Hornets move into Round 2 with 72-24 win over S-Blanca

Ron Howell
Sports Editor

GARDEN CITY — A late-evening start for Blackwell’s football team in Thursday’s bi-district playoff game against Sierra Blanca and a few first-half defensive struggles proved no problem, as the Hornets pulled away in the second half to defeat the Vaqueros, 72-24, for their 11th consecutive win this season without a defeat.
Blackwell now faces Jayton, which beat Throckmorton 60-6 in its playoff on Thursday. Further details will be announced later.
Junior Guia and Joe Sanchez scored three touchdowns each while Peyton Hinckley, Cameron Coldiron and Brandon Brinkman also had TDs for Blackwell. Guia scored the final TD early in the fourth quarter to give the Hornets a mercy-rule victory. Guia was also 8-for-8 on two-point kicks for Blackwell in Thursday’s contest.
The start of the game, however, was delayed until shortly after 9 p.m. due to the Grandfalls-Royalty vs. Loraine playoff game that preceded it.
And Blackwell found itself trailing 6-0 and 12-8 early until taking the lead for good at the 4:38 mark of the first quarter, thanks to a 45-yard scoring pass by quarterback Michael Lowry to Brinkman. Sanchez made it 24-12 by returning an interception 64 yards later in the period. Guia’s 11-yard run and Hinckley’s 45-yard interception return expanded it to 40-12 in the second quarter but Sierra Blanca (6-3) wasn’t done, as the Vaqueros cut back into Blackwell’s lead by scoring on TD passes of 40 and 54 yards to make it 40-24.
Blackwell, however, did not allow another point and scored the next 32 to finally put Sierra Blanca away and equal last year’s team’s 11-0 start that was the best in the school’s history.
“The kids played well,” head coach Clint Lowry said after the game.
“We knew that we weren’t going to shut (Sierra Blanca) out. Their spreadback is good, and Cameron and Brandon mostly played on defense due to their spread.”
Guia wound up as one of the biggest beneficiaries of the Hornets’ decision even though he hadn’t been used at running back since the first game of Blackwell’s season. Despite that, the burly senior had a number of big gains Thursday vs. Sierra Blanca. His final run was a 10-yard score in which he hurdled the last would-be-tackler to the end zone for the TD.
Earlier, Guia got his first score on a second quarter drive where he was given the ball on all five plays starting at his team’s 4-yard line, after Blackwell stopped the Vaqueros on a fourth-and-goal at Blackwell’s 1 for a 3-yard loss.