MIDLAND — Not being able to keep up with the Joneses didn’t stop the Hereford Whitefaces from taking things down to the final play Friday night.
On a night when Hereford was tormented by El Paso Burges twins Aaron and Alvin Jones, the Whitefaces still stayed around in true fashion up until literally the final second of their Region I-4A Division II area playoff at Grande Communications Stadium. But Hereford couldn’t pull off a dramatic win for the second week in a row, as a pass to the end zone from Ray Martinez to Nate Cabezuela fell incomplete on the final play, ending Hereford’s season with a 35-28 loss to Burges.
So ended a season which seemed like at least two different seasons for the Herd (5-7), which started out 0-5 before going 4-1 in District 4-4A play. Hereford made it to the second round by surprising Randall, 34-31, last week, two months after Randall had routed the Herd, 33-0.
In that regard, it wasn’t surprising even though the Joneses outgained Hereford alone, the Herd still had a chance to at least force overtime at the end of the game.
“That’s typical of this football team,” Hereford coach Don Delozier said. “They’ve fought through a lot of adversity this year and I think it’s appropriate we still had a chance to win on the last play of the season.”
The last play almost served as a subplot to the Aaron and Alvin Jones Show, which was plenty entertaining but unwatchable to Hereford fans. Twins running back Aaron and quarterback Alvin seemed to be performing without any regard to anybody else on the field.
The Joneses accounted for all five touchdowns for Burges (10-2). Aaron ran for 134 yards and two TDs on 27 carries and caught a third touchdown from Alvin, who ran for 120 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries.
Hereford cut the lead to 28-21 on a 5-yard scoring run by Martinez with just over 10 minutes left in the game.
Two plays after the ensuing kickoff, the Mustangs were at their own 23-yard line. Aaron Jones ran a sweep to the left side and appeared to be tackled but broke loose about five yards behind the line of scrimmage. He escaped and threw a pass to Alvin, who was all alone on the right side, for a 42-yard gain.
“I broke the tackle and saw some guys overpursuing and my brother was wide open over there so I threw it to him,” Aaron Jones said. “Coach (Marcus Graham) lets us improvise.”
Five plays after that, Alvin scored on a 1-yard run to make it 35-28 with 6:19 left. Delozier could do little but admire the brothers.
“You’ve got to tip your hat to them,” Delozier said. “They made some freelance plays to get out of those bad situations. They made plays whenever the time came.”
But Martinez showed he could do that too. He figured in all the plays involved in Hereford’s eight-play, 71-yard scoring drive, concluding it by throwing an 8-yard scoring pass to Cabezuela to cut it to 35-28 with 5:11 left.
The Mustangs then muffed the ensuing kickoff (Burges fumbled three kicks, but Hereford only converted one into points) and Joey Balderaz recovered at the Burges 26.
But the Herd couldn’t convert. On fourth-and-one, Toby Garza was stopped a foot short of a first down.
“The head coach didn’t do a good enough job with the play selection when it counted,” said Delozier, shouldering the blame.
Still, the Herd had one last chance and a gadget play worked, as Jacob Pesina took a lateral and hit Cabezuela for a 30-yard gain to the Burges 18 with five seconds left. But both of the last two passes fell incomplete in the end zone, ending Hereford’s season.
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EP Burges 35, Hereford 28
Hereford 6 7 0 15 — 28
El Paso Burges 7 7 7 14 — 35
EPB—Aaron Jones 12 run (Daniel Hernandez kick)
H—Ray Martinez 3 run (kick failed)
H—Shawndi Gaytan 1 run (Oscar Chavira kick)
EPB—Jones 5 run (Hernandez kick)
EPB—Aaron Jones 11 pass from Alvin Jones (Hernandez kick)
EPB—Alvin Jones 43 run (Hernandez kick)
H—Martinez 5 run (Blake Gestes pass from Martinez)
EPB—Alvin Jones 1 run (Hernandez)
H—Nate Cabezuela 8 pass from Martinez (Chavira kick)
First Downs 15 21
Rushing 72 298
Passing `206 100
Total yards 278 398
C-A-I 13-27-0 5-9-0
Punts 3-26.7 2-36.0
Fumbles-lost `0-0 3-3
Penalties-yards 3-31 11-56
Rushing—Hereford: Toby Garza 4-8, Martinez 15-60, Gaytan 1-1, Zach Maes 3-14, Team 1-(-11). Burges: Aaron Jones 27-134, Alvin Jones 16-120, Michael Rasor 8-44.
Passing—Hereford: Martinez 12-26-0-176, Jacob Pesina 1-1-0-20. Burges: Alvin Jones 3-7-0-25, Aaron Jones 2-2-0-75.
Receiving—Hereford: JaDeion High 4-60, Payton Gonzales 1-10, Josh Lopez 1-14, Zach Maes 1-55, Max Soliz 3-17, Frankie Vallejo 1-12, Cabezuela 2-38. Burges: Aaron Jones 2-14, Kiar Robeerts 1-11, Alvin Jones 2-75.