The Hondo defense celebrates Felipe Cuellar’s first quarter fumble return for a touchdown at Pearsall. Joining in the jubilation are Leland Rodriguez (24), Gabe Guajardo (55), Diego Martinez (21) and Colten Martinez (17). The Owls beat the Mavericks, 56-13.


Junior Carlos Arcos follows the blocking for a 4-yard third quarter TD, his first as a varsity Owl.


With Colten Martinez (under the pile) bringing Pearsall’s Joey Martinez to the ground, Brandon Andreas flies in for the finishing touches.



Greg Guerra gets around a Pearsall blocker to grab hold of the Mavericks’ Joey Martinez for a second quarter sack. Hondo will be back at home this Friday to host the Devine Warhorses in the 102nd meeting between the Highway 173 rivals.

Owls overwhelm Mavericks


By Jeff Berger

Anvil Herald Publisher


     Pearsall -- For the first 9:30 of game time Friday, Oct. 8, the Hondo Owls had possession of the football for exactly one second, but still had the lead. 

     Later, the penalty flags flew like crazy during the second quarter, making the last five minutes of the half consume 40 minutes of real time.

     But no matter how weird Friday’s game was, the bottom line for the Hondo Owls was that they won.

And won big.

     Hondo opened play in District 15-4A-II with a 56-13 win over the Pearsall Mavericks to climb to 2-3 on the year. That sets up the annual showdown with Devine this Friday, Oct. 15, at Barry Field. Game time is 7:30. Tickets are $7 for adults, $4 for students buying presale, and are available online at

     The Owls got on the board quickly. Forcing a three-and-out on the Mavericks’ first possession, the punt snap sailed back toward the goalline. A scramble ensued for the ball, which lineman Felipe Cuellar picked up at the 1-yard line and stepped in for a Hondo touchdown. Roberto Renteria, perfect on eight extra point tries Friday, made it 7-0 with 10:19 left in the opening quarter.

Pearsall proceeded to drive the field, going 79 yards in 13 plays and picking up four first downs. The Mavericks hit a 30-yard pass to convert a 3rd-and-10, and six plays later, struck from 34 yards away for a touchdown pass from Joey Martinez to Andres Enriquez.

     “Pearsall threw some new stuff at us that we hadn’t seen before,” said Hondo Coach Joe Dale Cary, “and it took us a quarter to adjust. Their running back (Martinez) ran a Wildcat, and he threw the TD pass.”

     The extra point was no good, keeping the Owls in the lead at 7-6 with 2:30 left in the first quarter, despite having had no offensive snaps.

     Once Hondo did get on offense, things started rolling, as the Owls scored on all but one possession.

    A pair of runs from Carson Winchester totaled 44 yards, setting up his 5-yard TD run on the first play of the second quarter, putting the Owls up 14-6.

     Defensively, Greg Guerra and Tristin Perez combined to sack Ramirez for a 10-yard loss, forcing a punt.

     The Owls failed on fourth down, but Pearsall fumbled it right back. Leland Rodriguez recovered at the 14, setting up a three-play scoring drive. Winchester scored from the 2, and it was 21-6 with 5:07 left in the half.

     Then the craziness ensued. The Owls were penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct after the TD, and the yardage was assessed on the kickoff. Then during Pearsall’s return, Hondo was flagged – as the coverage team – for blocking below the waist and for an illegal block in the back. The 15-yarder was assessed, in addition to a penalty for a late hit out of bounds at the end of the return. All of that resulted in a first down for Pearsall at the Hondo 15.

     After a holding penalty against the Mavericks, they faced a 4th-and-12. But that was converted when the Owls were flagged for roughing the passer.

     With new life at the 8, Pearsall went in the wrong direction. Gabe Guajardo got a sack at the 15, with a personal foul penalty tacked on against the Mavericks. Wyatt Boss then got a sack on the next play. Two five-yard penalties against Pearsall back the Mavs up to a 3rd-and-goal at the 47. A completion on fourth down ended with a fumble, which Rodriguez turned into his second recovery of the night. Naturally, the Owls were hit with another UC penalty, forcing them to start their drive at their 17 with 1:54 left in the half.

     A hold against the Owls on second down completed the spree of 79 yards of Hondo penalties in a span of 3:27. For the entire game, the Owls were penalized 79 yards. 

     Hondo picked up a first down on a keeper by Kaden English, and on second down, Winchester went 26 yards to the Pearsall 46. On 3rd-and-1, English passed to H-back Brandon Andreas coming out of the backfield, who steamrolled a pair of defenders on a 26-yard reception, setting up a first down at the 11. Out of timeouts, English passed to Joe-Adrian Valenzuela at the 1. His forward progress was stopped and Pearsall knocked the ball loose and it rolled out of bounds, stopping the clock with two seconds left. From the 4, English kept up the middle for the TD and a 28-6 lead as time expired.

     Opening the second half, Hondo got a kickoff return from freshman DJ Richter to near midfield, to set up a 55-yard TD drive in six plays. English scored from the 4.

     After Renteria’s kickoff rolled dead at the 1-yard line, where Pearsall covered it, the Mavs couldn’t get away from their own goalline and had to punt. The short kick went out at the 21, and three Winchester runs later, it was 42-6.

     On second down, Pearsall had its biggest play of the night. A sweep left for Ramirez went 75 yards to the endzone to make the score 42-13 with 5:24 left in the third. For the entire game, Pearsall had 64 rushing yards, or minus-11 on all carries except Ramirez’s TD run.

     Carlos Arcos entered the game at running back, and carried eight times on the ensuing drive, scoring from the 4-yard line with 44 seconds left in the third.

     After a short Pearsall punt, the Owls used seven minutes of the clock to drive 52 yards in 11 plays. English, back in for one play at QB for Kaleb Gauna, who ran the offense for the Owls’ final three drives, scored the final TD.

     Guerra recovered one more fumble – the fourth of the night for the Owls’ defense – and Hondo ran out the final three minutes on a series of runs by sophomore Preston Coronado.

     “Our offensive line played well,” said Coach Cary. “And our backs – Carson, Carlos and Preston – all benefitted from that. We moved the ball well all night.

     “The biggest thing is, we’re 1-0 in district.”