Broncos even record with victory over Azle


Photo by: Alex Meimers

Christian Rodriguez scrambles to gain yards during the Broncos 42-14 victory over Azle on Oct. 25.

Friday, Denton got it’s second straight convincing win in district 5-4A play, this time against Azle knocking off the Hornets 42-14 at Bronco Field.  With the win, the Broncos improve to 4-4  for the season and keep their hopes of a playoff berth alive.

Azle received the opening kickoff and punted after a three-and-out, and Denton took the ball from their own 47-yard-line. They would put together a seven-play drive in which they would run on six of those plays for 38 yards, including the five-yard touchdown run from sophomore running back Xavier Scott to put the Broncos up 7-0.

The Hornets would be forced to punt again on their next possession. Denton’s next series seemed to fizzle out after an offensive pass interference call and three straight incompletions set up fourth and 25. Senior Michael Husbands punted to Azle’s senior returner Jesse Salisbury, who was immediately hit, losing the football to a sprawling Denton senior Jacob Audirsch, giving the Broncos’ drive a new life at the Hornets’ 15. Scott would take the ball two more times for 11 and four yards respectively, the second reaching the endzone to give Denton a 14-0 lead. Scott would finish the night with 129 yards on 20 carries.

After the Broncos failed to capitalize on a Hornet fumble by turning the ball over on downs, Azle took the ball back at their own 36-yard-line. Junior running back E.J. Salinas would run four times for 31 yards to help set up a 16-yard touchdown run by junior teammate Dalton Cole. Neither team managed much in the remaining seven minutes of the half.

The second half began with a pair of punts. Denton began its second possession of the half at its own 38 yard line. The second play of the drive was a 53-yard pass from junior to junior, Christian Rodriguez to a wide open Key’andre Hearvey. Rodriguez would find senior Ke’Von Buris two plays later for an eight-yard touchdown pass. Rodriguez would finish the game completing 15-for-21 (71.4%) for 168 yards and two touchdowns.

Azle would take over with just over nine minutes left in the game at their own 20 after a missed 42-yard field goal attempt from Husbands. Three plays into the drive, junior quarterback Jamie King was intercepted by Bronco junior defensive back Israel Galvan, who would take it 40 yards for a touchdown.

After another Denton touchdown drive made the game 35-7, the Hornets would put together a drive that reached the Broncos’ 19-yard-line. On first down, King would throw a fade to the back pylon that junior cornerback Juan Campos pulled down for an interception five yards into his own end zone.

“The line of the night was, ‘Stay in! Stay in! What are you doing?’” head coach Atkinson recalled, pausing briefly. “‘Go, go, go!’”

Campos saw blockers in front of him and swerved around to his left, dashing down the sideline for a 105-yard interception return to leave no doubt of a Denton victory.

“He scored because we hustled down the field and helped our teammate,” Atkinson said. “That is the true mark of a team that’s getting it, and I’m very proud.”

Atkinson, in his second year as Denton’s head coach, has had bigger wins based just on the final score, but he says that there may not be one more significant.

“It’s the biggest win we’ve had since we’ve been here,” Atkinson said. “Our kids really just played really well.”