- Photo by Mike Tipton
After a 7-2 regular season, the Del Valle Conquistadores rolled into the Bi-District round of the playoffs with a home game and a date with the Amarillo Sandies (7-3, 4-1).
Del Valle coming off the heels of a 48-13 win over the Chapin Huskies. The Sandies entered the matchup following a 58-27 victory over Abilene Cooper.
Amarillo came out of the gates with a long 12 play drive that ate up almost 6 minutes of the first quarter, but netted no points after a big 4th down stop by the Conquistadores. Del Valle’s game plan was spot on to everything we’ve seen in the regular season, move the ball down the field with authority. A 37 yard pass down the sideline to Wide-out Danny Cortez, the pass setting up Del Valle at the Amarillo 2 yard line. The next play, Raymond Montez ran in for the first score of the game, giving the Conquistadores an early 7-0 lead in the first.
The ensuing drive for Amarillo started off with a fumble, and Del Valle gave up great field position when Montez was leveled by the Amarillo defense for a huge loss in the backfield. The first quarter came to an end on that play with Del Valle leading the Sandies 7-0.
All the momentum Del Valle had going for them was wiped out by a failed 4th down conversion that could have kept the drive going, but a hold negated a would be first down run by Montez.
After a few punts, two from Amarillo and one from Del Valle that pinned the Sandies at their own 15, Del Valle was able to take advantage of a short field that saw a big 16 yard run by Montez followed by a 26 yard TD reception by Cortez a few plays later. Del Valle lead 14-0
Before the half came to an end, Amarillo’s star QB, Beau Barker constructed a drive that lead to a late 2ndquarter TD to sophomore WR, Davin Lemmons to cut the Conquistadores lead to 14-7 heading into the half.
The Second half slowed down exponentially, punts by both teams swapped field position and eventually Del Valle received the ball at the 47 yard-line of Amarillo. A drive sustained by two costly penalties for late hits vs. the Sandies saw the Conquistadores offense receive a first and goal at the 6 yard-line. A huge 4th and goal play from the 1 on a pass to Danny Cortez that saw the Del Valle lead swell to 21-7.
Amarillo scored a field goal late in the 3rd to trim the lead to 21-10. That score is where the game ended and showed the poise and fight of the two teams. Del Valle was able to do something we hadn’t see them do, sit on the ball. As Del Valle tried to milk every second out of the game and play clock and push the Sandies further back in their own territory with punts, Amarillo showed their fight and resolve engineering a late game drive and fighting with every bit of strength left in the team.
The Amarillo Sandies fought valiantly, but ultimately fell to the Del Valle Conquistadores 21-10.
Perhaps the most inspiring part of the whole game was seeing to goliaths battle it out on the field and pay one another the respect they deserve at the end. Amarillo stood on the field, side by side, coaches at the forefront, applauding as Del Valle was played their fight song by the band following the big win. Enough cannot be said about Coach Dunnam and the Sandies, but this night belonged to Coach Perales and the Conquistadores who have a date with Denton Ryan, the 11-0 Powerhouse, at Grande Stadium in Midland TX, Saturday November 24th at 1pm.
Mike Tipton – Reporting