Just as West Texas Comanche football fans were celebrating a 48-0 halftime lead, they were also reminded of how dangerous the game of football really is. Shamrock quarterback, Tyler Whiteley was airlifted from the field after being knocked unconscious just before the half. Reports from friends after the game say he has a concussion but should recover. Both teams were a little flat after the half.
The Comanche defense was stifling and smothering again this week, holding the Irish to just two total yards of offense and three first downs. They had zero offensive yards in the first half. The Tribe’s wrecking crew caused eight fumbles, and they recovered seven of them. Alex Ramirez had a pick six called back on the third play of the game. Carlos Juarez also seemed to be in the thick of things for the defense along with big Ty Lay, Austin Ivy, Brice Martin, Justin Holmberg, Ramirez, Dylan Ewing, Chase Elliott, Daniel Bustillos, and Zach Nick.
Offensively, the Tribe had a field day, racking up 48 first half points. Juarez ran the ball 7 times for 99 yards and Ramirez 5 times for 77 yards. West Texas had 383 yards of total offense and 16 first downs. Ramirez was 3/4 passing for 81 yards.
WT won the toss but deferred to the second half and putting the defense in charge of the tempo of the game. They were relentless, pushing the Irish backwards. After Ramirez’ pick six was called back. They held and forced a punt that was a horrible 23 yards total. Ramirez and company went to work from their own 23 yard line. On the second play from scrimmage, Ramirez was off to the races around the left side of the line. He scored on a 53 yard run, and his kick went through the uprights for a 7-0 WT lead with 6:37 on the clock.
A fumble recovery by Justin Holmberg gave the Tribe the ball back. Juarez caught two Ramirez passes and ran for 11 more yards on this scoring drive. A 17 yard pass to Juarez was good for six more and the kick was good. WT was on top 14-0 with 4:25 left in the first quarter.
The Comanches scored again with time winding down in the opening quarter. Ramirez connected with Martin for a 23 yard touchdown. The kick was blocked, but as the luck of the Irish would have it, they were penalized giving WT another chance. The snap was bad, and Ramirez grabbed the ball and ran around the right side of the line towards the pylon. The play was almost an exact replay from week one, the two point conversion was good and the score was 22-0 at the end of one.
After the defense held Shamrock to three and out, the Tribe were again the recipients of another bad punt for 12 yards, giving them a short field. Two plays later, Juarez zig zagged his way 44 yards to pay dirt. The kick was no good, but the score was 28-0 with 10:30 left until halftime.
The Irish thought they had erased the goose egg on the scoreboard when they slipped through WT’s kick off coverage and looked as if they would score. However, Brice Martin had other ideas and chased him down around the 20 yard line and caused him to cough up the football. Ramirez picked up the ball and WT was in business again. No, not this time. A fumble gave the Irish the ball right back at the Comanche 20.
The defense came back onto the field, and did a tremendous job of shutting Shamrock down in the red zone. They held on 4th and 5 and took over on their own 15. AFter a one yard gain, the Irish defense came up with the ball on the 16. After getting inside the WT five, the defense pushed Shamrock back to the 13 and cause another fumble, and Clay Berry came up with the pigskin.
WT started at their own 13 with Chase Elliott and Ramirez taking turns running the ball, they had a first down at the Irish 46 yard line. Ramirez threw a pass over the middle and Justin Holmberg made a fantastic catch on his way to a 46 yard score. Ramirez’ kick was true and the score was 35-0 with 4:45 remaining till halftime.
On the ensuing kick off, Daniel Bustillos scooped up a Shamrock fumble and returned the ball 34 yards for a touchdown. The kick was good and WT had increased their lead to 42-0 with 4:20 showing on the clock.
Clay Berry recovered another Irish miscue but the Tribe went four and out. The last Comanche score came after Dylan Ewing came up with the ball on yet another Shamrock fumble. Berry scored on a 3 yard plunge into the end zone. The kick was no good and the score was 48-0.
The Shamrock player was injured on the ensuing kick and the teams were sent to the locker room with 9 seconds left on the clock. The wait for Lifestar and the injury seemed to let the air out of the fans and players in the second half. Neither team could muster a score, and the Comanches played their second teams on both sides of the ball.
WT High improves to 2-0 and travels to White Deer next week.