By Melissa McCaghren
The Slaton High School Tiger football team kept everyone on the edge of their seats as they defeated the Brownfield Cubs 13-12 in a tough homecoming game.
Head Football Coach Jeff Caffey said he felt a lot of lessons were learned Friday. “I think in the end we had some kids learn how to face adversity, and that’s always good early in the season,” he said.
“I thought it was a hard-fought ball game. We knew that Brownfield was going to come play us to the best of their ability, and they played a little bit better than we expected,” he added. “Having to face that with some young kids involved was a big plus for us. I think we can take that into this week’s game and apply that and play better.”
The Tigers scored first, with Quevon McDaniel bringing in a 56 yard pass from Laz Galindo in the first quarter.
In the second, Zephron Ortiz made a 37 yard run to score again.
“We threw the ball well. I was very proud that Quevon McDaniel caught that post for a touchdown,” said Caffey.
“I think they focused on trying to stop our run game, and we took what they gave us in the passing game for the first time since I’ve been here, and completed balls, where in the past we haven’t. So that’s a good thing going into this week. I think we’ll be able to do some things that will help us.”
Brownfield would score twice in the third quarter, one on a two-yard run and the other on a four-yard run.
Tae Thompson kicked the sole scoring extra point in the game in the second, helping ensure the Tigers’ win.
The Tigers rushed 38 times for 196 yards, and made seven out of 10 passes with no interceptions.
Receiving, the team had 118 yards, with a total of 314 yards.
They had three punts total, averaging 25 yards.
That said, there are still places Caffey said they could work on to improve on in their upcoming game against the New Deal Lions.
“Technically there’s a few things that we need to shore up before we get there. I think after last week I thought we picked up things for the most part with the offensive line. The more game time they get the better they get,” said Caffey, adding there wasn’t anything negative, but instead shooting for goals to achieve their goals.
He also said he feels having homecoming over with will also help, especially with New Deal.
“That’s always good to get done early, the way our mind needs to be,” he said.
“What they do offensively fits what we do defensively, so I think we can do some things to hurt them, hurt them early and discourage them. I think overall improvement, there’s something you can always find.”
That said, while he was glad homecoming was over, he still was impressed with the efforts to help create a winning environment.
“Until you get a taste of Slaton on a week like homecoming, it’s one of the most unreal experiences I’ve had as a coach, and I’m a coach’s kid,” he said.
“I love our community, I love our school for what they do and we’ve created a great environment for winning. Sometimes I think people need to understand how that environment is so crucial, but it wouldn’t be where it is now if it weren’t for our community and our students helping create it.
“I just wanted to say thank you.”
Slaton continues their regular season at home against New Deal at 7:30 p.m. Friday (Sept. 13) at Tiger Stadium.
Tickets are general admission, $4 adults, $2 students. Non-school age kids ages 4 and younger are free. Reserve tickets are $5 and are available at the business office.