A Rivalry Based on Revenge
As soon as the Season 10 schedule dropped, everyone associated with these two Texas-based teams looked on this opening matchup with excitement. This is the first of the season’s meetings between ‘The Texas Triangle’ and owners Steve Mullenax and Greg Corky will have made sure their teams knew the extra importance of getting a win. San Antonio were looking for payback with a win, after succumbing to a clean sweep of losses to the Ruffnecks in Season 9. Neither game was close, with Dallas dominating proceedings on both occasions. Mullenax was also hoping for somewhat of a bounce back performance from his men, the Ruffnecks having last won a game in Week 10 of Season 9, incidentally at home to the Vaqueros. Both teams had disappointing seasons last time out, but with updated team builds and big name signings, they were hopeful of a cracking opening match and an all important win.
First Quarter: The Vaqueros in Charge
San Antonio could not have dominated this opening 15 minutes any more than they did. Their defense held the Dallas offense in check, only giving up a couple of nice catches to wide receiver Shea Carroll. The Vaqueros offense looked potent, utilizing quick slants and out routes to exploit the Ruffnecks’ non-contract corners. Big body receivers Aaron Miller, Daley Holder, and Daly Hornish were catching everything, the latter making a ‘catch-of-the-year’ candidate, laying out towards to corner of the endzone to snag a lob by Joey Langdon. San Antonio’s offense looked settled, making nearly every third down play work and relentlessly keeping their drives trucking.
Dallas struggled to get a foothold in the game early, and the quarter ended with a Vaqueros field goal opportunity, deep within the Ruffnecks’ half of the field.
Second Quarter: A Quarter that had EVERYTHING
The second began with a 41 yard field goal by Antonio Flowerglass, who is automatic from that range. The Ruffnecks got the ball back and they needed to make something happen, fast. Unfortunately for them, Macc Wavy Jr decided to try a risky deep ball on 3rd down and dropped a sitting duck straight into the hands of Scott Perez (who played an awesome game by the way).
The Vaqueros offense took over possession, but perennial All-Star free safety, Troy Loshaw, decided that whatever Perez could do, he could do better. Loshaw dropped back into coverage after feigning a blitz and plucked the errant pass out of the air with ease. The big play by the future Hall of Famer must have lit a fire under Dallas’ offense because they swooped downfield and scored a quick touchdown on a Mike Davis outside run. I do have to mention that this wouldn’t have been possible had Wavy Jr not found a galloping Mike Osayi, who made his way into the 5 before being tripped up from behind. Heath McDaniel Sr was eating up the Vaqueros run game and Dallas seemed to have turned a corner. Alas, it was not to be. A bone-shuddering sack from linebacker Obi Okoye jarred the ball out of Macc Wavy’s grip and, despite the home side recovering the fumble, they punted, giving their rivals perfect field position. The crowd expected a touchdown and San Antonio duly obliged with running back Jason German blasting through the middle for a short touchdown run. The Vaqueros were up, 17-7.
The hootenanny continued on the next possession as Mike Davis broke out into the open field and found himself looking at green pastures. The Ruffnecks’ rusher sprinted to the endzone, scoring a much needed 6-pointer and leaving the defense tasting dust. The final 2 minutes allowed the crowd to finally take a breather and the half ended on a punt from Arminius Davis’ huge leg.
Third Quarter: Who is this Julian Marshall guy?!
After the unyielding excitement of the second quarter, the latter half of the game became a bit of a dud. Unsuccessful drive after unsuccessful drive was punctuated by the odd big play, a crucial catch here or there, mostly made by San Antonio receivers. Daly Hornish popped up with another quality touchdown towards the end of the 3rd, showing that he is the ‘real deal’ as San Antonio’s second receiver behind Daley Holder. One man who really did make some plays in the third quarter was generic wide receiver, Julian Marshall. Marshall made a few big grabs on 3rd down, moving the chains and facilitating the star contract players to do their magic. If he keeps playing like this, I can see him getting a star contract in the near future.
Fourth Quarter: San Antonio Grind It Out
As the fourth quarter began to break away from it’s infancy, Macc Wavy Jr finally seemed to be getting his connection with Prince Escobar going. Dallas were playing more no huddle and Wavy struck Escobar with short balls to the outside and one pass across the middle which Escobar did well to hold. It was a shame really that Dallas couldn’t get a sustained drive going, having to wait until near the two minute warning to get back into the game; a beautiful throw from Wavy to tight end, Luke Vidovic, in the endzone. The score was now 24-21, but with less than two minutes left, it looked an unlikely task for the Ruffnecks. And that’s exactly how it panned out. San Antonio ran the clock out using a tired Jason German and, in the process, scored their first ever win over Dallas.