Some things just work.
Like pepperoni and pizza, peanut butter and jelly, and Phineas and Ferb. But hardly anything seems to work as well together as the Gatesville Hornets.
Gatesville is now 12-0 on the season, but the Hornets don’t really have a superstar.
Cole Edmiston, who has thrown for more than 2,400 yards and run for more than 1,000, is the driver of the offense. But he is not committed to Texas or even TCU. He is not a five-star recruit leading the way for his team. He just simply does what he is supposed to do.
Wide receiver and cornerback Tyler Jaynes is the same way.
When a play needs to be made, Jaynes is there to make it, whether it is intercepting a pass or catching one.
In fact, the entire Gatesville team is that way.
After trailing for three quarters in an area-round playoff game Friday, Vernon put together a furious comeback attempt in the final 12 minutes, trimming Gatesville’s lead to 12 points with 4:47 remaining in the game. The Lions even recovered an onside kick and were threatening to cut even further into the deficit.
It never happened.
Jaynes had lost the ball in the sunlight. Then all of a sudden, the ball blocked the sun and fell almost straight into his hands.
If the game was at night he may have never found the ball. He might not have intercepted the pass.
But he did.
The interception set up a 65-yard touchdown run by Edmiston, and the Hornets held on to keep their state championship hopes alive and their undefeated record intact.
With the win, Gatesville faces Monahans after the Loboes defeated Shallowater 21-7 on Saturday. The game is Friday at Abilene’s Shotwell Stadium at 7:30 p.m.
Even that is a lucky break. Monahans is 8-4. Shallowater was undefeated and ranked and the upset sets the Hornets up with a better matchup.
Again, something went the Hornets’ way that probably shouldn’t have.
As it did in the bi-district round of the playoffs.
After taking a 35-28 lead over Alvarado in the fourth quarter, Gatesville head coach Kyle Cooper decided to attempt an onside kick with 5:11 remaining in the game.
The choice was risky.
An unsuccessful kick would give Alvarado great field position with plenty of time to engineer a game-tying drive.
But Cooper had faith. He knew this team always seems to make the right play at the right time. So the Hornets went for it.
Senior kicker Sebastian Corrales sent the ball flying toward the Hornets’ sideline, where J.D. Nolte made the recovery.
The Hornets did not score, but they ran time off the clock, driving down to the Alvarado 13-yard line.
And with Alvarado desperate, Jaynes picked off a pass and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown and a 41-28 advantage with 1:42 remaining in the game.
The Hornets were probably not expecting to recover the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown either, but Colin Magee made it a reality when he pounced on a fumbled ball in the end zone.
Gatesville won 48-28 and collected the school’s first playoff victory since 2001, when it defeated Taylor 21-7.
Not for everyone. But for Gatesville, it does.
It just works.
And when something works like the Hornets do, it is almost impossible to stop.