Football: Aztecs suffer through growing pains


Farmersville’s 22 points scored on Friday is their highest total in single game this season

By Patrick Dillon

FARMERSVILLE – The Aztecs’ first season as members of the East Sequoia League has been a tough one. Not only for the players, but head coach Marco Gutierrez has had to watch his team be outscored 391-63 in seven games this season. Last Friday while the Aztecs lost their seventh game of the season 60-22 to the Sierra Pacific Golden Bears there is a silver lining. Farmersville’s 22 points is the most they’ve scored this season.

“Being only 20 players deep is always going to hurt us on the scoreboard,” Gutierrez said.

Farmersville (0-7, 0-3) began with a solid opening drive on Thursday, Sept. 27. They were able to move the ball on the ground and through the air, and eventually they found the end zone. Unfortunately, it was the only time the Aztecs landed on pay dirt the entire first half.

Jesus Ramos runs the ball down the field during the Aztecs’ 60-22 loss to Sierra Pacific. Photo by Patrick Dillon.

Jesus Ramos runs the ball down the field during the Aztecs’ 60-22 loss to Sierra Pacific. Photo by Patrick Dillon.

The game became one of attrition as Sierra Pacific (3-3, 1-1) used their numbers to keep constant pressure on the Aztecs. The Golden Bears gained 640 yards of total offense with their preferred passing attack. Quarterback Chad Leslie went 10-14 for 355 yards and six touchdowns. Four of those scores went to Gavin Gamble who caught five passes for 213 yards.

It wasn’t until later in the game that the Aztecs tried to make the score respectable. Jesus Romo began to find Noah Svoboda down the middle of the field for big chunks of yardage at a time. Svoboda caught seven of Romo’s passes for 110 yards, and while Svoboda did not catch a touchdown pass his big gains set up the Aztecs to score.

Gutierrez came into this season with a mindset to change the culture for his old football team. He has had his struggles and setbacks with achieving that.

“We are attempting to clean up a culture,” Gutierrez said. “We are trying to hold kids accountable and things like that are always going to shy away kids.”

The Aztecs have had their fair share of circumstances which has caused their numbers to drop to 20 players. That has created a laundry list of difficulties. Other than being out manned across the board the numbers at workouts are slim. Most days less than half show up to morning workouts which brings into question the dedication of the team. It is a give and take though during practice. While the coaching staff wants the players to be in game shape they risk the possibility of injuries.

“We are doing the best to up hold the expectations at practice, but we have to do what’s best for the team,” Gutierrez said.

Svoboda, who has 29 catches for 382 yards this season, is one of the underclassmen who is determined to turn things around next season. He is looking to improve as much as possible before hitting the weight room hard during the offseason.

“We need to put more effort into what we are doing and it should be a different outcome next year,” Gutierrez said.

This Friday the Aztecs return home to face the Granite Hills Grizzlies (1-5, 1-1) at 7:30 p.m. The Grizzlies are coming off a bye week after they lost 21-14 to the Lindsay Cardinals.

Start typing and press Enter to search