|Posted on 9/7/2018 5:02:00 AM.|
Seguin receiver Hayden Haas, shown here in last year's Guadalupe River Bowl, is one of several Matador seniors looking to notch a win over rival New Braunfels in their final season of varsity football. Photo by Andie Rangel.
(New Braunfels) - Seguin looks to swing one of the state's oldest high school football rivalries back in its favor tonight when the Matadors visit New Braunfels in the 106th Guadalupe River Bowl at Unicorn Stadium.
New Braunfels has won the last four meetings in the series and 10 of the last 11. Seguin's last win in the matchup was a 38-31 overtime thriller in 2013. Tonight marks the 92nd consecutive season the programs have faced each other. The Unicorns pushed their all-time series lead to 64-38-3 by winning a 69-42 shootout a year ago.
Both teams look to bounce back from Week 1 losses tonight. Seguin opened Travis Bush's third season as head coach with a 25-22 home defeat to Antonian Prep. New Braunfels started Glenn Mangold's fifth year with a 34-24 setback to Alamo Heights in San Antonio.
The Matador defense was a bright spot against Antonian. Seguin allowed just two scoring drives that didn't result from turnovers in holding the Apaches to 292 total yards, 4.6 yards per play, and just 2.8 yards per rushing attempt.
"Putting our best athletes on defense, that was a commitment we made this year," Bush said. "You see Jacob Berkley out there, and Jordan Parker, and Dorien Shannon, and guys like that, and Terrance Brandon moving over there from wide receiver, so definitely wanted to put our best guys out there to give us a chance. If you can play good defense, and hold the opponent to minimum points, then you always have a chance to win the game."
The first priority for Seguin's offense tonight is to eliminate the element that proved costly against Antonian and in last year's loss to New Braunfels - turnovers.
The Mats lost three fumbles and an interception a week ago. The Unicorns scored four touchdowns after takeaways in the 2017 Guadalupe River Bowl.
Junior quarterback Jhalen Mickles is the listed starter for Seguin after throwing for 199 yards, a touchdown, and an interception in the opener. Anthony Gonales, who passed for 401 yards and two scores against New Braunfels a year ago, will be available as the backup.
The Matadors' other statistical leaders after Week 1 include senior receiver Hayden Haas (6 rec., 119 yds., 1 TD) and junior running-back Tavawn Williams (8 car. 86 yds.). Free safety Jordan Parker led the defense last week with eight tackles, two forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery. Chance Brewster recorded two tackles for loss, and Tyler Miller registered a sack.
New Braunfels has a new starting quarterback, senior Trey Johns, in the wake of Ryan Redding's graduation last spring. Johns went 17-35 through the air for 203 yards and a touchdown in the opener against Alamo Heights, and he ran for 42 yards and two scores on 10 carries.
The Unicorns overcame a slow start against the Mules to take a brief lead midway through the third quarter last Friday, but Alamo Heights produced the game's final two touchdowns to notch the 10-point win.
New Braunfels' top running-back, Piale Thomas, left the game after four carries and 23 yards on the first series and didn't return. Ethan Duliban led the receivers with 76 yards and a touchdown on six catches. Free safety Marcus Riley notched a team-high 14 tackles, and linebacker Adon Alaniz nabbed an interception.
"Everyone keeps saying that they've lost a lot, but New Braunfels is New Braunfels," Bush said. "They lost a lot, but they look like clones. They've got the same big offensive line, an athletic, dual-threat quarterback, and big, good looking wide receivers. They've reloaded well, and they've got a lot of depth, and they're solid. They've got good tradition there, so they're going to be well coached, and they're sound in everything they do, and they're going to be ready to roll tonight."
Seguin and New Braunfels kick off at 7:30 p.m. The game will air live on KWED 1580 AM and Seguintoday.com. Pre-game coverage starts with the Navarro, Marion, and Lifegate coaches shows at 6:30. Live coverage at Unicorn Stadium begins at 7:00.