Big plays undo Steers

Farwell sophomore Derrick Chandler is hit by Sudan senior Freddy Perez as he catches a pass during the first quarter of Friday’s game in Sudan. Chandler held on to the ball for a completion, but Farwell lost 27-8. CNJ staff photo: Eric Kl

John Eisel

SUDAN, Texas — On Sudan’s first play from scrimmage Friday night, quarterback Kade Gaston picked up 3 yards on a run against the Farwell defense. The next play he hit Michael Warren in stride down the middle of the field and he galloped for the 60-yard touchdown pass.

Big plays did in the Steers all night at Hornet Field, as Sudan (5-1) took the game 27-8 in Farwell’s district opener. Farwell (3-3, 0-1) has lost three straight.

“Every week that we’ve lost, it’s been a big score like that, then we all just drop our heads and just start feeling sorry for ourselves,” said senior Rowdy Mitchell, who plays running back and linebacker.

Farwell coach Jacob Thompson said he wishes his defense would have forgotten about the big play.

“I don’t think it affected us a lot at that moment, but I think it stayed in our heads,” Thompson said. “We didn’t forget they had the ability to do that and sometimes it’s not good for a defensive back to have a memory, and some of our defensive backs had memories all night long.”

The Hornets put up 294 yards on Farwell’s defense, but 189 of those came on only five plays, including the opening touchdown. Besides Gaston’s 60-yard bomb, he also had passes of 28 and 27 yards, a 31-yard run and Warren added a 41-yard run on a reverse. All five plays eventually led to touchdowns.

When the Hornets weren’t converting the big plays, the Farwell defense was up in Gaston’s face, especially in the second half. The Steers recorded five sacks, including three on the Hornets’ opening drive of the third quarter.

“We wanted Gaston to not have time to set his feet, because he’s a good quarterback,” Thompson said.

Gaston scored his second 1-yard touchdown run of the game with 11 seconds left in the second quarter, giving Sudan a 20-0 lead going into halftime.

Offensively, the Steers were out of sync until the final drive of the game.

“We’re struggling to find ourselves offensively right now,” Thompson said.

Usual starting quarterback Robbie Tabb re-injured the thumb on his throwing hand Tuesday in practice. Junior Logan McFarland filled in but struggled, hitting on only eight of 22 passes with two interceptions and a few near-picks.
The Steers were also without junior offensive lineman Jon Beaubien, who was out with a knee injury.

Farwell scored its only touchdown on a Joel Owen recovery of a Mitchell fumble. Mitchell led the Steers on that final drive, with 69 of his team-high 82 yards rushing on the night.

“We struggled so much offensively tonight, we really needed that touchdown,” Thompson said. He said it not only helped the team mentally it may decide down the line if the Steers go to the playoffs. In Texas, points decide tiebreakers in district.

“If we win out and they lose a game, who knows? We may have a shot to get in,” Thompson said.