchdowns.

It was not only the offense that put points on the board against the Rams, Tivy’s defense added two points on a safety provided courtesy of a tackle in the endzone by seniors Gonzalo Hernandez and Logan Green.

Defensive highlights include sacks by Hernandez, Garrett Kleypas, Jett Traylor, as well as a key tackle for a 12-yard loss by Cole Mixon.

Jones credited defense with setting the tone of the game.

“Their offense couldn’t really do a whole lot,” Jones said. “Our defense really demoralized them early on and it worked to our advantage. Closing out games like this can be hard, but we were able to get a lot of guys in and it was fun.”

The scoring detail for Friday night’s game is as follows:

First Quarter

Tivy - Trapper Pannell, 1-yard run, 7:52 (Zachary Donaldson PAT no good);

Tivy - Pannell, 4-yard run, 4:43, (Donaldson PAT good);

Second Quarter

Tivy - Pannell, 6-yard pass from Cole Miears, 10:48 (Donaldson PAT no good);

Tivy - Pannell, 42-yard pass from Miears, 4:46 (Donaldson PAT blocked);

Tivy - Pannell, 1-yard run, :40 (Donaldson PAT good);

Third Quarter

Tivy - Saftey, tackles by Gonzalo Hernandez and Logan Green, 9:29;

Tivy - Fisher Middleton, 32-yard pass from Miears, 7:54 (Donaldson PAT Good);

Tivy - Pannell, 38-yard run, 4:17, (Donaldson PAT good);

Del Rio - Sergio Mireles, 32-yard pass from Diego De Leon, :13 (Gabriel Zapata PAT good);

Fourth Quarter

Del Rio - Angel Rocha, 31-yard pass from De Leon, 8:57 (Zapata PAT good).

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