First-game jitters were as plentiful as grasshoppers in the stadium lights at Alvord Friday night – but enough things worked to give new Bulldog coach Pete Hart his first win.
In the end, Alvord simply had more weapons.
Running back Joe Randall carried the ball 16 times for 176 yards, eclipsing the 3,000 mark for his high school career on his second carry of the third quarter.
That 27-yard sweep put the ball on the Nocona 6 yard line – one of the few times the Bulldogs didn’t score.
Nocona, down 25-8 at that point, took over on downs at its own 3 a few plays later and mounted an 11-play drive that was its best offensive showing of the night.
It ended on a fumbled snap – one of six turnovers that kept the Indians’ offense out of the end zone.
The visitors’ only score came with just over a minute left in the first quarter, when a bad snap left, Alvord punter, Mason Clower scrambling to get a kick off in the face of a rush. It was blocked, and Nocona’s Matt Womack fell on it in the end zone.
The rest of the time, Alvord simply outgunned the thin Nocona roster.
Randall bookended the offensive effort, scoring the first touchdown from 8 yards out and the last one from 20. In between, quarter Cassidy Patterson hit three different receivers – Heath Walker, Riley Davila and Jaylon White – for four touchdowns on pass plays of 31, 43, 30 and 42 yards.
Hart said it’s early, and there’s still a lot of work to do, but his team has some talent.
“Our approach is, if they’re going to load up and stop the run, we do have some receivers who can run and a quarterback who can throw,” he said. “We do have the ability to throw the ball down the field.”
Having a weapon like Randall puts defenses in a “Catch-22,” he said. And a solid effort from a young offensive line made it work.
“Our offensive line did a great job tonight. We have several sophomores in there, and they’re learning to battle,” he said. “They did a great job of protecting Cassidy for the most part, and blocking for Joe.”
He said there were a few injuries – and a lot of cramping on the sideline on the warm, humid night after rain fell earlier in the day.
“I’m real proud of the way our kids played tonight,” he said as the kids celebrated after the game. “I’m proud of our coaches, too. Coaches and kids are working their tails off and that’s the result.”
ALVORD 38, NOCONA 8
Nocona … 8 … 0 … 0 … … 0 … – … 8
Alvord … 13 … 12 … 0 … … 13 … – … 38
Alvord – 9:42, Joe Randall 8 run, Jose Luna kick
Alvord – 6:02, Cassidy Patterson 31 pass to Heath Walker, PAT kick tipped
Nocona – 1:09, Matt Womack rec. blocked punt in end zone, Christian Ibarra run
Alvord – 11:23, Patterson 43 pass to Walker, PAT pass failed.
Alvord – 5:54, Patterson 30 pass to Riley Davila, PAT pass failed
Alvord – 11:11, Patterson 42 pass to Jaylon White, PAT run failed
Alvord – 9:16, Randall 20 run, Luna kick
NOCONA … ALVORD
First Downs … 14 … 16
Rushes Yards … 35-74 … 27-120
Passing Yards … 103 … 209
Total Yards … 167 … 329
Punts/avg. … 5-24 … 3-16
Fumbles/lost … 6-4 … 2-1
Penalties/yds … 6-45 … 5-35
Rushing – Alvord, Joe Randall 16-176. Nocona, Sentell 28-15.
Receiving – Alvord, Heath Walker 3-82. Nocona, Hernandez 4-56.
Passing – Alvord, Cassidy Patterson 11-15-0. Nocona, Sentell 7-11-2.