GATESVILLE — It was the ideal opportunity to falter, but Gatesville refused to allow it.
One week after upsetting then-Class 3A No. 1 Cameron Yoe on the road, the undefeated Hornets returned to action against Waco University, which was attempting to snap a 38-game losing streak dating back to 2013.
Considering the circumstances, it would be easy for Gatesville to overlook the Trojans, but it did not happen.
The Hornets never trailed en route to a 49-20 victory, and following the win, Gatesville starting quarterback Jett Truss admitted it was critical to not lose focus against University.
“We preached all week and all night that we could not play to another team’s level,” the senior said. “If we do, then we give ourselves a chance to get beat by them.
“But we played to our potential and did exactly what we were suppose to do.”
Hornets senior Zach Mueller agreed.
“We came into this game like we were playing Cameron Yoe again,” the receiver/safety said. “We can never adjust to someone else’s energy level. We have to rely on ourselves.”
The Hornets opened the game with a strong showing.
After Mueller intercepted a pass to end the game’s opening drive, the Hornets needed just three snaps to reach the end zone as Truss found Mueller for a 28-yard score.
Despite recovering an onside kick and forcing a turnover on downs, Gatesville could not add to its advantage during the duration of the first quarter.
Then, things changed.
The Hornets pushed their lead to 14-0 on Truss’ 14-yard pass to Tyler Lewis before University sophomore Jeremiah Stroupe broke free for an 85-yard score.
But the Trojans would not get any closer.
Gatesville (3-0) crossed the goal line twice in the half’s final six minutes as T.J. Miller punched in a 1-yard score and Truss recorded his third touchdown pass on a 5-yard throw to Hunter Dreyer, allowing the Hornets to enter halftime leading 28-7.
“We just got our heads in the game,” Truss said of the late first-half surge. “We got focused and took care of business.
“We really didn’t do anything different. We just executed better.”
The Hornets dominated the second half, extending their lead to 42-7 before the Trojans (0-3) responded with another big scoring play
as Justin Williams reached the end zone on a 54-yard pass from Jordan Perkins with 2:18 left in the third quarter.
But it was simply not enough to spark a rally.
Gatesville finished with 462 total yards of offense behind Truss, who completed 12 of 20 passes for 141 yards and four touchdowns and produced 60 yards on five carries. Mueller recorded 54 rushing yards and 45 receiving yards, and Miller ended with a team-high 71 rushing yards on 16 carries.
Now, the Hornets will look to continue their winning ways next week at Hillsboro, but Gatesville head coach Kyle Cooper is not concerned with any team but his own.
“We are our biggest opponent,” he said. “The question is how good can we get between now and when the district games start, and that’s all it’s about.”