The Reagan County Owls are shaping up to be the comeback kings of West Texas.
The team rallied from 20 points down Friday night to take their second come-from-behind road win in a row with a 42-34 finish over Forsan.
“I’m too young for this,” Coach Blake Weston joked following the game. “I’m glad we got the win. I just wish we could come out like that in the first half.”
The Owls were down 20-0 to Forsan with six and a half minutes remaining in the first half when they showed their first signs of life.
“We had good fight down the stretch,” Weston said. “The fight this group has is crazy”
Forsan held their 20 point lead for exactly one play before junior Samuel Goodloe made his mark.
Goodloe broke four tackles on a sweep play to the left as he took the ball 64 yards to the endzone.
The Owls would trade series with the Buffaloes before heading into the locker room for halftime down 6-20.
“A big reason for our win tonight was halftime adjustments,” Weston said. “We don’t know how people are going to play us early. We get the chance to see how they are going to line up in the first half, and make our adjustments.”
Weston praised the Owls for their ability to make those adjustments on the fly.
“They have a never quit attitude,” Weston said. “We keep getting punched in the mouth during the first half though. We have to find a way to start our games a little better.”
The Owls opened the second half with a six play drive featuring quarterback Alex Chavez.
Chavez, who finished the night with a total 341 yards of offense to his name, reeled off five runs on the drive for 65 yards and capped it with a touchdown.
Reagan County swapped drives with Forsan again before a huge pass play set the team up for their next score.
“Alex is a great quarterback,” Senior Kaleb Morris said. “He was able to hit me on a deep post. I couldn’t ask for anything better. He hit me with a high ball just like I like it.”
Morris hauled in the pass for 39 yards setting up Goodloe for his next touchdown on the night.
Goodloe punched the ball in from two yards followed by a two-point conversion pass from Chavez to Kaleb Morris to tie the game up at 20 all.
Goodloe finished the game with 72 yards on 12 attempts and the two touchdowns.
Forsan pulled ahead four plays later on a 42 yard touchdown pass.
“Again, the guys just don’t quit,” Weston said. “They respond well to adversity. We saw it again tonight.”
The Owls took the lead again with 33 seconds left in the third quarter.
It was a lead they didn’t let go of again on the night.
“Nathan DeLeon is an unsung hero for us,” Weston said. “He is always solid on defense. He is limping around, playing hurt.”
DeLeon’s hurt ankle didn’t slow him down on his 41 yard touchdown run on a draw play.
“He had some big draws for us and some big screens,” Weston said. “He is a smart player who knows what to do. He is a play maker, and I’m glad he had a breakout performance tonight.”
He finished the night with 83 total yards on a pair of receptions and a pair of runs.
DeLeon’s touchdown was followed by a strike from Alex Chavez to Morris for a two-point conversion.
“We keep running the same thing on the two-point conversion,” Morris said. “Nobody can stop it yet. Why fix it if it aint broke?”
The Owls recovered the ensuing kickoff after a Forsan player muffed the ball.
Alex Chavez capped off the Owls next drive with a 13 yard touchdown run followed by a two point conversion to take the 36-27 lead with 9:52 remaining in the game.
“Everything we accomplish on offense starts up front,” Morris said. “Our linemen are amazing. They went up against some good players for Forsan, and took care of business. That group of guys deserve all the praise.”
Forsan took their final gasp on a touchdown pass with 6:09 remaining in the game.
The Owls left little doubt who the better team was in the end when Kaleb Morris hauled in a seven yard pass for his first touchdown of the night.
“He is such a great quarterback,” Morris said. “He delivers the ball where it needs to be. He keeps defenses honest with his legs. He is really, really good.”
Chavez notched 241 of his yards through the air with the other 100 coming on the ground. he finished the game with 14 points to his name.
The bulk of those passing yards went to his cousin, Justin Chavez, who finished the night with 112 yards on five receptions.
Morris ended the game with 59 yards on three catches, the touchdown and a pair of two-point conversions.
With seconds ticking off the clock, Forsan tried to rally their troops.
The Buffaloes fell short though with a familiar Reagan County athlete, Alex Chavez, coming up with the game winning interception on the last play of the game.
“Again, glad we won,” Weston said. “If anyone has any ideas on how to get our guys to come out hot early, please let me know. If we could ever do that it would be scary.”
Morris said the slow starts will be fixed.
“We will take care of it this week in practice,” Morris said. “You will see a more focused team next week.”
The Owls travel to Ozona next Friday to take on the Lions.
“They are going to be tough,” Morris said. “Ozona is always tough, but we will be fine. We just have to stick to our game plan. Run the ball like we know how to do. We’ve shown we can pass as well. Our team as a whole is dual threat. We just need to come out and show it in the first half.”
Owl fans are encouraged to make the trip to Ozona next Friday to cheer on the Owls as they look to move to 4-1 on the season.
“I hope our fans will see a team that starts hot next week,” Weston said. “Getting two come-from-behind wins is huge. Going to 3-1 on the year is huge, but starting hot and putting together four quarters will be our greatest accomplishment. We hope to show that next week.”