By Jeff Rancudo
Coahulla Creek coach Jared Hamlin doesn’t mind small steps — as long as they move in the right direction.
“Just win baby” might have been the theme Hamlin’s Colts can live by after outlasting a still winless but tenacious Gordon Central bunch 14-6 Friday night. The Colts (2-4, 1-2 Region 5-3A) didn’t win the style award, but that rarely matters in football where runaway tanks like Colts tailback Cameron Burton (17 rushes for 57 yards) let their collisions do the talking.
Gordon Central slumped to 0-6 and 0-3 but made a game of it late before fumbling the ball over to the Colts on the final play of the game at the Colts’ 9-yard line with 43 seconds left.
“It was ugly at times,” Hamlin said. “We missed a lot of opportunities early. But our defense gutted it out. I’m so proud of the kids. We’ve been consistently getting a little better. I’m proud of these guys because they just keep fighting.”
The Colts jumped to a 7-0 lead when Blaine Williams hit Levi Wilson for 46-yard touchdown pass at the 7:50 mark of the first quarter. Irwin Rivera tacked on the point after.
Later in the first quarter, Coahulla Creek seemed ready take a larger lead when Josue Dominguez recovered a muffed punt by the Warriors’ Braiden Jacobs. Two quick passes to Michael Ward pushed the Colts to the 4-yard line, but passes thrown into the end zone for Marquis Moore and Ward both fell incomplete. The Colts settled for a 24-yard field goal try but the snap was high and kicker Pedro Garcia was forced into a 10-yard loss.
Opportunity lost? Not to worry. Williams’ silky smooth left-handed passes would pay off later when (after repeated body blows from Burton runs) Williams threw a 78-yard touchdown strike to Baley Jones with 4:53 left in the game and Rivera kicked Coahulla to a 14-6 lead.
Devonte Jenkins put a little heat on the Colts when he blasted in for a 4-yard touchdown with 9:53 left in the game to cut the Colts’ lead to 7-6. However, when the Warriors went for the 2-point conversion, quarterback Cody Jones’ pass for Bristol Bell sailed well beyond his reach.
The Colts defense stood strong in the fourth quarter as the Warriors finally came to life as Gordon Central pulled within 7-6. Colts defender Blake Sissom stopped Warriors tailback Cody Smith for a 5-yard loss on third down midway through the fourth quarter.
When the Warriors got the ball back with 4:31 left in the game, the Colts needed another stop desperately afterJones hit Nate Mays for a 40-yard pass. A pass interference call on the Colts gave Gordon Central a first down at the Colts’ 14. But Jones fumbled the Warriors snap on fourth down at the Colts 9 and a Colts defender pounced on the ball to effectively end the game.