Kaz: Unusual weekend of football
The sport of football went through a very unusual weekend where all Orange area high school teams that were scheduled to play won, the area’s two closest college teams got rocked and three Southeast Texas NFL players had a hand in the final outcome of their respective team’s victories.
Bridge City won their homecoming game against Stafford in a big way 36-0 while the other three games were mild surprises, especially the way the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Battlin’ Bears manhandled previously undefeated Lumberton 45-0.
Vidor jumped out to a 17-0 lead and downed scrappy Nederland 24-14 while Deweyville recovered a desperation on-side kick late in the fourth period and ran the clock out to beat Hull-Daisetta 23-20.
The West Orange-Stark Mustangs canceled their Saturday night game against Giddings in Conroe and instead said farewell to their leader, quarterback Reggie Garrett in a funeral service that began at noon.
After Friday’s memorial service for Garrett Friday night at Dan R. Hooks Stadium in West Orange, members of the Mustang football team showed up at the LCM-Lumberton game and ran through the tunnel with the Bears to show support for them to start the second half. The Mustang drill team and cheerleaders also performed with the Bear cheerleaders and Honey Bears during halftime.
And on another sad note legendary Newton High School head football coach Curtis Barbay passed out on the sidelines during Friday night’s game against Buna and died Saturday in a Beaumont hospital.
Barbay was one of only 10 Texas coaches with more than 300 wins. Barbay’s record in 36 years at Newton was 317-96-6 which included 29 playoff appearances and two state championships as head coach of the Eagles.
On the area’s college football scene, the Lamar Cardinals’ brief two-game winning streak came to a screeching halt Saturday night at Nacogdoches where the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks splintered several egos with a 71-3 shellacking over the Cardinals. The 68-point margin of victory is the most in school history.
Meanwhile across the Sabine River the McNeese State Cowboys also got a shot of reality by being steamrolled by Cal Poly 40-14 in front of the home folks at Louis Bonnette Field in Lake Charles.
That game followed a 50-6 drubbing suffered by the Pokes two weeks ago by Missouri. Now the Cowboys must regroup and begin Southland Conference play Saturday at Northwestern State in Natchitoches.
And the dream of the Texas Longhorns winning another national championship was set back tremendously Saturday when UCLA came to Austin and left with an impressive 34-12 victory. The ‘Horns came into the contest as 16-point favorites.
It was as thorough a meltdown that a Mack Brown-coached team has had on its home field. Perhaps the Longhorns were looking ahead to the annual Red River Shoot-out against Oklahoma at the Texas State Fair in Dallas this Saturday.
The big NFL game that was for bragging rights in the Lone Star State between the previously-undefeated Houston Texans and the previously winless Dallas Cowboys at Reliant Stadium kicked off Sunday at high noon. A third-straight loss by the Pokes may have been detrimental to Head Coach Wade Phillips’ future tenure.
However, the Cowboys played like there was no tomorrow and took it straight to the hosting Texans. The Pokes must have taken this Korner’s advice about a balanced offense and ran the football 27 times for 101 yards and connected on 23-of-30 passes for 284 yards and two touchdowns from Tony Romo to Roy Williams.
The Dallas defense looked sound and continuously held the Texans vaunted offense in check limiting Houston to a lone touchdown in the final two minutes and winning for the first time this season, 27-13.
But the biggest plays of the day were made by three area NFL players as former West Orange-Stark and Texas Longhorn rookie safety Earl Thomas picked off two of San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers passes, his second interception coming on the final play of the game preventing the tying touchdown and preserving the Seattle Seahawks’ 27-20 upset victory over the six-point-favored Chargers.
Not to be outdone, the Atlanta Falcons took advantage of a missed 29-yard field goal by New Orleans Saints’ playoff hero Garrett Hartley in overtime after he tied the game at 24-all with a 32-yard field goal with four second left in regulation.
The Falcons drove the ball into Saints territory and called on former Bridge City kicker Matt Bryant for a 46-yard field goal who put the football through the uprights with 1:55 left in the overtime period to beat the five-point favored defending world champions 27-24.
And the Kansas City Chiefs, who had scored only one offensive touchdown in their first two games, upset the three-point favored San Francisco 49ers 31-10 to run their record to 3-0 this season. Leading the Chiefs rushing attack was Port Arthur native and former Texas Longhorn Jamaal Charles with 97 yards rushing on 12 carries and 57 yards receiving on three catches.
So after three weeks the NFL teams still undefeated are the Kansas City Chiefs, 3-0 for the first time since 2003 on the strength of their blazing speed on special teams and a stingy defense, the Pittsburgh Steelers, who are winning with their Steel Curtain defense without suspended quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and with fourth-stringer Charlie Batch and the winner of Monday night’s game between the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers.
KWICKIES…The hapless Buffalo Bills released quarterback Trent Edwards Monday. Edwards lost his starting job to Ryan Fitzpatrick for Sunday’s game won by the New England Patriots, 38-30. Fitzpatrick connected on 20-of-28 passes for 247 yards and two touchdowns and led the Bills to their best offensive showing of the season.
The Texas Longhorns took a tumble in this week’s Associated Press Top 25 College Football Poll from No. 7 to No. 21 after being blown out by unranked UCLA. TCU and Oregon switched places, with the Horned Frogs dropping one spot to No. 5. Alabama hung on to the top spot with Ohio State right on the Crimson Tide’s heels. Stanford jumped from No. 16 to No. 9 and Auburn leaped from No. 17 to No. 10. Newcomers to this week’s poll are North Carolina State to No. 23 and Nevada No. 25.
Actor Robert Duvall stars as an eccentric golfer-rancher who helps a down-on-his-luck Tour pro, played by Lucas Black, re-find his game at a remote, scrappy golf course in the Texas Hill Country in an inspirational golf-mentor film called “Seven Days in Utopia.” The movie is scheduled for release in 2011.
JUST BETWEEN US…According to Fox Sports Sunday the NFL reportedly has laid out a plan for its employees if there is a work stoppage next year after the contract with the players expires. The plan would include unpaid leaves of absence and pay cuts, depending on how long games are not played in 2011. However the league would not confirm the Fox report.