Indians light it up for outright district title

Indian senior QB Cole Andrus (7) escapes the pocket before throwing a touchdown to Jarel Lilly on the same play in the second half of their 54-14 win over Cotulla. SAM FOWLER | PLEASANTON EXPRESS

The Jourdanton Indians were operating on all cylinders in their regular season finale on Saturday afternoon.

The Indians (9-1, 6-0) avenged their 2019 loss to Cotulla (0-6, 0-6) with a 54-14 result of their own to lock up the outright District 14-3A DI title for a second consecutive season. Now Jourdanton can set their sights on a deep playoff run.

“It’s something we need to enjoy and cherish, and know that it’s not an easy accomplishment by any means,” Head Coach Darrell Andrus said. “I’m really proud of this football team and the regular season we had this year. But it all points to the next game, where, I tell them every year, it’s the playoffs and our football lives are on the line.”

Senior wide receiver Jarel Lilly had to take the SAT on Saturday morning and he got to Indian Stadium just in time for pregame warmups. His first and second receptions of the game were for touchdowns of 13 and 67 yards to put Jourdanton up 14-0.

He would finish the game with six catches for 158 yards and four touchdowns. He wasn’t sure how he’d play, but after his first two catches, he knew he was in for a big day.

“I’m not gonna lie, I thought I was going to be a little slow today after waking up early to take a hard test and then come out here to play football,” Lilly joked. “But, it didn’t go that way. It went pretty well.”

Fellow senior Cole Andrus finished the day 15-of-20 passing for 301 yards and six touchdowns. His second touchdown pass to Lilly in the first quarter also marked his 100th career touchdown pass at Jourdanton.

The Indians took a timeout so his teammates could celebrate the moment with him. The 6-foot-3 signal caller feels the credit should go to the guys he celebrated with.

“It’s incredibly special,” QB Andrus said of the moment. “It brought back so many memories from this field. It brought back

Senior receiver Jarel Lilly Leaps up and makes a catch in the first half of Jourdanton’s 54-14 win over Cotulla on Saturday. SAM FOWLER | PLEASANTON EXPRESS

memories from throwing touchdown passes my sophomore year, my junior year. It brought back great memories with old friends who are like family to me. It makes me very thankful to have all of them in my life.”

The moment was equally as special for his father and head coach.

“I’ve known these kids since they were in fifth grade when we moved here,” coach Andrus said. “You’d think the 100 touchdown passes is about Cole Andrus and it’s not. I can’t even tell you how many awesome receivers, the kids who have made plays, the offensive line who will always have a special place in my heart.

“As a dad, I look at all the accomplishments Cole’s had and I give him a lot of credit for that. But it just puts the big picture into perspective. … Those records, those individual records, I’m sure one day we’ll look back on and cherish them. But right now, we look to add to that total and become a team to be reckoned with, no doubt.”

Former Jourdanton center David Flores was recognized along with all of the current offensive lineman over the loudspeaker at Indian Stadium.

“That’s pretty remarkable. Even when Cole was a freshman, David Flores was his center for three years and then Thomas [Netardus] his senior year. Not many quarterbacks who’ve started for four years can say they’ve taken snaps from just two different centers,” coach Andrus added.

The Indians also picked up a defensive touchdown from Ethan Purchis, who fell on the ball in the end zone after one of three errant punt snaps by the Cowboys. Junior Luke Tapp added a pair of touchdown catches, including an incredible one-handed snag in the open field in the first quarter on fourth-and-14 for a 43-yard score. He would finish the game with three catches for 83 yards.

The Indian defense, looking to right their wrongs from the 2019 loss, held Cotulla to just 196 yards of total offense en route to the undefeated district title. At the end of the first half, Cotulla had managed just 60 yards of offense and one touchdown while Jourdanton led 47-7.

“It feels amazing, especially since, last year, we lost to this team,” senior defensive lineman Emmanuel Lugo said. “The fact that we get to be undefeated district champs against this team means a lot.”

Lugo added the team’s confidence is high after a dominating performance on Saturday.

“It’s good. It just helps us get better for the game ahead of us,” Lugo said. “They were a good offense. It gave us another rep before the playoffs.”

Jourdanton will face the fourth seed from District 13-3A DI, Comfort (7-3, 1-3), on Saturday, Nov. 14, at 7 p.m. in Somerset.

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