Navarro sophomore Johnny Alegria (85 yds., 2 TD) sprints through the Central Catholic secondary during Friday’s homecoming game at Erwin-Lee Field. Photo by Andie Rangel.
Navarro quarterback Will Eveld hurdles a Central Catholic defender Friday evening at Erwin-Lee Field. Photo by Andie Rangel.
(Geronimo) – Navarro scored 21 straight points after halftime to pull away from Central Catholic for a 42-21 Homecoming win at Erwin-Lee Field in Friday’s clash of previously unbeaten teams.
The Panthers (6-0) handed the Buttons (5-1) their first loss of the season and scored four more points than Central Catholic allowed (38) over its first five games combined. Navarro stretched its regular season winning streak to 29 games and its home winning streak to 18.
Senior quarterback Will Eveld wasted no time carving Navarro’s first notch in the scoring column. On the first snap from scrimmage, just 22 seconds into the game, Eveld kept on a read option play, broke a tackle in the secondary, and sprinted away from the Buttons’ defense for a 67-yard touchdown.
The Panthers doubled the lead to with 7:40 left in the first quarter when sophomore speedster Johnny Alegria broke loose for a 35-yard dash to the end zone to cap a seven-play, 71-yard drive. Efrain Alfaro, who finished 6-6 on PAT kicks, put Navarro in front 14-0.
Central Catholic answered with an eight-play, 64-yard drive and a one-yard plunge over the goal line from Zach Davidsmeyer, followed by a Franco Querido kick, to make it a 14-7 contest with 4:53 to play in the opening period.
Will Reyna outran the Central Catholic defense for a 41-yard touchdown just 19 seconds into the second quarter to give Navarro its second 14-point lead, 21-7.
The Buttons tightened up defensively to fight back in the game and keep it close going into halftime. Central Catholic recovered a Navarro fumble at the Panthers 24-yard line, and eight players later made it a one score game with a nine-yard touchdown pass from Nick Chavez to Gibby Garza at the 7:15 mark of the second quarter.
Central Catholic kept the Panthers out of the end zone on the next two possession to keep the halftime deficit at 21-14.
Navarro reasserted itself in the third quarter, using a nine-yard run by Alegria at the 6:32 mark at the end of a 13-play, 72-yard drive and a 10-yard scamper to the end zone by Mason McCalip with 2:07 left in the period to take a commanding 35-14 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Panthers extended the cushion to 42-14 less than two minutes into the final frame when Eveld found Bryan Butler on slant for a 13-yard touchdown pass to punctuate a six-play, 71-yard drive.
“Obviously, we got off to a pretty good start in the first quarter, and then, as usual, the other team really fought,” Navarro head coach Les Goad said. “They’re very good. Central Catholic’s a really good 5-0 team coming in, but I think the proudest thing I was of tonight is we came out in the third quarter, finally, and outscored our opponent in the third quarter, which is the big key, 14-0, and we haven’t done that all year, so that was the big thing for us.”
Eveld led Navarro in rushing with 104 yards and a score on just eight carries, and he completed 4-10 passes for 56 yards and a touchdown. Alegria finished with 85 yards and two scores on seven attempts, while Reyna totaled 78 yards and a touchdown on three carries. Brady Butler’s 19-yard reception was the Panthers’ longest of the night.
Navarro out-gained Central Catholic 473 total yards to 248, and the Panthers churned out 417 rushing yards on 42 attempts.
Navarro opens the District 13-4A-Division-II schedule this Friday with a home game against Llano at 7:30 p.m.
Defensive end Rawson Young (50) and linebacker Ramon Munoz (56) wrestle down Central Catholic tailback Zach Davidsmeyer during Navarro’s homecoming win over the Buttons. Photo by Andie Rangel.