Clarence Tibbs and the Seguin offense will try to find holes in a Tivy defense that has limited opponents to 11 points per game during its current four-game winning streak. Photo by Andie Rangel.
(Seguin) - Seguin wraps up its 2017 home football schedule at Matador Stadium tonight with no margin for error in the District 26-5A playoff race.
The 2-6 Matadors dropped to 1-4 in district play with last Friday's stunning 35-21 loss in Marble Falls, and have to find a way to upset perennial power Kerrville-Tivy (6-2, 4-1) tonight, in addition to hoping for an Alamo Heights loss to Boerne-Champion, or Seguin will be mathematically eliminated from post-season contention.
"We're playing the last two weeks for what they are, and everything else will work itself out," Seguin head coach Travis Bush said. "We're not even talking playoffs, or anything like that. We're focused on Tivy right now, trying to still get better at details, and get rid of the penalties that have just been killing us at times. We're still trying to put a complete game together in all three phases, and not let back things happen early to get us down and put us in too big of a hole to catch up, and trying to just get some key stops on defense."
As Bush alludes to, penalties topped the laundry list of problems that plagued the Mats in the loss to Marble Falls. The Mats were flagged 13 times for 99 yards. Going 1-10 on third down and allowing the Mustangs to convert 11 times in 15 tries didn't help the cause either.
If a bounce-back win is in the cards, it will have to come against a David Jones coached Tivy team that has outscored Alamo Heights, Medina Valley, Marble Falls, and Boerne-Champion by an average margin of 34.2 to 11 during the current four-game winning streak.
Quarterback Karson Valverde (923 yds. & 5 TD passing, 220 yds. & 2 TD rushing), running-backs Hunter Saunders (645 yds., 2 TD) and Macrae Sherron (279 yds., 3 TD) and receiver Keithan Perez (33 rec., 409 yds.) headline the Antlers' offensive attack.
The Tivy defense features All-District returnees in every position group, including defensive end Brady Jenshke (11 sacks), linebackers David Denais (107 tackles, 19 TFL) and Trent Mott, and cornerback Nathaniel Seibert (2 INT).
Bush says Seguin will have to match Tivy's physical style to have a productive offensive outing.
"You watch them when they tackle, they don't tackle to get the running-back down - they tackle to punish him," Bush said. "Always stripping the football, they're flying to the ball, which puts them in good position when balls are tipped or balls come loose to get the pick, to get the interceptions and fumbles. They just play hard, and that's the culture they've established over the years at Tivy, is they're going to play their tails off, and they are very sound."
Even with last week's offensive hiccup factored in, Seguin's offense has produced averages of 35 points and 434 total yards per game. Junior wide-out/ tight end Hayden Haas (49 rec., 957 yds., 11 TD) is only 43 yards away from becoming the program's first 1,000-yard receiver since 2008. Tonight's starting quarterback will be a game-time decision between sophomore Jhaelen Mickles and junior Anthony Gonzalez. Mickles threw for 353 yards and two touchdowns in the one-point loss to Medina Valley two weeks ago, but struggled early and left the Marble Falls game with a first-half injury, after which Gonzalez came in and threw for 322 yards and three scores.
Seguin's statistical leaders on defense include linebacker Garrett Luensmann (115 tackles), who has topped 20 tackles in two straight games, defensive tackle Keane Davis (4 sacks), and safety Deryn Taylor (3 INT, 2 FR).
Tonight's kickoff at Matador Stadium is set for 7:30 p.m. The game will air live on KWED 1580 AM and Seguintoday.com, with pre-game coverage at 6:30.