Stepp's Top 10 Games of 2018: No. 7 — Lubbock Coronado vs. Azle

Photo by Paul Roberts

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November 23, 2018

Lubbock Coronado 41, Azle 34

For three and a half quarters in appeared red hot Azle was going to make it eleven wins in a row against a banged up Lubbock Coronado squad and advance to the 5A Division I Region I semifinals. The Hornets dominated at the line of scrimmage and kept one of West Texas’ most explosive offenses in check en route to taking a 34-20 lead with 6:35 left after quarterback Drey Owen scored from eight yards out to cap off a 12 play drive that took 5:17 off the clock and for all intents and purposes had broken the will of the Mustangs. If there was any sliver of hope for Coronado it appeared to be wiped away on the ensuing kickoff as Azle recovered a CHS fumble and looked poised to run the clock out.

Lubbock Coronado’s defense came up with a key stop and that appeared to ignite the Mustangs who just a few plays later jumped right back in the game as sophomore quarterback Sawyer Robertson hooked up with TCU commit Blair Conwright for a 54-yard touchdown that cut the Azle lead to 34-27 with 3:41 remaining.

Conwright had a huge afternoon, hauling in 14 passes for 152 yards and a touchdow, and he also returned a first half kickoff 88-yards for a touchdown. Robertson, who had been solid in his first year triggering the Coronado high flying offense had a career game, throwing for 328 yards and two scores, while adding in 57 yards on the ground and two more rushing touchdowns.

The Mustangs would need another stop and they got exactly what they needed, forcing an Azle three and out. Momentum squarely shifted over to the red and gold on the ensuing Azle punt as Coronado senior defensive end DJ Davis broke through and blocked it. Davis and several other Coronado players made a mad scramble for the ball but the momentum of the block carried the ball out of the end zone for a safety, making it a 34-29 Azle lead with 2:45 remaining.

Azle would be forced to free kick the ball to Lubbock Coronado with a now tenuous five-point lead and the Mustangs having a timeout in their back pocket after only burning two on the previous series. Coronado, with momentum squarely on their side, needed just two minutes to take the lead as Robertson hooked up with Jon Hernandez for a sensational 23-yard juggling touchdown catch to give the Mustangs their first lead of the game at 35-34 with 43 seconds left in the game.

Azle would have one last gasp to win the game after Lubbock Coronado failed on the two-point try. The Hornets would get a strong kickoff return and would march to the Mustangs 16-yard line with four seconds left. Azle was using a freshman kicker because their normal placekicker was out after suffering a concussion in their bi-district playoff win over Colleyville Heritage.

The potential game winning field goal never had a chance as Coronado’s Jalen Thurman broke through and blocked it, which was subsequently scooped up by Ke’Vondrick Carr, who returned it all the way for a touchdown as time expired giving Coronado the final margin of 41-34.

The win for Coronado put to rest any doubts that the Mustangs are the dominant team west of DFW in 5A Division I, having made runs to the regional finals and regional semifinals the past two seasons, while for Azle it was a crushing defeat. The Hornets were in the midst of one of their best years in recent memory, but with the return of multiple key contributors for the 2019 campaign, don’t be surprised if Devon Dorris’ bunch emerges as a real contender for the regional title next year.

Previous Games:

Stepp's Top 10 Games of 2018: No. 10 — Eastland at Breckenridge

Stepp's Top 10 Games of 2018: No. 9 — San Antonio Brandeis vs. Brownsville Hanna

Stepp's Top 10 Games of 2018: No. 8 — Cuero vs. Texarkana Pleasant Grove

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