Rangers devastate Mavericks 44-0

Team looks better each passing week.

Luke Gombert and Garrett Brooks celebrate a touchdown against Pflugerville Hendrickson. Gombert threw for two touchdowns this week in a win over San Antonio Madison.

Danielle Esperiqueta

Luke Gombert and Garrett Brooks celebrate a touchdown against Pflugerville Hendrickson. Gombert threw for two touchdowns this week in a win over San Antonio Madison.

Jackson Posey, Sports Editor

It looks like Madison’s lucky gold Maverick isn’t so lucky, as Smithson Valley notched another win into their belt after trouncing the Mavericks 44-0.

Madison was a difficult team to place prior to the game, after they followed up a shutout at the hands of Schertz Clemens with a 55-point explosion against Austin Bowie, one in which three of their backs compiled at least 100 yards.

Well, those backs fell strangely silent again today, as the Madison offense was silenced by a stout Smithson Valley defense. Madison quarterback Michael Garza and his stable of backfield mates were suffocated all night by a defense that put together its first shutout since 2017.

Prior to a garbage-time rush by wide receiver RJ Kyle, the top Maverick rushers (Darien Gill, Garza, Anthony Cleaver, Kyle) combined for just 34 yards on 19 attempts. Garza completed five of eight passes for 38 yards.

This wasn’t just a case of one team being better than another. This was an embarrassment of a game in which the visiting team blew Madison off the field.

Cornerback Jalen Nutt, who nearly came away with a pick off Garza, was quick to praise his pass rush, led by Trey Belyeu-Witcher and Trey Moore, who each collected a sack.

“[The pass rush] gets their offense nervous,” the junior said. ‘It gets our momentum up to make big plays on the front line.”

But to speak only of the defense discredits an incredible offensive week for the Rangers. The team had nearly 300 rushing yards on just 42 carries (6.5 yards per carry). Jacob Forton (19/99) nearly cracked the century mark, Greg Eggleston went for 73 yards and two scores on his seven carries, and the relief mob of Gabe Hoskins (26 yards), Braxton Bounds (42 yards) and Justin Avery (25 yards) nearly matched Forton’s performance, and even got a garbage-time touchdown when Bounds broke through the line on a draw for a 36-yard score.

The ground brigade wasn’t the only thing that got going, however. Senior quarterback Luke Gombert (5/171/2) started hot with a 51-yard touchdown to Cooper Douglass, and though his completion numbers were five completions on 12 attempts, he has a knack for the big play. Three of five completions gained at least 48 yards: the 51-yarder to Douglass, a 48-yarder to Eggleston that could’ve gone the distance if not for a heads-up play by the safety, and a 51-yard bomb to Eggleston.

Gombert proved surpassing 12 yards per attempt is more valuable to this team than a great completion percentage without the explosive plays. Coach Larry Hill loves big pickups, and the offense certainly picked up a lot of them. Eggleston is one. The senior converted to offensive Swiss Army Knife after playing linebacker the last couple of seasons, and he’s certainly raised his profile with scouts and fans alike. After an incredible couple of performances, he now has 494 all-purpose yards to go with five total touchdowns in just three games.

After the game, Eggleston was named Jon Wayne Player of the Game.

“I couldn’t have done this without God. He truly blessed me,” Eggleston said after the game. “This means a lot to me and the whole team, I would have never [gotten] this [award] without the support of my teammates and good coaching.”

During the weekend, Eggleston was nominated for Jon Wayne Player of the Week along with Brandon Wyatt of Brennan High School and Tobi Kurrodi of Burbank High School. Voting continues until 3 p.m. Wednesday. Voting takes place at Jon Wayne Service Company’s website..

Staff photo
After his performance in tje 44-0 romp over Madison Thursday night, senior Greg Eggleston stands to be voted Jon Wayne Player of the Week.

Eggleston, who is receiving interest from college teams, says he favors running back over his listed wide receiver position.

“I like running back more because I’ve played that position since little league,” he said, “and I just feel more comfortable when I’m behind the line and running through the holes they create.”

With almost 500 yards already, the question had to be asked: what does he think about all those big plays?

“Having big plays like [the 51-yard touchdown] really gives our defense confidence to go out there and get a three and out,” Eggleston said. “It also kills the will of the other team.”

‘Kill the will.’ That sounds like such a t-shirt slogan. The team had Thursday tonight to bask in the victory – and perhaps design some shirts – but Friday, it was back to work.

“[We start preparing] after film, weights, and conditioning tomorrow,” Nutt said.

Next up are the Schertz Clemens Buffaloes, who are sitting on a 2-1 record after a 35-28 loss to Reagan.

(This story was updated Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019.)