Longhorns football drop district game on road
The Harper Longhorns didn't help themselves at all in the District 27-2A football championship hunt by losing their opening league contest to Sabinal 27-14 on Friday.
The ‘Horns (0-1, 5-2) now face the always tough Mason Punchers this coming Friday in “must win” situation if Harper is to have any hopes for a first-place trophy at the end of the regular season.
Even a seed into the playoffs took a ding with Friday's loss. A win over visiting Mason, however, would certainly reignite Harper's good fortune earlier in the campaign when it won its first five games.
Kick-off for Friday's contest is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
With their wins on opening night of league action Friday, Sabinal and Junction (a 48-32 victor over Brackett) are currently riding atop the district standings with identical 1-0 records.
Mason has yet to enter district competition, having taken the night off Friday with an open date.
In addition to the Mason-at-Harper match-up, Sabinal travels to Brackett while Junction gets the night off due to a bye in the schedule.
Sabinal 27, Harper 14
There are many factors that can lead to a high school football team ending up on the losing side of a contest.
And one of those is fumbling the ball eight times and losing possession on five of those loose ball situations.
That’s exactly what happened to Harper during its Friday game with Sabinal.
Also, it didn't help that the Yellowjackets stung HHS with two first half touchdowns to take a 14-0 lead by halftime.
Early in the contest, Sabinal's Maurico Contreras reeled in a Mario Quintanilla pass and ran to the end zone to complete the 20-yard play.
Carlos Hill connected on the point-after conversion kick to put the Yellowjackets up, 7-0, with 11:09 remaining in the initial period.
With neither team able to take absolute control, the ball changed hands several times before Sabinal tacked on another touchdown, this one coming at the 9:36 point in the second. Hill's successful PAT raised the ‘Jackets’ advantage to 14-0.
Sean Baethge managed to put Harper on the scoreboard in the third when he ran 16 yards to the end zone, drawing the Longhorns to within eight points (14-6).
Baethge led HHS in rushing, gaining 92 yards on 20 carries. He also completed three of nine passes for 28 yards.
Harper reached back for a little bit of energy that brought it closer with 7:37 to go in the fourth period when Baethge bulled his way over the goal line from one yard out for his second touchdown of the game.
Things really got interesting when Jadyn Breedlove successfully ran the ball to the end zone for the two-point conversion, tying the score at 14-14 with 7:37 left in the game.
But any hopes of completing the comeback bid were dashed when Sabinal's David Silva scored a pair of tallies in the last 6:28 to keep the Longhorns at bay.
Harper was unable to respond to the double-barrel attack, ending up on the wrong side of a 27-14.
Sabinal edged out the ‘Horns in total offensive yards category, 281 to 261.
In addition to his passing leadership, Baethge topped all runners in the game with 92 yards on 20 rushes, while Ryan Reyes collected 83 ground yards on 10 attempts.