By BRYAN NAVARETTE
FLOYDADA — The Whirlwinds removed their helmets and surrounded their seniors for a traditional Floydada break down.
For them, a chance at a district title had been a long time coming and Aaron Chavarria knew their undefeated district run would have meant nothing without a win over Hale Center.
“I’ve been waiting three years to do this,” Floydada quarterback Aaron Chavarria said. “We were predicted to finish last. We are out here to prove people wrong. Going into this district championship, We are ready.”
Floydada defeated Hale Center 21-7 Friday in a key District 2-2A matchup.
“We did fantastic on defense,” Chavarria said. “We were hungry. We were hungry for a win this week and hungry to get that quarterback. Offense can improve, but I just feel like a win is a win and that’s a big part of this. I though it was a terrific game. I love these close games.”
Floydada (5-3, 3-0) could not be stopped on the ground in the first quarter. The Whirlwinds used every running back they had to march into the red zone and Chavarria’s arm to get the touchdown.
“We can pass the ball too,” Chavarria said. “There is no doubt about that.”
Hale Center (2-5, 1-1) responded in the second quarter on a 20-yard pass from quarterback DJ Dunn to Dalton Needham to give the Owls the edge, but the team could not capitalize on the generated momentum. Floydada forced a turnover and scored with little over two minutes left in the half extending their lead 14-7.
The Whirlwinds came out fast against the Owls in the second half and did not let up on defense. Floydada defensive back Jessie Segura led the defensive core and shut down any receiver that came his way.
“I just try to focus on my receiver and nothing but my receiver,” Segura said. “As long as I make sure he doesn’t get the ball. I count on everybody else to do their assignment.”
The Whirlwind defense did not allow the Owls to get into their red zone, much less the end zone. Chavarria extended the lead on a 62-yard run, the last scoring drive of the night, with 07:18 left in the third quarter. Floydada kept the lead but turned the ball over on offense plenty of times to give Hale Center an opportunity at a comeback.
What they lacked on offense, Floydada made up for on defense.
“As a defense, We fly to whoever has the ball,” Chavarria said.
Floydada sacked Hale center quarterback DJ Dunn three times in one possession to put the game away.
“Kids did a great job executing,” Floydada coach Todd Bandy said. “We knew if we put some pressure no them they wouldn’t be able to handle us and that’s what seemed to happen.”
Heading into next week, Bandy recognizes the importance of a win and what it could mean to the kids, parents and town of Floydada
“We are going to go to work tomorrow,” he said, “and get after Abernathy and see if we cant go get a district championship right here at home.”
FLOYDADA 21, HALE CENTER 7
Hale Center 0 7 0 0 — 7
Floydada 7 7 7 0 — 21
FLO – Tucker Lowrance 34 pass from Aaron Chavarria (Miguel Pena kick) 07:20
HAL – Dalton Needham 20 pass from DJ Dunn (EJ Gonzalez kick) 06:22
FLO – Chavarria 15 run (Pena kick) 02:31
FLO – Chavarria 62 run (Pena kick) 07:18
First downs 16 9
Rushes-yards 32-67 30-143
Passing yards 212 98
Comp.-att.-int. 24-46-1 5-13-1
Punts-avg. 3-36 6-42
Fumbles-lost 1-1 0-0
Penalties-yards 8-75 12-125
Rushing: HAL, Max Lucero 16-105. HAL, Needham 1-10. HAl, Lance Lucero 1-(-3). HAL, Anthony Borjas 1-(-9). HAL, Dunn 13-(-36). FLO, Chavarria 13-98. FLO, Corbin Nutt 9-37. FLO, Albert DeHoyas 4-6. FLO, Abraham Perez 1-1. FLO, Corey Mathis 2-1. FLO, J.P. Segura 1-0.
Passing: HAL, Dunn 24-46-212. FLO, 5-13-98
Receiving: HAL, Needham 5-102. HAL, Borjas 9-48. HAL, Trey Buxton 2-9. HAl, Josh Alcala 2-9. HAL, EJ Gonzalez 1-9. HAL, Lucero 1-0. FLO, Lowrance 2-62. FLO, Segura 1-28. FLO, DeHoyas 2-8.