Football News & Announcements

October 31: Senior Night, "Black-Out Night"
FOOTBALL: GHS Evens 13-4A Mark with 38-20 Win
Gatesville put itself back into playoff talk here Friday night, hammering Lampasas 38-20 in a game that was not near as close as the final score indicated. Jeff Speer passed for 115 yards and Alex Thompson rushed for 98 as GHS built a 38-6 lead and was never threatened. The Hornet defense was even more impressive, allowing their run-oriented guests only 56 yards rushing in the first half. “I can’t express enough how impressed I was with our defensive play tonight,” said Gatesville coach Kyle Cooper. “They got after it. When you face an offense as good as the one Lampasas has, you need people flying to the ball. You need people taking care of their assignments — and that’s what we had." Gatesville opened the scoring late in the opening quarter, as Speer toted the pigskin 10 yards for a touchdown. Abate Hennessy kicked true on a 26-yard field goal midway through the second period to make it 10-0. GHS successfully converted an onsides kick after the field goal, setting up the Hornet offense again. This drive ended on a Speer 5-yard keeper to make it 17-0 with 1:09 left in the first half. Lampasas reached the end zone with just 0:23 remaining in the half, but GHS accounted for the game's next two scores and upped its lead to 38-6 with less than three minutes to play. GHS finished with 401 yards offense while limiting Lampasas to 294. The Hornet defense was led by Cooper Edmiston (10 tackles), Addison Santulan (10), Sam Jackson (8), Michael Hallman (7) and Nick Gibson (7). "Tonight proved it’s all about us,” Cooper said. “When we execute, when we make plays, we see positive things.” With the win, Gatesville joins a 4-team pack of 1-1 teams in District 13-4A. Burnet leads the 6-team standings at 2-0, while Gatesville, Robinson, La Vega and China Spring are 1-1, Lampasas 0-2. The Hornets travel to Burnet next week.
FOOTBALL: GHS Trying to Bounce Back Versus Badgers
A week after a disappointing league-opening loss, Gatesville High will try to position itself back in the District 17-4A playoff talk when it hosts Lampasas here Friday night. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. for the 2014 GHS Homecoming game. It will be a matchup of teams that suffered first-week district losses - Gatesville losing 42-21 at La Vega, Lampasas suffering a 40-19 home loss against Robinson. "We've got to have a good week of work, get a win Friday night and get ourselves back into the playoff picture," said GHS head coach Kyle Cooper. The Hornets were tied 21-21 with La Vega midway through the third quarter last week, but the host-Pirates accounted for the game's final three scores. Gatesville was denied on a couple of scoring opportunities down the stretch. "They just made more plays than we did," noted Cooper. Lampasas was never close in its loss to Robinson, with the Badgers falling behind 26-0 in the first half. It was only the second loss in six games for LHS, which has beaten Lago Vista (24-17), Austin Reagan (46-7), Lorena (20-18) and Canyon Lake (21-14) to go along with a season-opening loss to Fredericksburg (22-15). "They present a whole different challenge for our kids," said Cooper. "Their offense is like nothing we have faced all season long. We will have to be very disciplined on every play."
FOOTBALL: Sub-Varsities 2-1 Versus LHS Thursday
Gatesville High sub-varsity teams won two-of-three games at Lampasas Thursday night. The 9th Gold team kept its winning ways going with a 14-13 win, improving its season record to 6-1 overall and 2-0 in district play. The Hornet JV lost 28-21 and is now 3-4, 0-2 respectively. Lampasas also won the 9th Black game 40-6. All three teams will be in action next Thursday here against Burnet (9th Black at 4:00, 9th Gold at 5:30, JV at 7:00 PM).
FOOTBALL: La Vega Beats GHS 42-21 in 17-4A Opener
La Vega broke open a tie game by scoring three unanswered touchdowns in the second half, giving the Pirates a 42-21 win over Gatesville Friday night in the District 17-4A opener. In a game that went back and forth for almost three quarters, La Vega's 21-point run in the final half led to the victory. With the loss, GHS falls to 2-4 overall and 0-1 in league play. In other district games the same night, Burnet held off China Spring 38-28 and Robinson routed Lampasas 40-14. Gatesville returns home Friday to host Lampasas, with kickoff for this week's homecoming game set for 7:30 p.m. at McKamie Stadium. La Vega scored first in Friday's league opener, but it didn't take GHS long to respond. The Hornets' ensuing possession lasted just two minutes and ended when Jeff Speer (10-of-25 passing, 153 yards) connected with Andraque Jones on a 35-yard scoring strike. Abate Hennessy's PAT tied the game at 7-7. La Vega scored before the opening quarter ended, but GHS again responded with a game-tying march that ended on Speer's 32-yard TD pass to Brady Elliott. By halftime, La Vega was up 21-14 but Gatesville wasted little time answering with another scoring drive. This one was mostly on the ground and was punctuated on Dakota Vernon's 7-yard scamper that tied the contest at 21-21 barely three minutes into the third period. Vernon finished with 151 yards rushing on 19 totes, while Speer added 78 on 14 carries. Unfortunately for GHS, Vernon's trip to the end zone would be the team's last of the night, as La Vega scored before the third stanza ended and added a pair of fourth-quarter teedees to seal the win. GHS rolled up 22 first downs and 384 yards offense. Andrew Wallace snared three passes for 49 yards, Cooper Edmiston had three for 21 yards and Payden Smalley two for 16 yards. Defensively, Edmiston recorded 16 tackles, Sam Jackson and Nick Gibson 12 each, Addison Santulan 11 tackles and one for loss.
FOOTBALL: Sub-Varsity Teams 2-1 Thursday Night
Gatesville High sub-varsity squads won two-of-three outings Thursday night. The 9th Gold beat La Vega 53-26 in the District 13-4A opener, raising its record to 5-1 overall. The 9th Black defeated Lampasas 17-26 for its first win in four tries. The Hornet JV fell to La Vega 22-12 and is now 3-3 this season. All three teams will be in action next week at Lampasas.
FOOTBALL: Hornets Open 13-4A Slate Friday at La Vega
Throw out all win-loss records to this point because it all starts anew Friday night. That's when Gatesville takes on La Vega in the District 13-4A, Div. I league opener. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. at Pirate Field. It's the first of five district games for GHS, which is trying to reach the playoffs this season after missing out in 2013. "This is the first of five big games," said GHS coach Kyle Cooper. "They're all huge in our district just because of the league's strength from top to bottom." La Vega, which has been a Central Texas powerhouse for several years, brings only a 1-4 record into this week's district opener. The Pirates opened with an impressive 41-15 win over Alvarado in the first week but have since lost to Class 5A Hutto (14-38), Lorena (28-35), Mexia (21-40) and Waco Connally (27-35). "They are definitely not your typical one-win team," explained Cooper. "They are very quick all over the field and have very good skill-position players on offense," he said. "They are a very young team with lots of talent. I think the key for us will be our ability to limit mistakes to a minimum on both sides of the ball." Gatesville is 2-3 after wins over Connally (34-20) and Salado (42-32) and losses to Brownwood (0-35), Stephenville (6-49) and West (17-20). With the exception of Salado, the other four teams are a combined 14-6. "Our schedule, hopefully, has prepared us for the district race," he noted. "We took something from each of those losses, things that we needed to do a better job of and improving." The top four teams from each district qualify for the playoffs. In other games Friday night, Burnet (4-1) is at China Spring (3-2) and Lampasas (4-1) hosts Robinson (4-1).
FOOTBALL: Hornets Enjoying Open, Not Off Week
With the start of league play just around the corner, Gatesville High is taking advantage of an open week before its next outing. The Hornets are scaling back some during the bye week, which comes at the midway point of the 2014 campaign. "We are easing up on things a little," explained GHS coach Kyle Cooper. "During the week, we will have less time on the field and a lot less on-field contact. We are still getting a lot of necessary things's an open week not an off week." Cooper said the focus this week has been more on fundamentals and getting prepared for La Vega, the Hornets' next opponent in the District 13-4A opener October 10. "We want to have a great understanding of La Vega, both as a team and a staff," he mentioned. The district opener at La Vega a week from Friday will be the first of five 13-4A assignments for GHS, which hopes to snatch one of the league's four playoff berths come November. The district has been showing its muscle through the first weeks of this season. Three teams - Burnet, Robinson and Lampasas - are all 4-1, China Spring 3-2, La Vega 1-4. "It's going to be a dogfight every Friday night," he said. "Honestly, I'm not sure any of the six teams get through unscathed from district play. I think any team can beat the others on any given night." Cooper is hoping the Hornets' early-season schedule in non-district play pays dividends during the next five weeks. That 5-game stretch included losses to No. 5 Stephenville, undefeated West and a strong Waco Connally team. "No doubt playing those caliber of teams early on gets you prepared for the rest of the way," he said. "In the end though, the team with the best focus and execution each week is going to handle the load that awaits them the rest of the regular season."
FOOTBALL: Hornets Rout Salado 42-32 in Final Tune-up
Gatesville closed the non-district portion of its schedule here Friday night, downing winless Salado 42-32 in the final tune-up for upcoming league play. Jeff Speer (19-of-23) threw for 262 yards as the Hornets led 35-6 at halftime and were holding a 30-point advantage after three quarters. GHS flooded the field with a used a lot of reserves during the final half of play. "I was proud of our whole team tonight," said GHS coach Kyle Cooper. "This was our best week of practice this season and I felt we saw the results of all that hard work tonight. All of our kids work very hard, so I thought it was important to get other players some playing time in the second half." Salado took a quick 6-0 lead on its first possession, but it would be the Eagles' only lead of the night. Gatesville scored twice before the opening period expired and found its way to the end zone three times in the next 12 minutes to forge ahead 35-6 at intermission. Both teams scored during the third stanza and GHS held a comfortable 42-12 lead entering the fourth quarter. Speer had scoring runs of one and two yards and passed to Brady Elliott for another 3-yard TD. Kael Byrom had scoring runs covering four and three yards, while Dakota Vernon added a 2-yard TD run. Andrew Wallace snared six passes for 77 yards.
FOOTBALL: Salado Will Visit Here Friday
Gatesville High will close out the non-district portion of its schedule here Friday night, hosting Salado in a 7:30 p.m. kickoff at McKamie Stadium. It will be the fifth and final pre-district test for the Hornets, who are 1-3 after a vigorous schedule the first four weeks. GHS knocked off then-unbeaten Waco Connally (34-20) in Week 3 but has suffered losses to Brownwood (35-0), Stephenville (49-6) and West (20-17). Salado comes into Friday's meeting winless, having lost to Troy (49-7), West (42-7), Rockdale (35-0) and Academy (14-7). "They have made some midseason changes and those changes made them play better last week," said Gatesville head coach Kyle Cooper. "They were more competitive in their loss to Academy." Gatesville is coming off a 20-17 loss at West, which remained unbeaten with a late game-winning scoring drive. NOTES: Friday's bout will be The Big Sting game, with players, coaches and managers honoring family members or other persons that are battling or have survived cancer. All proceeds remain in this community and help those battling the disease....After this week, GHS is open until the District 13-4A opener October 10 at La Vega...Reminder: GHS Homecoming game is October 17 against Lampasas.
FOOTBALL: JV, 9th Team Defeat Salado
Gatesville High sub-varsity teams swept road games at Salado Thursday night. The Hornet JV won 21-18 to notch its third win in five tries, while the 9th Grade Gold squad won 20-8 to raise its season record to 4-1. The 9th Black team lost 34-0 to Temple. Next outings: 9th Black at Belton on October 2, JV and 9th Gold vs. La Vega on October 9.
FOOTBALL: West Scores Late to Down GHS 20-17
West used a last-minute scoring march to down Gatesville 20-17 Friday night in non-district play. In a game that saw the lead change hands most of the night, the Trojans' score with less than a minute to play capped a night of wild plays and excitement played before an overflow crowd at Trojan Field. Gatesville, which had picked up its first win of the season a week earlier against then-unbeaten Waco Connally, falls to 1-3. The Hornets close out non-district play next week at home against Salado. West, which remained unbeaten with the win, took a 3-0 lead midway through the opening quarter. The Trojans took advantage of a high snap on a punt attempt and set up shop deep in Hornet territory. The GHS defense stiffened and forced a 22-yard field goal. Gatesville wasted little time erasing the deficit, assembling a nifty 92-yard scoring march that consumed nine plays. Jeff Speer (167 yards passing) connected with Andraque Jones (101 yards receiving, 38 rushing) on a 57-yard pass to set up the Hornets' first trip to the end zone, which ended with Jones scoring on a 1-yard run. Abate Hennessy's PAT made it 7-3 with 1:15 left in the period. Gatesville's defense would flex its muscles again during the second quarter. West took the ensuing kickoff and drove to the GHS 18 yard line, but the Hornets held and West missed a field goal try. A key stop on that threat was an Alex Pittman sack on third down. GHS fumbled at its own 13 yard line two plays after the missed field goal, giving West a great opportunity on its next possession. After three plays the Trojans had it 1st-and-goal at the one, but the Hornet defense again rose to the occasion and Matthew Bell thwarted the Trojans with an interception on fourth down. The score remained 7-3 at the half, but Gatesville upped its lead with another impressive drive in the third quarter that ended with Hennessy's 32-yard field goal that made it 10-3 with 3:03 remaining in the third. West would tie the game before the period expired, then recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff that led to a Trojan field goal and 13-10 lead just two plays into the final stanza. Gatesville was forced to punt on its next series, but the Hornets got the ball back when Cooper Edmiston recovered a West fumble at the Trojan 37 yard line. The Hornets moved quickly on foot, with Speer, Jones and Payden Smalley toting the pigskin behind an offensive line that was opening gaping holes. Jones' 2-yard run with 1:52 to play capped the short march and gave GHS a 17-13 lead with 1:52 left in the game. However, West took the next possession and moved 89 yards, getting the go-ahead touchdown with 0:46 to play. Defensive standouts for the Hornets included Cooper Edmiston (14 tackles, 1 fumble), Addison Santulan (8 tackles, 2 for loss), Sam Jackson (7 tackles), Jones (6 tackles, 1 interception, 1 blocked punt), Bryce Cole (6 tackles, 1 for loss) and Pittman (6 tackles, 2 sacks).
FOOTBALL: Sub-Varsities Notch Wins Thursday
Gatesville High sub-varsity teams racked up wins here Thursday night. The Hornet JV downed West 35-30 to even its season record at 2-2, while the Hornet 9th Graders won 35-0 for their third win in four outings. Both teams will be in action next Thursday at Salado.
FOOTBALL: Hornets Facing Another Unbeaten Friday
For the third straight week, Gatesville finds itself opposite an opponent without a loss so far this season. This week, it's the West Trojans. Gatesville and West collide Friday night at 7:30 p.m. at Trojan Field. West, which dropped a classification prior to this season and competes in Class 3A, has steamrolled to three consecutive wins. The Trojans have knocked off Clifton (50-6), Salado (42-6) and Venus (42-19). None of the three are the same caliber of teams Gatesville has been playing during that same span, but GHS coach Kyle Cooper says West still is a threat. "They are playing well and they have a lot of momentum over there right now," he said. "They have looked good in their first three games, and no doubt they are doing things right on both sides of the ball." Cooper said Friday's game will have an added level of excitement for West, which will be celebrating its homecoming. Meanwhile, Gatesville is coming off an impressive 34-20 verdict over previously-unbeaten Waco Connally after successive losses to Brownwood and Stephenville to start the season. "It was good for our kids to get that win," he noted. "Despite the two losses, we made a lot of strides during that time and continued to get better. Our kids did a good job buying into what we were trying to accomplish."
FOOTBALL: Vernon-led Hornets Power Past Connally 34-20
Someone forgot to tell Gatesville it was the underdog here Friday night. The upstart Hornets rebounded from a pair of season-opening losses to down previously-unbeaten Waco Connally 34-20 at McKamie Stadium. “I was proud of our kids for their effort,” said GHS coach Kyle Cooper. “They did a good job of carrying out the game plan we had installed. More than that, I liked the way they kept believing in our system and what we were trying to accomplish.” It was a sweet victory for GHS, which had suffered lopsided defeats at the hands of Brownwood and Stephenville in its first two outings. Running back Dakota Vernon rushed for 259 yards and Jeff Speer added 199 total yards for the Hornets, who simply outmatched their visitors in a game that was not as close as the final score indicated. GHS accumulated 27 first downs and 470 yards offense, with 395 coming on the ground. “Offensively, we did a good job being physical and moving the ball,” he said. “Our defense had a great bend-but-don’t-break mentality all night long.” Gatesville, which built a 20-6 lead in the first half, flexed its muscle and might up front to control the line of scrimmage and allow Vernon and quarterback Jeff Speer to roam freely. After spotting their guests an early 6-0 lead, GHS answered when Andraque Jones found the end zone on a 3-yard scoring run. The Hornets produced scores twice in a six-minute span of the second frame – Speer on a 1-yard run and Brady Elliott on a 1-yard pass from Speer – to go ahead 20-6. Connally managed to cut the lead to 20-13 seconds before the first half ended, and the Cadets looked to be on the verge of another second-half comeback in the third quarter. GHS had taken the kickoff and drove the length of the field, but the scoring threat ended on a Hornet fumble at the Cadets' 12 yard line. Connally took just seven plays to tie the contest at 20-20. It would be the final trip to paydirt for the visitors. Gatesville, its line opening gaping holes and bottling up the inside for Vernon and Speer, came right back with an 11-play, 68-yard march. Speer, who rushed for 124 yards and passed for 75 (6-of-10), hit Andrew Wallace (3-50 receiving) for six yards on a key 4th-and-5 to keep the drive alive. Vernon punctuated the march with a 5-yard jaunt around right end that made it 27-20 with just 0:23 left in the third quarter. Speer would culminate the night’s scoring with a 5-yard keeper coming with just 2:22 remaining and punctuating another long march. This one lasted 10 plays and consumed more than six minutes off the clock, giving the Hornets a 34-20 lead. Defensive luminaries for GHS included Bryce Cole (15 tackles, 2 for loss, 1 caused fumble), Cooper Edmiston (10 tackles, 1 sack), Payden Smalley (8 tackles),Addison Santulan (7 tackles), and A. Jones (6 tackles, 1 caused fumble). “It was a nice win, especially after our first two weeks,” added Cooper. “We had made improvement from those first two weeks. I think our kids showed how they are capable of playing.” Gatesville travels to West (3-0) this Friday. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m.
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