Saturday, November 24, 2007

COM: Blogarithmic #226

Yeah, i know, it's been months since i've posted my longtime updates on what's going on around me. I've been too busy (i know too, that's my standard excuse) to actually accomplish the many things in the pipeline, mostly stuff i owe other folks (like films, and CD projects, etc.). Anyway, i keep seeing folks, and wanting to update amd try to keep my portion of the grapveine open, so i'm going to try to get back to it, although it's still not going to be daily for a while, but maybe i can get a weekly post up. So, here goes:

Several football games of interest to those who follow my blog -- Smithson Valley (ranked 7th in state and with only a single loss) is keeping up the playoff hopes amongst friends, beating to move into the third round. They will play Harlingen South Friday in Corpus.

Tivy, which spent the season unbeaten, and ranked as high as #2, fell in its season finale to defending champs Alamo Heights, but managed a win over Lanier in the first round of theplayoffs. Today however, they got behind early and despite a run at the end couldn't catch up, ending their season at 10-2 with a 45-29 loss to Lake Travis. There's a KDT story below.

Meanwhile, McKinney Boyd continued a magical season by beating ever-the-powerhouse Marshall 21-14 in Tyler today. They play Copperas Cove Friday in Waco. Plano walloped Mesquite 28-7, and moves on to play either Stony Point or Spring Westfield. So far i've been unable to place if Highland Park is still in the hunt. Will update as i found out.

And, finally, just cause they're down the road, a still surprising Harper team lit up the scoreboard against defending champs (although they were only 4-7) Chilton, 28-13, to make it to the third round next weekend against Sabinal.

The GSQ's production of The Lion in Winter scheduled for January 2008 has been put off for the time being. We received a gracious offer of a venue space, but don't really have the time to fix it up as we need, and there were other issues. No idea when that piece will happen, but Death of a Salesman is still on for May -- once ITM's one-act has run its course.

Charles Bryant has awonderful new, newly redesigned website. Check it out here

Well, two wins in a row over Texas for the Ags, followed by the running off of yet another coach. I'm not sure whether we look worse for not fielding winning teams or for our treatment of coaches. What i do know is that in my time we've had two exceptional human beings as coaches, Emory Bellard and R.C. Slocum, and i'm still embarrassed at having run them off. Find us someone good and then let's believe in them and stick with them.

Disappointed in LSU -- long my favorite other team. They still have a BCS shot, but not looking so good for the title anymore. Between Missouri and West Virginia i'm liking WV. And what a kick for that program. And for Virginia Tech. Love them Hokies.

The weather has been frightfully wintry here, despite never getting to freezing -- and it will more than likely put an end to what has been an exceptional bug year for late records and tropical species moving north. Bugs don't die from being frozen as logic would have it, but need warmth to travel to food, water and nectar sources, and when the temps don't allow for the warming up, several days of non-activity result in dehydration. That's just what's happened here. Wednesday afternoon we hit a stiflingly humid 88 before the front blew in and within two hours, the temp had dropped 33 degrees before slowing its descent. Still, the low overnight (and remember we're a half-mile high here) was only 37 under clear skies. The forecast was for a potentially wet, sleety second night, and below freezing, but that never materialized. What did happen was a dense overcast with some strong humidity put us in a solid chill -- Thursday never topped 45 degrees, and in the last 80 hours the temp has never strayed from between 41 and 45. Very odd. And enough to wipe out the bugs. Another frontal system is about to hit here though, and we're on the southern edge of forecast snow and sleet again -- literally on the forecast edge -- so we may not get any. In any case. the temp is still (at 9:30 p.m.) at 41 degrees.

Another effect of the first big front like this (which seems to always hit on Thanksgiving weekend -- it's the one weather event that i can predict with near 100% accuracy) is that it makes the first really big push of winter birds hit our area. I've been prepared with winter feeders up, but so far nothing, although the rest of the state has turned up some outstanding rarities, including at least three Pacific Loons, Mountain Bluebirds, hordes of Red-breasted Nuthatches, and a flock of over 30 Red Crossbills, which may be a record. It's the kind of winter when exceptional things may turn up since there has apparently been a masive seed crop failure up north. We'll be looking for nuthatches, crossbills, Evening Grosbeaks, Purple Finches, longspurs, and perhaps Pinyon Jays, Lewis' Woodpeckers and the like.

Game Report: Tivy vs. Lake Travis
By Bill Begley, The Daily Times, Published November 25, 2007

SAN ANTONIO — In the end, it was as much Tivy’s mistakes as Lake Travis’ high-powered offense that brought the Antlers’ season to an end.

Not without a fight ... but an end, all the same.

“We got ourselves in a hole, and that’s a tough place to be against that team,” Antlers coach Mark Smith said after the Cavaliers topped Tivy 45-29 in the Region IV-4A (Division II) area round game Saturday at the Alamodome.

With the win, Lake Travis improved to 11-1 and advanced to face Corpus Christi Calallen in the regional semifinals next week.

Tivy finished its season 10-2 despite a fourth-quarter comeback that produced 22 points, but could not erase the mistakes that put the Antlers in that deep hole in the first half.

The anticipated offensive explosion happened — the Cavaliers finished with 340 yards in offense, while the Antlers piled up 406 yards — but it didn’t come until the second half.

By that time, Lake Travis had taken full advantage of one big turnover and two big kick returns to take control of the game.

“Our coaches have been preaching that all year,” said Lake Travis quarterback Garrett Gilbert, who finished with 328 yards passing and threw for three touchdowns. “They told us that special teams would make a difference in a big game this season, and it did today.”

In a big way.

The Antlers held Gilbert in check in the first half. The junior — who came in with more than 3,200 yards and 33 touchdown passes on the season — was a pedestrian 7-for-19 in the first half for 103 yards.

But, he didn’t have to be much better than pedestrian after Tivy gave the Cavaliers short fields to work with thanks to a turnover and two special teams breakdowns.

The Cavaliers grabbed a 21-7 lead at halftime, and had to travel a grand total of four yards for two of the TDs.

Lake Travis — which set the tone by recovering an on-side kick to open the game, but did not score off that possession — got on the board first when the Cavaliers rush harassed Tivy QB Colton Palmer into the first of his two first-half interceptions. Lake Travis linebacker Nick Whitehair took the pick back to the Tivy 1-yard line to set up a short scoring run.

The Antlers answered with a scoring drive, capped by Palmer’s 4-yard scoring run, but on the ensuing kickoff the Cavaliers’ Andy Erickson bolted 96 yards to set up a short scoring run by Gilbert.

“We got out-coached on the kicking game — and you can’t put that on the kids,” Smith said. “It was nobody’s fault but our own.”

Gilbert added to the woes after a 39-yard punt return by Austin Pollard, setting up a 40-yard TD pass to Cohl Walla.

“That was a big score for us,” said Gilbert, who hit 13 of 18 pass attempts in the second half. “It got us going.”

Lake Travis scored on two straight possessions in the second half, with Gilbert throwing for 158 yards in the third quarter alone, to grab a 31-7 lead. The Cavaliers scored on their first two possessions of the fourth quarter, as well, with Gilbert hitting Walla with a 32-yard TD pass to put Lake Travis up 45-15.

“We gave up one big play in the third quarter, and that hurt us,” Smith said. “I think we were getting a little fatigued in the second half, and if you are tired that is a tough offense to stop.

“The biggest difference between the first half and the second half was they made plays. We didn’t change anything scheme-wise. We got people in position, but we didn’t make plays.”

The Tivy offense came alive late in the third quarter. The Antlers picked up 294 yards in offense in the second half — 229 of that in the fourth quarter.

Palmer, who struggled in the first half when he hit just eight of 16 passes for 73 yards and threw two interceptions, ran 11 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter, then hit Logan Vick with a 61-yard TD pass to pull the Antlers within 45-23 with 2:19 left. After Dylan Cannon stripped a Cavalier receiver and recovered the fumble, Palmer moved the team down the field again. He found Vick — who finished with 12 catches for 197 yards — for a 5-yard TD pass with 1:04 left.

But, by that time, all the Cavaliers had to do was run out the clock.

“It was a good season,” Smith said. “You hate to see it end, especially like this.

“We will lose a lot of kids on defense, but this is our first season with this offense, and we did a lot of great things with it — you have to give (offensive coordinator Julius Scott) and the offensive staff credit for that — and we have a lot of kids coming back. Hopefully, it will continue to get even better and we can have success with it next year.”

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