Defense holds, offense rolls as Poteet claims second place

Poteet’s Ernest Davila outruns Marion’s Dominic Castellanos (4) for a big gain in the Aggies’ 29-22 win on Thursday. SAM FOWLER | PLEASANTON EXPRESS

The Poteet Aggies held off a late rally from the Marion Bulldogs on Thursday night to claim sole possession of second place in District 14-3A DI.

The Aggies (6-2, 3-1) held Marion to just one touchdown in the second half and 282 yards of total offense to preserve a 29-22 win. The win doubled Poteet’s win total from a year ago and, as the playoffs near, it’s only the beginning.

“It’s only just begun,” Poteet Head Coach Darby House said with a smile. “We’re only getting started. We’re nowhere near being done.”

Poteet’s defensive play, which included interceptions by Julian Moya and Noel Pena, complimented their offense. The Aggies posted 468 yards of total offense against Marion.

Junior running back Ernest Davila continued to dominate the line of scrimmage, rushing for 338 yards and three touchdowns on 41 carries, including a 55-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.

“[The defense] helps a lot. It’s a team effort,” Davila said. “The defense does their job and it helps us do our job. I give props to the defense and I give props to my [offensive] line, I give props to the whole team for doing our job and executing.”

Poteet’s success is the product of the Aggies’ work to finish games, Davila added.

“We work very hard on and off the field. We’re a second half team,” Davila said. “We push ourselves to the end. That’s what we do, work.”

Davila’s performance encompassed an effort from the Aggies that made House proud, especially after losing one of their top receivers, Martin Ibarra, to injury early.

“We executed,” House said. “Our offensive line played extremely well. Ernest ran the ball really well. Early on, [Alex] Lockamy threw the ball well. Losing Martin hurt us. I’m just proud of the way we played. Defensively, we kinda slowed them down in the second half. … I was just so proud of our effort.”

Lockamy would finish the game 7-of-10 passing for 109 yards and a touchdown.

The two teams traded blows early on. Poteet opened their tab on a 26-yard touchdown pass from Lockamy to Ibarra with 4:45 left in the first quarter. Marion responded in the second quarter with a three-yard run and successful two-point conversion by Tanner Beakley to give Marion an 8-7 lead with eight minutes left in the half.

Davila followed up his 55-yard scamper to paydirt with a two-point conversion before Beakley’s second touchdown run leveled the score once again with 3:39 left in the first half.

Poteet’s feature back tacked on his second touchdown of the game on a two-yard run just before halftime. He would come back with two consecutive carries for 62 yards and a touchdown just after halftime to give Poteet a 14-point lead that they wouldn’t surrender.

The Aggies simply wore down the Bulldogs with their physicality, especially on defense. They sacked Beakley twice and held Marion to just 129 yards rushing.

“That’s the thing, we’re very physical. We will hit you on defense,” House emphasized. “That just wears teams down and I feel that’s what we did tonight. We beat up on [them]. That’s our m.o. right now, we’re as physical as can be up front. We’re gonna keep rolling and hopefully things keep going our way.”

While the game had playoff seeding implications on the line, House saw the game as a playoff game.

“Like I told the kids before the game, this is our playoffs,” House said. “I don’t wanna lose again, to anybody. That’s the mentality we took and will take from here on out. It’s great to think about seedings and stuff like that, but we’re not interested in that. Every game is a playoff game for us.”

Poteet will host Cotulla (0-3, 0-3) on Tuesday, Oct. 27, at 7:30 p.m.

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