The Jourdanton Indians knew they needed a full team effort to get past Class 4A Division I Canyon Lake on Friday night.
They got just that as they downed the Hawks 38-24 in Jourdanton’s nondistrict finale.
Friday’s win was saved on an effort play by senior Colton Schuchart as Canyon Lake’s Shayne Moss looked to have a potential 75-yard game-tying touchdown with 10:36 in the fourth quarter. Instead, Schuchart poked the ball away at the one-yard line and the Indians took over at their own 20 on a touchback.
“I was thinking I’ve got to get the offense another chance to score,” Schuchart said. “I mean, I just tried to put everything I have onto the field, just to make a play.”
That triggered a 14-point swing, as Jourdanton would score four minutes later off the turnover. Aidan Borth capped a 14-play drive with a twoyard touchdown run, his second of the game, to put Jourdanton up 38-24.
“I’ve seen a lot of big time plays and that one was one that totally turned the whole complexion of the game,” Head Coach Darrell Andrus said of Schuchart’s play.
Andrus went on to say that’s a testament to the program’s mantra “212,” a reference to the boiling point of water and the extra degree it takes to get from not boiling to boiling.
“[It] is a motivational thing that we’ve used since like 2008 and we use it in the slang concept of ‘Hey, that was 212,’ which is basically an exceptional effort play,” Andrus added. “I don’t know if one will ever top that one. That was pretty phenomenal, his grit and effort and then the ball skills there, too. You know, we work that stuff every day. And to see it come to fruition in a situation like that is sure rewarding.”
That was the tip of the iceberg for the Indians on a night where they had four takeaways and a touchdown on special teams. Senior defensive lineman Isaac Paredes blocked a punt and returned it 11 yards to put the Indians up 24-14 with 3:45 left in the first half.
“Before it happened, we all said, ‘let’s get a block,’” Paredes said. “And we executed and we practiced every day during practice. So it felt really good being a [defensive tackle] to score a touchdown.”
Senior cornerback Payton Gonzales had an interception for the Indians. Having the team operating at a high level across the board was a source of pride for him after the game.
“It feels amazing just to be able to come out here with my brothers and compete as hard as we can and just know that we’re heading in the right direction and going into district and playoffs,” Gonzales said.
While defense and special teams took the spotlight, Jourdanton’s offense operated well under pressure. The Indians managed 352 yards of offense despite QB Cole Andrus being sacked three times.
“I know we’ve got things to still improve on,” Andrus said. “First thing that comes to my mind is picking up the blitz. Their blitz game was impressive tonight: spin and rolls and coming after Cole in the back.”
Andrus would finish the game 25-of-36 passing for 263 yards and one touchdown, a 70-yard dart to Jarel Lilly (nine rec., 203 yds., one TD) in the first quarter on fourth-andfour. Borth had 21 carries for 66 hard-earned yards to go with his two scores.
After battling an upper body injury over the last couple of weeks, seeing Borth’s grit return at full force was uplifting to Andrus and his staff.
“Well, I’ll tell you, I wouldn’t want to tackle him,” Andrus chuckled. “You know he’s something else and he’s a special football player. He’s nursing an injury and that was frustrating for him. I think he had two touchdowns tonight and he was able to finish them off there late in the game, really working hard and pounding them.”
While Lilly took home the team-high marks in receiving tonight, the Indians were able to spread the ball around and get five other players on the stat sheet, like Luke Tapp with seven catches for 61 yards.
“I think the most important thing too, as you know, you saw Luke Tapp, you saw Nick [Cordova], our two slots play great,” Andrus added.
But Friday night is the past and the Indians will turn their eyes away from their non-district play and focus on District 14-3A DI and Marion (2-2) this week.
“We feel awesome, but none of those games have won us a district game,” Schuchart said. “So we’ve got to keep on working hard, get back in the weight room and on the field, and get prepared for district.”
While Andrus knows the district games are what count, he feels encouraged as they begin to prepare for district play.
“I’m very encouraged. I mean that was why we talked about this since whenever, I guess February, about who we’re playing and why we’re playing them,” Andrus said. “Honestly, 3-1 is great, obviously I wish we could have been 4-0, we had a chance to do it. But most importantly, I wanted my team to be ready for district play, and we’re ready.”
The Indians travel to Veterans Stadium in Marion on Friday, Sept. 25, at 7:30 p.m.