A stellar defensive performance helped the Jourdanton Indians bounce back from last week’s loss with a 63-0 rout of the Lytle Pirates at Jourdanton homecoming on Friday.
“It hurt last week. It was a sore loss as far as being one you couldn’t wait to be back out on the field and be involved with competition when you don’t do well,” head coach Darrell Andrus said. “As far I could tell, our whole team was ready to get back on the field. What an incredible crowd we had tonight. What a beautiful atmosphere, what a beautiful night. I think our kids were ready to get back to doing what we do.”
As if posting their first shutout in over a year and holding Lytle to 123 yards of total offense wasn’t enough, Jourdanton came up with two defensive touchdowns on a second-quarter fumble recovery by Issac Paredes in the endzone and a 45-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown by Robert Miranda. Their third takeaway of the game, a 74-yard interception return by Justin Ledesma to Lytle’s 23-yard line, would also turn into points on a 1-yard run by Luke Tapp to put the Indians up 57-0 towards the end of the third quarter.
“Last week, we had an ok defensive game,” Paredes said. “We came out in practice solid. We practiced turnover situations every day. We just wanted to play fast and physical and go to the ball.”
The defensive tackle simply saw a golden opportunity after Lytle’s Drew Williams fumbled a snap in the endzone. Paredes wanted to make sure the week of practice was put to good use.
“As a [defensive tackle], that doesn’t happen too often,” Paredes joked. “I just went for the ball and got it.”
It was a night of complimentary play for the Indians through all phases of the game. Special teams came up with an onside kick recovery, the offense posted 407 yards of total offense and the defense made Lytle 1-of-12 on third down conversion tries.
The defense helped spark the Indians offensive rhythm. After losing eight yards on their second offensive possession and being backed up to their own 4-yard line, the Indians seemed like they were giving Lytle good field position after a 38-yard punt by Colton Schuchart into a stiff wind.
The defense stepped up and forced a turnover on downs the next series. Jourdanton would score on six of their next seven offensive possessions to seal the win.
“The defense really helped us get our rhythm and keep our rhythm,” junior quarterback Cole Andrus said. “The defense played a great game. They just kept on getting us the ball back and keeping us in rhythm.”
Andrus would finish the night 12-of-22 passing for 203 yards and three touchdowns against one interception. He and the offense were helped out by a massive day by sophomore running back Nick Cordova, who broke free on the first play from scrimmage for a 77-yard touchdown following a false start on the Indians.
The sophomore finished with four carries for 141 yards and a touchdown. He was one of four Indian running backs to score a rushing touchdown with Luke Tapp, Payton Gonzales and Dedrick Querner.
Six different backs got multiple carries. Having that parity in the backfield on film is something head coach Darrell Andrus hopes will force opposing defensive coordinators to play them honest.
“I think it’s very important [to show a lot of looks],” coach Andrus said. “We threw an interception down here in the red zone. And that play was called just to show we have play action in the red zone that way, later on, they can’t load nine [players] on the line of scrimmage … But I wanna put those things on film, no doubt, that way people have to defend. The whole purpose of getting multiple people multiple touches and lining up is to make them have to defend all 53 yards wide and 120 yards long.”
Jourdanton received some help Friday night, too. Karnes City knocked off Cotulla. That leaves Jourdanton, Randolph and Marion all with 3-1 records at the top of District 15-3A DI.
Jourdanton (7-1, 3-1) will look to seize control of the district when they travel to Randolph (6-2, 3-1) next Friday, Nov. 1.
This story was updated with official stats