Aggie defense shines to lock up second place

Poteet junior linebacker Julian Moya delivers a blow to Randolph running back Tre’Von Moore in the Aggies’ 14-7 win on Friday. SAM FOWLER | PLEASANTON EXPRESS

Poteet’s veteran defense rose to the occasion to lock up second place in District 14-3A DI and the program’s best regular season finish since 2005.

The Aggies (8-2, 5-1) outlasted the Randolph Ro-Hawks (5-4, 4-2) 14-7 in a war of attrition at Aggie Stadium on Friday night. Three forced turnovers on downs, including senior cornerback Giovani Magirl’s game-saving pass breakup in the endzone with nine seconds left in the game, helped Poteet negate four turnovers they allowed.

“Like I always say, defense wins championships. Defense wins games like this,” junior middle linebacker Julian Moya said. “When it comes down to it, we’re always there. We’re always prepared.”

It was fitting that Poteet’s strongest phase of the game stepped up when it counted most.

“It’s a great feeling,” Magirl said. “We all know how to work together as a team. We’ve been together for a really long time, so we all know our weaknesses and our strengths and we use that to our advantage. The linebackers and defensive line, I give shoutouts to them because they’re really good in the trenches. They know how to get stuff done.”

The Aggies held the Ro-Hawks to just 207 yards of total offense Friday night and sacked Randolph QB Sam Gierat twice. Cutter Blagg recorded one of those sacks and Moya was in on numerous stops for the Aggies.

Magirl and the Aggie defense had to stay disciplined in their assignments, though, with Randolph’s triple option offense. Gierat’s final pass of the game was just Randolph’s sixth pass attempt. They failed to complete all six.

“It can get really boring in a game like this with a bunch of runs,” Magirl said. “But we had to stay disciplined. That’s something we worked on all summer, every day. We’d come, get our workout and practice football. I think that’s what helped us out the most. Our coaches helped us a lot with our discipline.”

That was one of several pass breakups for Magirl on Friday night and his head coach couldn’t have been more proud of the whole effort from his defense.

“We executed our game plan,” Head Coach Darby House said. “We knew what they were going to do and we had a lot of keys, as long as we read our keys we’d be fine. [The defense] did a great job. Our defense was lights out.”

Junior Joey Davila, who also excelled on the defensive side, provided the game-winning touchdown for Poteet on a 56-yard pass from Lockamy three plays into the fourth quarter.

“Julian had a great game. Joey had a great game on both sides,” House added. “He had the long touchdown on the play

Junior running back Ernest Davila gets ready to shed a would-be Randolph tackler during his 60-yard touchdown run in Poteet’s 14-7 win on Friday night. SAM FOWLER | PLEASANTON EXPRESS

action. Our kids, they played hard. The turnovers, the fumbles killed us. But, we finally learned to battle through adversity. We lost the turnover battle 4-0 and came out with a victory. I can’t say much more or be more proud of our kids.

The Aggies looked to be firing on all cylinders with junior running back Ernest Davila going 60 yards for the game’s first touchdown on Poteet’s third play of the game. However, a pair of fumbles by Davila, a third by Noel Peña and an interception by Aggie QB Alex Lockamy put the breaks on Poteet’s high-octane offense Friday night.

Davila finished the game with 182 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries. Lockamy was 3-of-5 for 74 yards with one touchdown against one interception.

While their offense usually takes the limelight, the Aggie defense knew they needed to pick up their offense with stout play.

“We knew we had to come up big and fight,” Moya said. “The offense gave the ball up, but it happens. We were prepared.”

The Aggies will now advance to the playoffs, where they’ll face District 13-3A DI third place Blanco (7-3) at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 13, at Medina Valley’s Panther Stadium.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *