ANDREWS – For all of Estacado’s speed and athleticism, opponents that had the most success on either side of the ball usually did so right up the middle.
Cooper did it two weeks ago, and Monahans did it on Saturday, and in doing so, ended the Matadors’ 2012 season.
Pedro Cano rushed for 274 yards and two touchdowns, and the Lobos as a team pounded an Estacado team that had allowed just 214 yards per game for 406 rushing yards in a 27-7 victory in a Class 3A Division II area playoff Saturday at the Mustang Bowl.
“We had our opportunities and just couldn’t take advantage of them,” Estacado coach Danny Servance said. “Monahans is a good football team and you can’t make mistakes against those guys. You’ve got to play mistake-free football and you’ve got to take advantage of your opportunities.”
The win puts the Lobos (10-2) into the regional semifinals to faceBrownwoodon Friday at the Mustang Bowl in Sweetwater at a time to be determined. Estacado finishes its season at 8-4.
While the offense dominated on its side, the defense was doing the same. Estacado tailback Robert Johnson was held under 100 rushing yards for only the third time this season, gaining 64 on 17 carries, just 6 yards above his season low. The Matadors were held to 243 yards total offense after totaling 572 yards last week against Perryton.
Quarterback Shaquille Bogus had 136 yards and a touchdown, but 101 of those yards came on three carries, and he was just 6 of 13 passing for 43 yards. Estacado also turned the ball over on fumbles on its first two drives of the game and had two other drives end on downs inside Monahans territory, including one on a drive that started at the Lobos 19 after a huge kickoff return.
Estacado cut it to 10-7 on the first drive of the second half when Bogus scored from 4 yards out, set up by a 48-yard keeper. Monahans answered with a 31-yard Alejandro Mendoza field goal, then turned it over to its defense, which forced two punts and two turnovers on downs on Estacado’s four final possessions.
“All that stuff comes into play,” Servance said. “Short field, defense being on the field for a long time, all those things come into play in a game like this. We’ve got things we can get better at and we’ve got to work on those in the offseason.”
Monahans’ defensive effort allowed the Lobos offense to chew up yardage and clock in the second half. Cano had 137 rushing yards in each half, and Byron Scharf added 79 yards on 14 carries, 55 of that coming after halftime.
“(Estacado) puts so many people on the edge they kind of forced us to go up the middle some, and that’s kind of what we do anyway,” Monahans coach Mickey Owens said. “It wasn’t anything out of the ordinary, and I thought our defense played unbelievable today. They gave us a few turnovers early and we didn’t do anything with them, but in the long run I think we wore them down because we were on the field so much offensively.”
Estacado was able to move the ball in the middle of the field in the first half, but fumbles on its first two drives of the game and a turnover on downs on the third kept the Matadors scoreless. Monahans led in total yardage, but by only 23 yards, 179-156 thanks to the two Matador turnovers.
The Lobos did a good job of keeping Estacado’s running game bottled up. Johnson had just 47 yards on nine carries in the first half, while Bogus had 69 yards on 13 carries, 28 of those coming on the last play of the first half. Bogus was 5 of 6 passing in the first half but for only 40 yards. Estacado also had a 31-yard shovel pass to Johnson for a touchdown called back due to a holding penalty, and that drive eventually ended on downs at the Monahans 30.
With a stiff west wind blowing across the field, Monahans elected to take the ball first, and apparently for good reason. On the first play of the game, Cano got loose on a misdirection handoff around right end for a 71-yard touchdown 13 seconds into the contest.
Thanks to Estacado’s turnovers and miscues, that touchdown stood almost the entire first half. The Lobos had chances to extend their lead, but a missed field goal and a turnover on downs kept the Matadors with in one score. That is, until a drive late in the second quarter resulted in an Alejandro Mendoza 43-yard field goal with 30.4 second left.
AfterMendozapushed it to 13-7 in the third, Jhavante Tolliver returned the ensuing kickoff to the Monahans 19. But Estacado lost 2 yards on three plays and a penalty, handing the ball back to the Lobos.
Monahans missed a field goal on the ensuing drive, but scored on their next two to put the game away, a 6-yard run by Cano and a 1-yard run by Scharf with just under 4 minutes remaining.
And with that, Estacado’s season came to an end, a season that saw the emergence of another standout running back and a fifth straight playoff appearance for the Matadors.
“I’m very proud of our young men and what they’ve accomplished,” Servance said. “I think our program is headed in the right direction and we will continue to get better.”
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CLASS 3A DIVISION II AREA PLAYOFF
At Mustang Bowl, Andrews
MONAHANS 27, ESTACADO 7
Estacado 0 0 7 0 -- 7
Monahans 7 3 3 10 -- 27
MON—Pedro Cano 71 run (Alejandro Mendoza kick); 11:40
MON—Mendoza43 FG; 30.4
EST—Shaquille Bogus 4 run (Ben Jackson kick); 8:33
MON—Mendoza31 FG; 4:20
MON—Cano 6 run (Mendozakick); 8:45
MON—Byron Scharf 1 run (Mendozakick); 3:59
First downs 9 16
Rushes-yards 36-200 55-406
Passing yards 43 31
Comp.-att.-int. 6-14-0 2-12-0
Punts-avg. 2-35.5 0-0.0
Fumbles-lost 4-2 1-0
Penalties-yards 3-20 3-23
RUSHING: Estacado, Shaquille Bogus 19-136, Robert Johnson 17-64; Monahans, Pedro Cano 23-274, Byron Scharf 14-79, Freddy Garcia 6-43, Alejandro Mendoza 1-10, Rogelio Sauceda 1-2, Zach Navarro 5-(-2).
PASSING: Estacado, Bogus 6-13-0—43; Monahans, Navarro 2-12-0—31.
RECEIVING: Estacado, Johnson 2-25, Jalen Moore 1-8, Jhavante Tolliver 1-5, Ti Russell 1-3, Adrian Adame 1-2; Monahans, Scharf 1-23, Payton Marcum 1-8.