By Thomas Garcia
QCS Senior Writer
Capitalizing on a third-quarter Tatum turnover proved to be the turning point for the Logan Longhorns’ 28 -14 season-opening football win Friday night at Logan.
In other area games, the Tucumcari Rattlers lost 34-6 Friday night at Escalante, while the San Jon Coyotes won their 6-man home opener 70-61 Friday against the Vaughn Eagles at San Jon.
In Logan, Longhorns defensive end Trev Rinestine recovered a fumble by Tatum quarterback Austin Thomas on the Coyotes 15-yard line in the third quarter.
“When we spend less time thinking and react to the play we come up with the big plays,” Rinestine said.
The ball was jarred loose after Longhorns defensive tackle Jerome Earle sacked Thomas.
Rinestine said Earle saw the opening, moved in for the sack, and “the ball came loose, I reacted to recover the fumble.”
On the ensuing Longhorns drive, quarterback Kyle Knight rushed the ball 15 yards for the score. Knight had two rushing touchdowns against the Coyotes.
Earle’s sack on Thomas eventually led to his exit from the game, putting freshman Sebastian Jimenez under center.
The Longhorns defense tested the young quarterback, forcing the Coyotes to end their following offensive drives with a punt.
Running back Julian Vidrio’s 31-yard rushing touchdown capped the win for the Coyotes.
“We got the win, but on Monday it starts all over again,” Vidrio said. “We need to get back into the weight room and get stronger for next week’s challenge.”
The game had its losses for the Longhorns too; wide receiver/middle linebacker Chase Hittson was injured returning the kickoff before half-time.
With a roster of just 16 players, the Longhorns are playing iron-man football. That means a majority of the offensive players double as defensive players.
“The injury of starting players like Hittson is going to have an impact on the season,” said Logan coach Kene Terry.
Terry said the team was determined to finish out the game for Hittson. He said this week the team will work on filling Hittson’s position as it waits to determine the extent of his injury.
Longhorns 8 6 8 6 28
Coyotes 0 6 8 0 14
Logan: Kyle Knight 1-yard rush, 2-point conversion rush Chase Hittson
Logan: Hittson 8-yard pass from Knight, point-after failed
Tatum: Paul O’Brien 6-yard pass from Austin Thomas, point-after failed
Tatum: Haulis Lemons 30-yard pass from Thomas, 2-point conversion Kaden Rodriguez, pass from Thomas
Logan: Knight 15-yard rush, 2-point conversion Julio Vidrio rush
Logan: Vidrio 31-yard rush, point-after failed