By Melissa McCaghren
It was a close match between the two Tiger teams Friday evening (Aug. 28) in Snyder, to the point overtime was expected.
In the end, a long pass from Ayden Ramirez with 14 seconds left in the game helped edge Slaton over Snyder, 20-14.
Head Coach Lawrence Johnson was pleased with the results. “Great football environment to play in! Our kids came out on fire scoring on offense and defense early in the first quarter and then we battled adversity throughout the remainder of the game to give us a chance to score on the final offensive possession,” he said. “It was awesome to watch our kids grow mentally throughout the course of a ball game. Our line blocked long enough for Ayden to throw up a fade ball to Matt and gave a player a chance to make a tough play.”
Slaton struck first in the scoring in the first quarter, when Ramirez scored on a three yard run.
The team then scored a second touchdown when Jacorien Doss recovered a fumble for a 39 yard return.
Tae Thompson kicked both extra points.
Then in the second, Snyder scored its first touchdown of regular season on an 11-yard run. They again scored in the third on a one-yard run.
The game stayed deadlocked throughout most of the fourth quarter, a lot of it due to the strong game play by Snyder and Slaton.
“Offensive and Defensive lines were standouts to me but won’t ever get the credit they deserve,” Johnson said.
At one point, folks were probably predicting the two teams would go into overtime.
Then in the fourth quarter with less than a minute left, Slaton would get the game winning play.
Vigil would receive a 40 yard pass from Ramirez to make the score 20-14. An extra point attempt missed, but the touchdown was all that was needed.
Johnson said Slaton’s two defensive ends – Justin Lloyd and Laz Aguirre – had a great statistical night.
Ramirez made 11 of 16 passes for 182 yards. He had no interceptions. He also rushed 11 times for 33 yards.
Vigil received nine passes for 124 yards total.
Other top rushing players were Elijah Williams (12 times for 109 yards) and Zephron Ortiz (17 times for 79 yards).
Receiving, Andre Trotty caught the ball twice for 48 yards while CJ Anzley caught the ball once for 10 yards.
The game itself was very close in yardage, passing and punts.
Slaton punted five times for an average of 31.6 yards while Snyder had six times averaging 39.6 yards.
Snyder rushed 31 times for 128 yards while Slaton went 41 for 218 yards.
Snyder made 10 passes out of 17 attempts with one interception.
Total yards receiving were the largest difference, where Slaton had a total of 400 with 218 yards rushing and 182 receiving, versus Snyder’s 99 received and 128 rushing for a total of 227.
Although Slaton received the first win of the season for the two teams, Johnson added there was still a lot of work to be done before they competed against the Abernathy Antelopes Friday for their first home game of the season.
“(We need to) clean up the self inflicting mistakes, penalties and execute at a higher efficiency,” said Johnson. “Abernathy is a solid ranked team and our kids, coaches and community are looking forward to the match up.
That said, he’s seeing a huge difference in how the team is playing now versus day one of two-a-days. “We are playing at a higher level and tempo. Kids are thinking less and reacting more,” he added. “Go Tigers! RTA!”
The Slaton Tigers will continue their season at 7 p.m. Friday at Tiger Stadium.
No tickets will be sold at the gate, and those attending must wear a mask to enter.