Junior linebacker Kyle Kolbe and the rest of the Seguin defense look to slow down Alamo Heights in tonight’s district game at Orem Stadium. Photo by Andie Rangel.
(San Antonio) – Alamo Heights is one of the football puzzles Seguin hasn’t been able to solve since the two became regular district opponents nearly a decade ago.
The Mules have won all seven meetings between the programs dating back to the 2008 season, including a 59-34 rout at Matador Stadium last year. Seguin’s last win over Alamo Heights was in 1979 under head coach Rodney Hayden. The teams didn’t face each other for 29 years after that, but four of the last five UIL realignments have placed the schools in the same district.
The 2017 Matadors look to flip the script against Alamo Heights tonight when the teams square off in a District 26-5A clash at Orem Stadium in San Antonio. Both squads come off their open dates at 1-1 in district play and 2-3 overall at the regular season’s mid-point.
Seguin opened district with a 31-27 win in Lockhart and followed with a 35-13 home loss to Dripping Springs. Alamo Heights took care of Marble Falls 42-14 in the 26-5A opener, but stumbled badly in a 42-7 road loss to Kerrville-Tivy a week later.
Seguin head coach Travis Bush says his team recognizes the impact a win over a traditional power like Alamo Heights would have on the program’s quest to end a playoff drought that extends back to 2006.
"Definitely an opportunity that we haven't had here in the past to be competing for top spots here in the second half of the season," Bush said. "We're excited about it, and I think our kids are starting to believe it, and have the opportunity tonight to go against somebody with an identical record, and an opportunity to get a leg up on somebody."
The Mules, led by sixth-year head coach Mike Norment, have struggled to run the ball and make defensive stops, but they still have an explosive passing game that Seguin’s defense will have to key on. Quarterback Reed Davis has thrown 13 touchdown passes and averaged 336 yards with a 71 percent completion rate in his first four games before the rough outing against Tivy. Davis’s favorite target, Nic Proctor, is one of the most explosive receivers in the area. He totaled 33 catches, 565 yards, and seven touchdowns in the first month of the season (stats from the Tivy loss had not been publicly released at press time.)
An improving Seguin defense will focus on Proctor tonight, and try to force the Mules to gain yards in small increments.
“The key defensively, is to eliminate the big play, the explosive play, which if you look at the games we've struggled, we've given up explosive plays, the long passes, the long runs," Bush said. "We've got to stop the run game first, and they're going to do what they do, but you've got to know where #21 (Proctor) is at all times, and we do have a good plan for him."
Seguin brings its own explosive offense to the table after churning out 38 points and 421 yards per game in the first half of the season. Leading receiver Hayden Haas has rivaled Proctor’s production with 27 catches for 603 yards (22.3 avg.) and six touchdowns. Junior quarterback Anthony Gonzalez (876 yds., 6 TD, 6 Int.) will also look to Jacob Berkley (22 rec., 270 yds., 3 TD) through the air and Clarence Tibbs (314 yds., 4 TD) on the ground to keep the chains moving.
The Alamo Heights defense is allowing 30.6 points per game, but does feature a pair of All-District returnees at linebacker in Maki Carabin and Cody Nelson. Seguin’s statistical leaders on defense include linebacker Garrett Luensmann (61 tackles), Deryn Taylor (6 TFL), Keane Davis (3 sacks), and Valentino Trevino (2 Int.)
Tonight’s kickoff at Orem Stadium is set for 7:30 p.m. The game will air live on KWED 1580 AM and Seguintoday.com, with pre-game coverage at 6:30.