With injuries to key members of their offense, the Wimberley Texans turned to defensive specialist Thomas Carruthers to bolster their backfield and secure a 35-16 win over the Llano Yellow Jackets Friday night at Texan Field.
The defensive end who entered the game with eight carries and 52 total rushing yards, ended the night with 167 yards and two touchdowns on only eight carries.
What made these statistics even more astounding, was the fact that 153 of his yards and two of his touchdowns came on a combined three rushing attempts.
When asked about this dominant performance, Carruthers remained humble, stating that he actually considers himself a defender at heart. Then the star of the night turned the focus away from him to shine light on the outstanding play of his teammates.
“My line was blocking really well for me,” Carruthers said. “It helps a lot when I have a big ol’ hole to run in. So they helped a lot.”
Other key offensive contributors include wide receiver Colby Crowder and Junior quarterback Jordan Weeks who both rushed for a touchdown.
What makes this performance so compelling is the fact Carruthers is a starter on the Texan defense, and a valuable one said head coach Doug Warren.
“We all know he can do a great job, but since he does play a lot of defense, we kind of just roll him in there, and he might not always get as many carries as these other guys get,” Warren said. “But tonight man, why not give it to that guy? Every time he touched it something great happened.”
Texans center Eddie Warner, #75, reciprocated the gratitude, complimenting Carruthers work ethic on and off the field, but wanted it to be clear that he’s a very important piece of the Texans defense.
“We need him on defense for sure,” Warner said. “But, when we get him into our ace package and he’s able to cut it up like he did tonight, it does make our job easier.”
With a defensive end rushing for over 150 yards and an offense putting up 35 points, it’s easy to overlook the defensive achievements. Yet, if not for two untimely fumbles by the offense, the defense was poised for a shutout.
The Texans secondary completely shut down Llano’s passing game, forcing them to become a one dimensional team.
Llano’s quarterback Ben Wailing was only able to complete one pass for longer than 10 yards on the day. And when you get down early as Llano did, it is increasingly more difficult to come back when your only option is to run the ball.
“Defense all year long has been lights out,” Warren said. “We knew Llano was going to be a big physical team and try to run it downhill on us and we knew it was gonna pose us some problems at times, but give credit to the defense. They never break, they just hang in there and keep fighting.”
After Carruthers’ performance, one would think it would alter the Texan’s game plan going into their most competitive game, yet Warren would prefer to stick with the process that’s gotten them to where they are.
With that being said, the coach doesn’t fail to realize the weapons he has at his disposal.
“I’m not real smart sometimes, but I also know when to give the ball to a guy that’s hot.”
The Wimberley Texans are back in action Friday as they take on their undefeated rivals, the Navarro Panthers. Game time is set for 7:30 in Navarro.
WIMBERLEY, TEXAS – A consummate team effort propelled the Wimberley Texans to a 49-17 victory over the Hondo Owls on senior night at Texan Field.
Two weeks removed from a crushing defeat to their toughest opponent of the season, the bye week couldn’t have come at a better time for the Texans.
“You know, last time we were on the field we got our butt’s whipped, and that really leaves a bad taste in your mouth,” said Wimberley head coach Doug Warren. “But the kids really got refocused, realizing if we want to reach our goals as a team we’re gonna need to change some things and I think that showed through tonight.
The Texans offense appeared polished as they began the game with touchdowns on each of their first two drives to push the score to 14-0 in Wimberley’s favor with over 5 minutes to play in the first quarter.
On the Owl’s ensuing drive the Texans dominance was put on display. After sophomore defensive end Trey Manning blocked Hondo’s field goal and his subsequent 60 yard recovery was called back for a penalty, the Texan’s responded on the proceeding play with senior Davin Masur recovering a fumble 78 yards for a touchdown.
The Texans offense showed no signs of rust after a week off from play and exemplified the concept of sharing the ball with four different offensive players registering touchdowns.
Key offensive contributors include junior quarterback Jordan Weeks, who went 9/10 for 210 yards and two touchdowns, #44 Thomas Carruthers rushed for 94 yards and two touchdowns and wide receiver #8 Gavin Martinez with 75 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns. #7 Colby Crowder and #32 Guy Kypuros also recorded one touchdown a piece.
“One thing we do stress is that we are getting multiple people the ball,” Warren said. “We feel like we have a lot of guys that can do things when they get their ball in their hands, so we’re always trying. Tonight, it worked out really well for us.”
Immediately following Wimberley’s third score, the Texans were caught off guard after Hondo’s junior kick-returner Jacob Theis returned the ensuing kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown. This was Hondo’s only time reaching the end-zone in the first half of play.
The Owls started the 2nd half strong, marching 78 yards for their first offensive touchdown of the night, but failed to capitalize on this momentum. Neither the Owls nor the Texans scored in the final quarter.
The main offensive contributor for Hondo was junior running back Kevin Gear who rushed the ball 27 times for 114 yards. Gear also caught 4 passes for an additional 50 receiving yards.
After another outstanding offensive performance by linebacker Thomas Carruthers, 4 carries for 94 yards and two touchdowns, the soft-spoken self-proclaimed defender at heart had a simple answer to whether or not he wanted more offensive touches.
“No,” said Carruthers. “I’m tired.”
His coach had a more comprehensive response to whether or not Carruthers offensive performance over the last two games warrants more rushing attempts.
“It depends on the game and how it’s going,” said Warren. “I’m not very smart, but I’m not stupid. Come playoff time, if we need yards, you can guess who’s probably gonna get the football.”
The 2016 UIL football state championship playoffs begin next week as the Wimberley Texans take on the Pearsall Mavericks in the conference 4A-D2 first round on November 11 at 7:30 p.m.