Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

November 15, 2013

Gordon opens playoffs today against Lometa


Mineral Wells Index

— By TONY EIERDAM

With a new head coach and several new members to the varsity, the Gordon Longhorns enter the 2013 playoffs with high hopes in trying to at least repeat last year’s run that saw the ‘Horns reach the state semifinals.

The ‘Horns will face the Lometa Hornets (7-3), a team ranked No. 22 by sixmanfootball.com. By comparison, Gordon is ranked No. 50 by the popular six-man football website.

Kickoff in the bi-district contest is at 7:30 p.m. today at Dublin.

The winner will take on the winner of the Savoy/Walnut Springs bi-district game in the regional round.

A common opponent for both teams has been Stephenville Faith, which Gordon defeated, 50-6.The Hornets beat Faith, 72-26.

New Gordon head coach Joe Kostiha, a former Longhorn, said the Hornets are a team to be reckoned with.

Lometa will come into the game as the second-place team from District 9, having lost its district finale to No. 8 May, 62-34.

“Lometa is a good team that is athletic, big and physical,” Longhorns head coach Joe Kostiha said. “This will be a huge challenge. But what I told our kids is to expect a challenge in every playoff game.”

Gordon, the District 10, Division I champions which saw little resistance in league play, played a tough non-district schedule. Kostiha feels the non-district schedule helped prepare his team for postseason play.

“I have been pleased with how we have progressed week to week,” Kostiha said. “I am glad we played a hard non-district schedule; we learned a lot about our team.

“We have faced good teams this year so we will be prepared for Lometa. We are excited about going forward.

“I feel our team is catching its stride, and you always want to be a hot team going into the playoffs.

“Hopefully our momentum will carry us through another week of football.”

In his first year as head football coach at Gordon, Kostiha made some changes, particularly on offense where he move three running backs – Seth Wheeler, Twister Brown and Brandon Gonzales – to offensive line.

Wheeler has not only been one of the Longhorns’ strongest blockers, but he has also caught eight touchdown passes.

“We will rely on the same folk who got us here offensively,” Kostiha said. “We have improved our blocking as each week passed, and Seth has really helped us on the line.

“He has been amazing the past few weeks.”