‘Horns’ mistakes fuel Warrior win in opener
By Jim Horvath
Fairview head coach Dave Latkovic felt his inexperienced Warriors stumbled early, but got up to speed as the game went on.
Lutheran West head coach Dave Geye could only shake his head is disbelief.
Despite making numerous mistakes in the first half, Geye’s Longhorns were in the hunt with the game tied 7-7 at halftime. But those mistakes continued in the second half as the host Warriors capitalized for a 34-14 win Friday night in the 2010 season opener for both teams.
“I can’t imagine how a team could shoot itself in the foot any more than we did tonight,” said an obviously disappointed Geye after the game.
“The bad snaps, the turnovers. Not calling for fair catches on punts. I didn’t expect this, that’s for sure,” Geye said. “We had played well in our scrimmages. Even at the half, I told the kids that we were in a good position despite the mistakes we had made to that point.
“But things didn’t change in the second half. You can’t keep putting yourself in second and long, third and long and expect to win a game. You can’t do that against any team. The good thing is that all the mistakes we made tonight are fixable,” he added.
Fairview struck first after recovering a West fumble at the Longhorn 32-yard line. On the very next play from scrimmage, junior quarterback Dave Lansu found fellow junior John Doherty on the left side for the first score of the game. Senior Sean Dobrezniecki made the conversion kick, and it was 7-0, Warriors.
Despite losing the ball on an interception, the ‘Horns bounced right back when they recovered a Warrior fumble with 2:37 left in the first quarter. West capped off a 67-yard drive when senior quarterback James Ranc found sophomore Kyle Masek on a 10-yard scoring strike. Senior Mack Doherty made the kick, and it was 7-7 to end the quarter.
The score remained tied until early in the second half. That’s when Fairview senior Nick Williams took the ball on a counter and rambled 69 yards for a touchdown. After Anthony Santos recovered the ball after another bad West snap, Lansu scored on a quarterback sneak for a 21-7 Warrior lead.
Lutheran West, however, bounced back and got back into the game on a electrifying 65-yard run for a touchdown with 7:21 remaining in the third quarter. But an interception late in the quarter by Doherty led to a 9-yard scoring run by Santos on the first play of the fourth quarter to give the home team breathing room at 28-14.
On their very next possession, the Warriors put the game away on senior Bashir Ahmad’s 3-yard run up the gut.
“We had a lot of first-timers out there tonight,” Latkovic said. “We had a tough time in the first half, but I thought in the second half we came out and played Warrior Football.
“I don’t know if we ever considered there would be a drop off this year, but I was still concerned because those kids over there (West) got a lot of varsity playing time last year,” Latkovic said. “I think it took the kids a while to get used to the speed of the game. After that, we played some good, tough physic football. If we do that, we can play with anybody.
“And the score doesn’t reflect how close this game was. Lutheran West was way more physical and focused than last year. That team is going to win some football games this season,” he said.