Bad call may have hurt chances, but Southside was facing tough opponent
Southside dominated the first half of its Class 5A Division II area-round contest with Kerrville Tivy on Saturday, Nov. 24, but an erroneous call in a late third-quarter play swung the momentum to the Antlers.
“It was a big call. And no doubt that it changed the game,” said Southside coach Ricky Lock. “But Tivy had a good team. I wouldn’t take anything from them.”
The Cardinals (9-3) led 14-7 at halftime and were tied when officials ruled that Tivy senior Cary Easley had fumbled on the way into the end zone at Alamo Stadium with 3:29 left in the quarter. However, after conferring (without access to video), they ruled that Easley had scored the go-ahead touchdown in the Antlers’ 24-14 win Saturday.
Officials originally ruled that Kerrville Tivy senior Cary Easley had fumbled on the way into the end zone at Alamo Stadium. However, after conferring (without access to video), they ruled that Easley had scored the go-ahead touchdown in the Antlers’ 24-14 win Saturday.
But video shot by KSAT showed that a hit from Southside’s Perfecto Doria jarred the ball loose and Easley lost possession at about the 1-yard line. Subsequent videos and screen captures posted to Twitter confirmed the fumble.
“It’s just a crying shame,” said Lock, whose season ended with the loss. “It’s pretty cut-and-dried. It wasn’t even close (to the end zone). But there’s nothing we can do about it now.
“It’s very disappointing a call like that would be made in a game of that magnitude.”
Unlike college and professional football games, UIL doesn’t allow high school officials to evaluate video replays before finalizing calls.
The Cardinals, who won the first playoff game in school history eight days earlier, were tied 14-14 with 3:29 remaining in the third quarter when a low snap led to a hurried punt that traveled only a couple of yards. Easley ran down the loose ball and advanced it four yards before Doria caught up to him.
“I just came off the line and saw the punter pick it up,” Easley said. “I just picked (the ball) up and did the best I could to get to the end zone.”
Southside senior Moses Diaz tracked Easley and covered the ball in the end zone. The proper ruling, videos showed, would have been a touchback and four new downs from the Cardinals 20 for Southside.
Lock was asked the potential impact of having that opportunity in a 14-14 game, given that the explosive Cardinals had scored 50 or more points in the previous four games.
“It’s still a tie game and you get the ball going the other way,” Lock said. “You never know.”
Tivy (11-1) clinched the victory with an 18-yard field goal from Jason Zirkel with 2:02 left in the game.
“The key was our defense,” Kerrville Tivy coach David Jones said. “Really, it was kids making plays and doing what they were coached to do all week long.”
The Cardinals quick-strike passing game, engineered by junior Alejandro Escamilla (17 of 29, 147 yards), was limited to 52 yards and an interception after halftime.
The Antlers had averaged 54.3 points in their previous three games. However, Southside held the advantage at halftime, largely because it led the turnover battle.
Tivy committed three first-half turnovers, while the Cardinals fumbled twice. Southside finished with five turnovers.
“We were just not hanging onto the ball,” Antlers quarterback/receiver Cole Miears said. “You can’t do that.”
The second fumble recovery from Cardinals senior defensive back Gabriel Morris led to the go-ahead touchdown. His 65-yard fumble return with 5:10 until halftime was supplemented by a 15-yard penalty against the Antlers at the end of the play.
Southside scored three plays later when receiver Michael Hernandez ran 10 yards on a reverse after taking the handoff from Doria.
The Cardinals had tied it with a 42-yard touchdown run from Perfecto Doria with 1:05 remaining in the first quarter. The senior broke two tackles at the line and left pursuers far behind.
“Our seniors won a lot of games and given the school motivation,” Lock said. “And we’ve got some good players coming back. Nobody ever thought we’d be here at this time of year a year ago.”
Kerrville Tivy broke the ice with an 80-yard, six-play drive little more than a minute earlier. Miears scored on a one-yard keeper.
The Antlers had a chance to cut into their seven-point deficit, but Southside’s Christopher Camarillo partially blocked a 44-yard field goal attempt with 5 seconds left in the half.
“They took some things away and our guys took some things away,” Lock said. “Our defense did a good job. I’m proud of our guys. They’re fighters.”
Flour Bluff 35, Southwest 21
Corpus Christi Flour Bluff (9-3) scored 21 unanswered points in the second quarter to defeat Southwest (10-2) in a 5A Division I area-round game Nov. 23 at Dragons Stadium.
Senior Rosendo Olague had given Southwest a 7-0 lead with a two-yard run at the 6:25 mark of the first quarter. Following the Hornets’ scoring streak, Olague scored again on a nine-yarder, bringing the Dragons within 21-14 with 7:42 remaining in the third quarter.
Southwest senior Andrew Mitchell (144 yards, 7 receptions) scored the final touchdown for the District 14-5A DI champs on an 18-yard pass from Damian Lopez (6 of 12, 83 yards) with 4:15 remaining.