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Career night by Gamez propels New Deal to much-needed victory

Posted: September 17, 2012 - 7:40pm  |  Updated: September 18, 2012 - 12:08am
New Deal's VJ Gamez is the Happy State Bank Avalanche-Journal male athlete of the week. (Zach Long)
New Deal's VJ Gamez is the Happy State Bank Avalanche-Journal male athlete of the week. (Zach Long)
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New Deal head football coach Ron Mayo touted junior running back VJ Gamez at the beginning of the season as one of the more versatile players he’s had in 16 years coaching the Lions.

That versatility even led Mayo to institute the single-wing, or “wildcat” offense, as a main part of New Deal’s offensive package during the preseason. Friday night at Faubian Field, Gamez showed why his coach is so confident in him.

In one of the wildest 11-man shootouts in state history, Gamez put the Lions on his back and carried them to an 89-70 victory over Lamesa by rushing for 326 yards and seven touchdowns. He also caught a 53-yard touchdown pass.

“He just stepped up,” Mayo said. “He stepped up on his blocking. He stepped up on his running. He’d had decent games in the other two, but the other teams had better games. He stepped up this game and ran well, made defenders miss him and when they wrapped up he kept his feet moving, and would pop up and pop out and go score.”

Gamez also had a 29-yard punt return and two kickoff returns for 86 yards, making him accountable for 494 total yards in the win. It also earns him this week’s honor as the Happy State Bank/Avalanche-Journal Male Athlete of the Week.

“My offensive line did really good and opened the holes,” Gamez said. “They were gaping holes on the field and it was just so easy to go against the defense and run the plays that coach Mayo designed. After that first touchdown ... I knew it was going to be a shootout and we were going to have to go down and get points every time.”

Gamez came into the season after a solid sophomore campaign when he rushed for 668 yards and 10 touchdowns. Mayo said he has a decent ability to throw the ball, thus the institution of the wildcat package.

But it was all about what he did with his legs against the Golden Tornadoes, and as it turns out, the Lions needed every one of his yards and touchdowns.

New Deal didn’t run one play out of the wildcat on Friday. Instead, Mayo ran his Wing-T schemes in an I formation, and Gamez flourished, scoring on touchdown runs of 10, 24, 7, 7, 25, 26 and 47, the last one coming with 1:36 left in the game after Lamesa had closed to within two touchdowns thanks to 24 straight points.

Plus, he did most of it after bruising his ribs in the second quarter, and Demetrius Jackson had 116 yards on seven carries with two touchdowns, or Gamez might have had more.

“I felt my team needed me and the coaches needed me, so I went out there and kept going as hard as I could,” said Gamez, who wore a protective wrap around his torso in practice on Monday.

And now, maybe the Lions’ offense has found the gear it needs after starting the season 0-2.

“I never expected (this game) but I expect to be one of the best because coach Mayo and my teammates believe in me,” Gamez said. “He’s one of the people who instilled in me that if you want to be great you’ve got to do it on the field.”

To comment on this story:

george.watson@lubbockonline.com • 766-2166

terry.greenberg@lubbockonline.com • 766-8700

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I wouldn't say gamez carried

I wouldn't say gamez carried the team on his back! He had a line blocking for him and an awesome fullback! Remember the two games before this he had no results like this, but maybe he just decided to carry the team? Whatever!,!

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Someone should apologize for

Someone should apologize for that comment as well unless Gamez intends to carry the team on his back the whole season!

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