Pirates show improvement, despite loss to Sabinal

Center Point's Sammy Bustamante gains yardage against a trio of Sabinal defenders Friday night at Pirate Stadium.

An uptick in offensive production and solid-at-times defense was not enough for Center Point to overcome being stung 29-0 by the Yellowjackets of Sabinal in non-district Class 2A football action at Pirates Stadium on Friday.

“There were a few positives. We did a few good things, but we’ve got to do more and be more consistent,” said Center Point head coach Bubba Walters. “Right now we are so inexperienced in some areas and we shot ourselves in the foot at times. It is what it is right now, and that’s on me."

Center Point (0-2) did total 146 yards against the unbeaten Yellowjackets (3-0) only one game after having less than 50 in their opener, including some via the air when the Pirates had zero passing in the first game of the season.

The ground game was good for 122 yards, split between six different ball carriers, led by Jake Laque’s 53 on 12 carries and 4.4 yards per tote average. Sammy Bustamante added 34 off 16 rushes, while Alvaro Bustamante, Derrick Dominguez, and Alexis Hernandez all contributed forward yardage. Starting quarterback Logan Burley was sacked three times for minus eight yards. Sammy Bustamante did have a 40-yard scamper late in the game, but it was nullified due to a holding penalty.

Burley completed two of three passes as Clay Vincent snagged one late in the game for 20 yards. Christian Martinez made the other reception.

The Pirates flexed their offensive muscles on a pair of promising drives in the first half when they trailed only 6-0, coming up short with on downs on one series and with a missed field goal try on the other.

After Sabinal’s first touchdown and missed two-point conversion at 9:51 of the first quarter, Center Point drove from its own 43 yardline to Sabinal’s 25 in eight plays. Laque carried the ball on half of the snaps before the Pirates were denied on fourth and three after a one-yard rush by Sammy Bustamante.

Another potential scoring march began at Sabinal’s 46 yardline, following a Yellowjacket punt, and the Pirates moved down to Sabinal’s 9-yardline before a holding penalty backed them up to the 18. After an incomplete pass, and facing fourth down, Martinez’ 35-yard field goal effort was just shy of the crossbar, leaving Sabinal up 6-0 with 5:14 before halftime.

Martinez immediately put the Pirates in another good spot when he intercepted a pass that gave Center Point possession at Sabinal’s 38, only to have the Yellowjackets hold on downs and force the Pirates to punt.

Sabinal’s spotty passing game managed to crank up on the ensuing drive when quarterback Grayson Kowalski completed half (3) of his passes for the game. The third went to Derek Smith for 15 yards and a score with only 17 seconds before the half. Intermission margin stood at 14-0 after Ethan Torres-Ruiz ran in the two-point conversion. Torres-Ruiz was the game’s leading rusher with 96 yards off 22 carries.

Torres-Ruiz added a pair of touchdowns for Sabinal in the third quarter to cap things for the Yellowjackets, who ended two years of frustrating losses against the Pirates.

Center Point will host Ingram Tom Moore on Friday for its final non-district game, then will have an open week before starting the district campaign, also at Pirates Stadium.

SABINAL 29, CENTER POINT 0

Center Point 0 0 0 0 --- 0

Sabinal 6 8 15 0 – 29

Scoring by quarter

1st QTR: 9:51 S: Ethan Torres-Ruiz 3-yard run (2-point try failed)

2nd QTR: 0:17 S: Grayson Kowalski 15-yard pass to Derek Smith (Torres-Ruiz run for 2-points good)

3rd QTR: 8:21 S: Torres-Ruiz 4-yard run (Kowalski run for 2-points good); 0:09 S: Torres-Ruiz 2-yard run (Braeden Soto PAT kick good)

TEAM STATISTICS

                     Center Point         Sabinal

First downs                  9            18

Rushes-yards       41-120           34-180

Passing yards              26            71

Total yards                146            251

Comp.-Att.-Int.       2-7-1           6-19-1

Punts-average       4-27.7           4-38.5

Fumbles-lost              2-1            1-0

Penalties-yards       10-75             2-20

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