NEW WAVERLY — New Waverly quarterback Sebastine Amaro’s eyes lit up when he saw a wide-open Ty Elder late in the third quarter.
The sophomore field general fired a dart to Elder down the middle of the field, as the receiver sprinted 73 yards down the field into pay dirt. The score would cap off a back-and-forth contest and give New Waverly its second home victory in two years, as they edged Hardin 30-21 on Friday.
Amaro added three scores on the ground for the Bulldogs (1-1), who now sit a field goal away from eclipsing last year’s offensive scoring totals.
“This is a big team booster for us … we just want to keep grinding and training to win the next one,” Amaro said after racking up 189 passing and 73 rushing yards in the victory. “This is the start of something big for us.”
For nearly two quarters it was a true back-and-forth contest.
Hardin used a triple-option offense to pound the Bulldog defense early, while also forcing New Waverly to turn the ball over on downs twice. However, a fumble recovery from Brett Munoz changed things up.
The sophomore forced the first of two Hornet turnovers to give New Waverly great field position, which led to a field goal by Seth Adams.
But it would be the next drive that completely flipped the game.
Amaro put up a pair of touchdowns off quick-snap quarterback sneaks to give New Waverly a four-point lead at the break.
“We know something is going to happen when the ball is in his hands,” Bulldog head coach Dean Schaub said of his sophomore quarterback. “As a coach you want to bite your nails, but he comes in pretty clutch when the game is in his hands.”
Hardin grabbed an early score in the third quarter off a powerful drive capped off with a Trenton Dickey fullback dive. But the Bulldog gunslinger wouldn’t be outdone.
Amaro connected with Elder on a 25-yard fly pattern to get New Waverly into scoring position, followed by a 10-yard QB waggle for the score.
Sherwin helped put the game away, as he ended a Hardin drive with an interception late in the third quarter to set up Amaro’s TD pass.
“When you are establishing a program you can tell kids how good they are all you want, but they have got to see the tangible results,” Schaub said. “We told the kids to enjoy the win, but we aren’t going to get complacent with one win. It took us a whole season to get that first win last year, and now we got it in Week 2.”
New Waverly saw production from nearly every player on its roster during Friday’s win. Peyton Cooper put up 56 yards on the ground, while Nate Duncan added 44 to compliment Amaro. Elder hauled in 152 receiving yards, while Nate Duncan caught a pair of balls for 34 yards. The Bulldogs outpaced Hardin with 372 yards of total offense, while the Hornets posted 341 yards.
HE SAID IT
“No matter what happens in a game, our kids believed that they can win,” Schaub said. “That was the real difference in the game.”
New Waverly will host Leon on September 13.
Hardin (1-1) will host Houston Kipp.