Rayburn’s season-opening victory hopes elude Texans in second half
The new turf, the new lights, the new scoreboard, it was the start to a new high school football season like never before at 53-year-old Veterans Memorial Stadium Thursday night.
Sam Rayburn tried to honor that fresh look by giving win-starved Texans fans a refreshing change in their recent run of misfortune.
Just down by two at halftime, the quest for the program’s first win in two seasons blew up in their collective faces as Goose Creek Memorial scored 29 second-half points en route to a 38-7 non-district win.
“We’ve got to get our kids acclimated to playing four quarter games,” Texans head coach Shawn Wynn said.
Goose Creek Memorial quarterback Reggie Branch threw for touchdown passes of 25 and 74 yards, while also running for a score as the Patriots finished all of their second-half possessions with touchdowns.
Sam Rayburn’s offense struggled to put together any sustainable drives, but of greater concern was the sight of starting quarterback Diego Torres on the trainer’s table at game’s end with his right leg elevated and an ice bag on his ankle.
The Texans could only muster 126 yards of total offense, 29 in the air. While the Patriots never punted, Rayburn punted five times. The only statistic in Rayburn’s favor were the penalty yardage. The Patriots finished with 11 infractions for 80 yards, nearly twice as many as the Texans.
Outcome-wise, it didn’t matter but Rayburn did drop a pass in the end zone early in the fourth quarter and the team down 24-7.
Then on the very next play, the Patriots intercepted sophomore quarterback Bryan Aguirre. Two plays later, Branch was hitting Trey Driver with a 74-yard touchdown pass.
Rayburn defensive back Jonathan Fierro, who had a beautiful first-half interception, dove in an attempt to deflect the pass and just missed it.
It was amazing that Memorial was able to convert on its first second-half TD. They got whistled for three infractions, but runs of 29, 10 and 15 yards fixed that, before Driver caught a 25-yard touchdown pass.
Sam Rayburn had not only chased Branch from the pocket, but he was on the 35-yard line when he let loose with his scoring pass.
Rayburn had two special teams blunders on the night. One led to a safety early in the game and the second deposited the Patriots on the six-yard line, leading to Branch scoring from four yards out.
Bryce Lane scored the team’s fifth and final touchdown with a 53-yard run late in the contest.
Rayburn’s one touchdown was helped by a Memorial fumble off a punt.
Setting up on the 35 of Memorial, Elijah Coronado chewed up 26 of the yards, before Torres scored from three yards out.