Week 4 Big Game: Balmorhea vs Garden City


Week 4 Big Game
Garden City (2-0) @ Balmorhea (2-0) – Friday 7:30pm

This will be the fourth straight season that these two schools will face off in non-district action against each other, with Balmorhea holding a 2-1 series lead. Last year, this game was a hard-fought, low scoring slugfest that featured rain and lighting delays, as the weather may have been a factor. Balmorhea led 30-7 at halftime, but Garden City made some adjustments, and outscored the Bears 28-15 in the second half, yet it wasn’t enough, as the Bearkats lost, 45-35.

Looking at the matchup this season, it seems like Balmorhea stands a good chance at winning this matchup once again.

Balmorhea returns all but one player off last year’s roster, which includes all their offensive weapons in RB Kyle Garcia, FB Marcos Mendoza and QB Marcus Martinez. Garcia gives them speed out of the backfield and Marcos Mendoza is a bruising back that will open up holes for Garcia on offense and deliver bone crushing hits on defense.

Garden City has maintained a portions of last year’s squad as well, namely QB Trent McMillan. They did graduate Riley Eggemeyer, Jose Gallegos and Ethan Goodwin, all of which played vital roles in last year’s big game with Balmorhea. In limited action, (as Garden City has dominated their two games ending them early this season) JD Rodriguez and Cesar Chavez have done a good job at being the proverbial “next man up” in the Bearkats offense, to fill in those holes.

Both offenses and base defenses are pretty close to each other and both coaches are very familiar with each other, as well as the kids playing on both squads, since current Balmorhea coach Vance Jones is a former Garden City head coach and current Garden City coach Jeff Jones is a former Marfa coach that played Balmorhea is many sports while he was there. Both teams are also coming off a bye week, which should mean both teams will be at full strength and eager to get back to the hard hitting action.

Keys to the Game:
Balmorhea must come out not overlooking Garden City’s playing ability, even with a newer, less experienced lineup compared to last season. Balmorhea can not come out flat in the second half, and the same goes for the Bearkats. Garden City has to keep it close and do what they do in the PAT department, as they may have the best kicker in this game in Scott Miller, who was 9-for-9 in their week 2 game against Santa Anna. There has to be less pressure on Balmorhea this season as, Coach Jones is not making the trip to his former school, where he won back-to-back state titles in 2009 and 2010 and any butterflies he has due to that history and fond memories while there should be more in check this time around. I expect this to play out much like it did last season, however, with Balmorhea putting a few more points on the board in the second half this time around…

Garden City’s PATs will make up for some, but in the end, I think Balmorhea wins their third straight matchup with Garden City.