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At both games I covered personally this weekend, special teams; well, primarily onside kicks, changed the fortune for Estacado and Frenship and enabled both to cruise to week one victories.

In a game that was going back-and-forth for Estacado and Midland Greenwood on Thursday night, the Rangers had taken the lead on a touchdown in the second quarter that made the score, 15-14 with the extra point to come. The Rangers then went for a two-point conversion that was intercepted by Deeondric Green of Estacado and taken back for two points for the Matadors and that made the score, 16-15 in favor of Estacado.

On the next possession, the 'Mats scored a touchdown and led 23-15 and then that's when Estacado went for an onside kick, recovered it and scored on a 33-yard touchdown pass from DJ Johnson to Devoryea Boyd that made the score 30-15. The Matadors then recovered fumble from a strip-sack from Kei'Sean Harris; a fumble that was recovered by Jamar Shaw who himself had an explosive game, and then scored before the half to make it 37-15 over the Rangers. That pop-up onside kick that was recovered by Cedric Ross in the second quarter changed the momentum, and eventually the final score which saw Estacado win, 65-51.

In Frenship's impressive win over Coronado, it could have been a different outcome, or maybe closer than the final score, if the Tigers wouldn't have went for an onside kick and recovered. Coronado won the toss to start the game and hit a 40-yard completion on their first play of the game which had the Mustangs ready to pounce. On their next play, Coronado fumbled and it was recovered by Frenship who then went right down the field and scored on a touchdown completion from Hudson Hutcheson to Chase Campbell for 34 yards and the Tigers were up, 7-0 early in the first.

On the ensuing kickoff, Frenship went for an onside kick and recovered it and then went on another TD drive capped off by Hutcheson's second TD pass in the first quarter; this one to DI 2025 Stadout wide receiver, Leyton Stone which made the score 14-0 with only two minutes of the game gone by. That change of momentum kept the Tigers rolling as they were up 45-12 late before finally capturing the victory, 45-26.

The moral of the story is... Special teams matter and they can turn the entire direction of the game in a hurry!

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Jasone Pearson


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