A few weeks’ worth of animosity leading up to Saturday’s pre-season match-up between the West Texas Outlaws and the West Texas Scorpions didn’t translate into the type of on-the-field dogfight that many developmental football fans in West Texas had anticipated as the Scorpions walked away with a 26-0 shutout.
“I learned that we have a cerebral team,” Scorpions owner David Samaniego told Developmental Football USA. “We just need more reps and more communication. We have hard hitters that are willing to receive constructive criticism and use it accordingly. We were at about 70-percent strength because we were missing some key players, but the others stepped in and filled those concerns.”
The Scorpions got their first points off a safety from Ramon De Rouen and J.D. Rodriguez to take a 2-0 lead into halftime.
“It was a defensive game at first, with nobody scoring, then adjustments were made,” Scorpions linebacker Trae Ivory told Developmental Football USA.
In the second half, quarterback Mike Taylor connected with wide receiver Josh Conners for a touchdown and a Jason Swink extra point extended the lead to 9-0. Swink later added a 38-yard field goal to put the Scorpions up 12-0.
Conners found the end zone again on a touchdown strike from veteran quarterback Jonathan Demasters to pull away 19-0 with another made extra point by Swink. The Scorpions scored their final touchdown of the game on a run by quarterback Nick Martinez, and Swink finished 3 of 3 on extra point attempts and 1 of 2 on field goals.
“Typical West Texas Outlaws,” Ivory said. “Nothing has changed. They couldn’t move the ball on offense, run or pass. Defensively, they started breaking down.
“On our side, we didn’t look good at all, in my opinion, from the standard I look for, but it was enough to beat them, which was disappointing on both sides to me.”
For the Outlaws, this was the first live-game action of the year for the team, which features several rookies.
“I saw a lot of positives out of this scrimmage from a lot of new players,” Outlaws head coach Shannon Cross told Developmental Football USA. “It was a pre-season game and we’re working on fundamentals with a new offensive coach and new players. We’ll fix our mistakes and grow from there.”
The Outlaws kickoff their Minor Professional Football League schedule on March 4, while the Scorpions kickoff Rio Grande Football League play next month. Being new to the RGFL, the Scorpions could surprise many of the teams that aren’t familiar with them.
“My outlook for the RGFL season is, as always, we will be competitive,” Samaniego said. “If we execute as we should, play sound fundamental defense and win the six phases of special teams, I like our chances at the end of the game to come out on top.”