By Melissa McCaghren
The Slaton Tigers knew they’d have a challenge ahead against the 2019 Class 2A Division I State Runner-Up Post Antelopes.
Slaton fought hard, but still came up short against the Antelopes 46-7 during their game Friday evening (Sept. 25) at home.
It was the first time in two weeks the Tigers had played after a COVID outbreak forced the high school to go to virtual learning.
In spite of the final score, Head Coach Lawrence Johnson was impressed with the fight.
“Post is a disciplined and power football team. I thought our team matched their physicality and intensity inconsistently throughout the game,” he said.
“Our coaching staff is proud of our kids for fighting the entire game. They don’t have give up in them and it showed through the game regardless of what the scoreboard showed.”
This also showed in the fact the team only had two days to practice again before playing.
“We learned a lot about us and how we have overcame so much adversity and found the good from it. Discipline is always a focus and will benefit us this week,” Johnson said.
“We demonstrated high character by showing up Saturday morning for film and weights. Our kids are hungry and ready to start District play.”
Post struck first in scoring, earning touchdowns on an eight-yard run, a one-yard run and a 32-yard interception return in the first quarter.
In the second, Zephron Ortiz scored the sole touchdown for the Tigers on an eight-yard run.
Tae Thompson kicked the extra point.
“Zephron Ortiz ran the football like a grown man,” said Johnson of the player.
The Antelopes then continued their scoring in the third, scoring twice on a one-yard run and then a five-yard run.
They would go on to score twice in the fourth on a three-yard run and nine-yard run.
Ayden Ramirez completed seven of 15 passing attempts for 59 yards. He also had one interception.
Ortiz lead in rushing for the Tigers, going 16 times for 114 yards. Other top rushers were Elijah Williams (seven times for 23 yards) and TJ Payne (twice for four yards).
Top receivers were Matt Vigil (twice for 29 yards), Jacorien Doss (three times for 15 yards) and Andre Trotty (once for 17 yards).
The team had a total of 183 yards, with three punts averaging 38.5 yards.
“Both our lines proved how dominant they can be when we get it all figured out. Our kids and coaches don’t make excuses for only having two days of practice,” said Johnson.
“We made that clear by playing a Post team equipped for another return to Jerry’s world (Cowboys Stadium). Injury free was a great take away after a physical game.”
This week was originally to be a bye week; however, due to closures of schools from COVID earlier this season, the District voted to shift the bye weeks to the last week of the season.
This would allow the teams to have a makeup game should any team be unable to play.
It also means this week the Tigers will now play Friday (Oct. 2) against the Kermit Yellow Jackets, who moved to the Slaton’s District this season in redistricting.
Johnson now looks forward to the upcoming games in District and is focused to possibly achieve the title.
“We want to put four quarters together and stop with all the inconsistencies. There is a big emphasis on playing disciplined and competing every down,” he said. “We have to eliminate the execution mistakes and create opportunities to swing momentum in the Tigers favor.
“I don’t think moving the bye week back to the end of District will effect us at all. We need to have the availability to make up a game if there is a COVID cancelation,” he said.
The Tigers will play at 7 p.m. at home.
The game will also be live streamed on Slaton ISD’s YouTube page, SlatonTigers.