Pirates edge Cole, keep playoff hopes alive



Mark Cantu (4) follows his blockers Roberson Harold (75) and Vincent Casanova (20) for a gain against Cole on Friday night. KYLIE MASK | LYTLE ISD

Mark Cantu (4) follows his blockers Roberson Harold (75) and Vincent Casanova (20) for a gain against Cole on Friday night. KYLIE MASK | LYTLE ISD

Lytle’s defense held up big against Cole, keeping their playoff hopes alive.

On Thursday, the Lytle Pirates beat the Cole Cougars 28-20 on the road thanks to big defensive stops.

“It was a big win for us knowing that we are fighting for that playoff spot. I’m proud of our boys for keeping us in this game,” said sophomore running back Malakai Castro.

Castro said he knows there is pressure on him to perform. He unofficially ended the night with 66 yards.

Two were big runs of 22 yards and 14 yards to put the Pirates in scoring position.

“We’re a different team this year,” Castro said. “Last year wasn’t good for us, but we stepped up a lot [this year].”

The Pirates scored 21 points in the first half. One just before the half saw quarterback Carson Aldridge connect with Logan Wilson on a toe-tapping catch in the end zone for a 12-yard touchdown.

Vincent Casanova scored on a six-yard touchdown and Mark Cantu had a 21-yard touchdown run.

Daniel Aguirre (22) wrestles a Cole ball carrier to the ground during Lytle’s 28-20 win over the Cougars on Thursday, Oct. 22. The narrow win kept Lytle’s playoff hopes alive. KYLIE MASK | LYTLE ISD

Daniel Aguirre (22) wrestles a Cole ball carrier to the ground during Lytle’s 28-20 win over the Cougars on Thursday, Oct. 22. The narrow win kept Lytle’s playoff hopes alive. KYLIE MASK | LYTLE ISD

Cole quarterback JP Reyes found Anthony Mason for a nine-yard touchdown before the half to bring the Cougars within 21-10 at halftime.

Anthony S’chevalier caught an 11-yard touchdown after halftime to make the score 21-17.

Head Coach Robert Mc- Conathy said the defense is the strength of the team.

Harold Robey unofficially had five tackles with two tackles for a loss. Cody Villarreal unofficially had three tackles. Rylan Wagner had one sack and four tackles.

In the third quarter, Aldridge went down with a possible injury that knocked him out of the game.

McConathy said the team is always ready if someone goes down.

“We’ve been practicing in the mornings, 15 minutes before practice. It doesn’t matter if it’s the third string quarterback, the second string quar- terback. We have three centers they snap to and they all rotate,” McConathy said. “They all know that at any given time they can play.”

Mark Cantu stepped up for the Pirates after Aldridge went down.

“We leaned on him offensively, we needed a spark,” McConathy said. “He gave us the spark that we needed tonight.”

Cantu scored a two-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter to seal the win against Cole.

“Coming in at quarterback and just getting the job done meant a lot to me,” Cantu said. “This was my first time playing quarterback, ever. So just being able to come in and get the job done was awesome.”

He said the team is just going to pick it up where Aldreidge left off and they want to finish strong against Jourdanton.

“We faced a lot of adversity this season and we have won,” Cantu said.

Cantu said one goal is to get into the playoffs and they will do their best against district frontrunner Jourdanton.

Lytle (5-4, 3-2) hosted Jourdanton on Tuesday night in their regular season finale.

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