SABINAL—The Poteet football team gave up some big plays Friday night, but the Aggies defense tightened up when it was needed.
Poteet held Sabinal scoreless on seven of eight possessions, making five stops on fourth down in the Aggies’ 18-6 win at Yellowjacket Stadium. Poteet (2-3) closed its non-district schedule with the contest, which was the first loss of the year for the Yellowjackets (4-1).
“Our defense has played well all year,” Aggies coach Doug Foster said. “We knew coming in that this game was particularly going to be difficult. Our whole secondary, we had to shuffle it all around because we had some injuries…I was very proud of our defense because I knew we were going to be in a tough spot.”
Despite rushing for 231 yards, Sabinal broke through only once, a 24-yard scamper by quarterback Mario Quintanilla to tie the game late in the first quarter.
Quintanilla finished with a game-high 132 rushing yards on 18 attempts.
“We had watched [Quintanilla] all week, and we knew that he was going to be tough,” Foster said. “Any time you have a good player, he’s going to get his. We just wanted to try and corral him as much as we could and prevent the big, big runs.”
The Aggies forced five turnovers on downs, including a stop on fourth-and-2 from the Poteet 9-yard line. The Aggies stuffed a Ryan Reyes run late in the third quarter to protect a 12-6 lead.
The Yellowjackets defense did its best to keep the team within striking distance, but a Sonny Orozco 3-yard TD run sealed the game with 1:42 left.
Poteet senior Anthony Ambriz had a pair of scores and led the team with 125 rushing yards.
“[Ambriz] was the workhorse tonight that we always thought he is,” Foster said. “Nothing surprises me about what he does because I expect great things from him every game. He never fails to deliver.”
Ambriz helped the Aggies fly out of the gate with a long TD run on their second play.
Ambriz took a handoff to the right side near the Sabinal bench before being wrapped up by a Yellowjacket defender. Ambriz rolled on top of the defender, and it appeared the players on the field thought the play was dead. After a brief pause, the Aggies running back sprinted down the sideline for a 90-yard score.
“[Sabinal players] thought I was down,” Ambriz said. “He swung me, and I kind of sat on him. So technically I was still considered up. I stood there for a while…And they didn’t blow the whistle, so I just took off running. I was pretty shocked.”
An efficient Poteet offense racked up 284 yards with no turnovers. Junior quarterback Daryn Garza went 9-for-13 passing for 103 yards. Orozco had 75 of those yards on five catches.
Eric Treviño was the Aggies’ second leading rusher with 51 yards.
“This game really proved that we can stay as a team and we can fight together,” Ambriz said. “It proved we’re pretty good together rather than alone.”
Poteet will kick off District 14-4A Division II play Friday against Pearsall. The Aggies will host the undefeated Mavericks (5-0), who won last year’s contest 34-6.
“I feel pretty confident,” Ambriz said. “Rumors and spectators say that we’ll be fighting for first in district. And I believe that we will fight for first in district and have a chance of doing it.”
“I think we have as good a shot as anybody,” Foster said. “And that’s why we play these games. The preseason schedule doesn’t matter. Results don’t matter now. All that matters now is going forward from here on out.”