Indian football beats Eastland, moves up in rankings

Bronte Hermesmeyer, Editor

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The Comanche Indians defeated the Eastland Mavericks by a score of 21-14 at Indian Stadium last Friday night during their final non-district match-up.

Eastland was ranked #8 in the Class 3A Division 2 state rankings coming into the contest and lost their second consecutive game . With the big win, Comanche moved to #10 in the Class 3A Division 1 state rankings according to Dave Campbell’s Texas High School football magazine.

Comanche head coach Stephen Hermesmeyer said that it was a good win for the team, but there are many things the Indians need to continue to work on.

“It was a great breakthrough win for us last Friday night,” Hermesmeyer said. “We had our chances against Cisco to join the Big Country’s best programs, but we didn’t let it slip away against Eastland. There is no question that we go out and play with an extreme amount of effort every Friday night, and I am extremely proud of our guys for doing that. We need to continue to work on open field tackling, blocking at hip level, and keeping our eyes off the quarterback in the secondary. The great thing is that all of those are very fixable and we will continue to work at becoming a better football team.”

The Comanche defense allowed scores on each of the first two drives, but defensive coordinator Trevor Owens and his defensive unit made adjustments and didn’t allow a single point the rest of the night.

Colton Roberts was the leading tackler with 10 total tackles, while senior middle linebacker Gavin Farrar was a close second with 8 total tackles. The defensive tackle play was stellar from both senior Moses Garcia and junior Dakoda Moreno, who both had 3 tackles for loss and 3 sacks.

The Comanche offense gathered 310 yards of offense, with 254 rushing yards and 56 yards through the air. Colton Roberts was the leading rusher with 18 carries for 164 yards and two touchdowns. Quarterback Bronte Hermesmeyer completed 6/10 passes for 56 yards.

On the Indians opening drive, they faced a fourth down and one and elected to go with the punt team. Unfortunately for Comanche, Eastland blocked the punt and recovered it on the Indians nine-yard line. This led to a four-yard Eastland touchdown pass three plays later to give the Mavericks an early 7-0 lead.

With adversity in Comanche’s faces in arguably one of the biggest games of the year, it was time to see how the Indians would respond.

On the next offense drive, it took Comanche 10 plays to find pay dirt and even the score up at 7. Senior fullback Jeremy Bostick powered his way into the end zone for a one-yard touchdown and Nacho Rios split the uprights on the PAT.

“One of the biggest takeaways from the night is how our kids responded to adversity,” Coach Hermesmeyer said. “After getting a punt blocked and them scoring first, I was curious on how our kids would respond to a physical and hard-nosed football team like Eastland. They responded great and just staying in the game at the beginning ended up being huge for us in the second half when we took the lead.”

However, Eastland came back with an answer of their own. They drove down the field with chunks of yardage coming from the passing game, and they scored on a 33-yard TD pass with 2:00 to go in the first quarter to take the lead back at 14-7.

At the beginning of the second quarter, the Indians missed a 37-yard field goal after driving 65 yards down the field. However, the Comanche defense figured out a way to stop the Maverick offense. Eastland stalled out on the Comanche 17-yard line and attempted their own field goal. It went wide left to keep the Indians 7 points back and give Comanche a little momentum.

On the ensuing offensive drive, senior Colton Roberts capped off an eight-play drive with a 23-yard rushing touchdown to put the Indians even with the Mavericks with little time remaining in the half. After the kick, the Indians and Mavericks were all tied up at 14.

The third quarter and most of the second half was all defense. It was a battle between the two defensive units to see who would falter first. In the third quarter with 4:00 left, Roberts forced a fumble which was recovered by Indian free safety Kade Mercer for either team’s first forced turnover. However, the Indian offense could not manage to manufacture any points from the forced fumble.

With 9:00 left in the final quarter, the Indian offensive line opened up a huge hole for Roberts to burst 49 yards all the way into the end zone for a Comanche touchdown. Rios’s kick made the score 21-14 with 9:00 left to play.

In the final nine minutes, the Indian defense showed why they are one of the best in the Big Country. They had two goal line stands that prevented the Mavericks from potentially tying the football game. The first was when they stopped Eastland on the 10-yard line with 3:40 left on the game clock.

The offense couldn’t manage to get the first down, as they were short by two yards. Roberts punted it away and Eastland returned it to the Comanche 40 yard line. A few penalties by Comanche led Eastland all the way down to the 8-yard line. However, the Indian defense came up with four big plays. On first and second down, passes were knocked down by Jameson Allen and Mercer. On third down, Roberts sacked the quarterback for a ten yard loss, and on the final down of the night, Trevor Higginbotham knocked down a pass in the end zone that clinched another Comanche victory.  The final score ended up 21-14 in Comanche’s favor. The win improved Comanche’s record to 4-1.

The Indians have an open week this week, but they will start back up next Friday night at 7:30 against the Jim Ned Indians (4-1) in the district opener at Indian Stadium. Come support the Indians!

 

 

 

 

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Indian football beats Eastland, moves up in rankings