The West Texas Pride traveled to Lubbock this past Saturday to take on the West Texas Outlaws and came out undefeated, with a 34-14 win over the region’s longest running team.
The first-year team, which is now sitting at 5-0 in the Rio Grande Football League, does not take credit for themselves for the success they’ve had thus far.
“We’ve come together as a family and the guys play with a lot of heart and we certainly give all the glory to God for everything we’ve been able to accomplish up to this point,” Pride owner Harold Fuller told DFUSA. “We’ve enjoyed a lot of success so far and all the glory to God for that. We’re looking forward to the second half of this season, where I know there will be some bigger tests for us.”
The game against the Outlaws was one the Pride has had circled on their schedule for a while. The Outlaws have been around since 2003 and four former Outlaws actually play for the Pride.
“We actually have two that come from Amarillo and we have four players that come from Lubbock,” Fuller said. “Three on defense and one on the offensive line. I think the game did mean more to them because they have worn an Outlaw uniform in the past. There was some emotion and hype, but when the game was underway everyone was professional.”
The Pride received the opening kickoff and put together a long drive that lasted almost nine minutes and resulted in a touchdown as quarterback Chris Ware found Jeremy Perez in the end zone on a four-yard pass.
The Outlaws would come away empty on their first drive, but their defense would force a turnover to get the ball back into quarterback Tim Davila’s hands. On a 3rd and 20, Davila found veteran wide receiver Charles Planks for the first down and then some, as Planks shed some would-be tacklers on his way to a 65-yard touchdown, but a missed extra point would keep the Pride ahead 7-6.
Ware then put another drive together for the Pride and ran it in himself from seven yards out to extend the lead, but a failed two-point attempt kept the score at 13-6 heading into halftime.
“Chris Ware had a great game,” Fuller said. “He threw for over 230 yards. Brandon Butler had a couple of touchdown catches, and Jeremy Perez and Josh Chatman had one. Ware threw for four touchdowns and rushed for another on the night.”
After halftime, the Outlaws fumbled on the first offensive play and the Pride recovered. Moments later Ware would find Butler for a 13-yard touchdown to extend the lead to 20-6. Later in the third, Ware would find Josh Chatman on a 29-yard strike to build the lead to 27-6.
The Outlaws continued to fight as Davila put a drive together, finding Planks and wide receiver Elijah Rhodes as work their way down the field one play at a time on a drive that ended with a four-yard touchdown run by Waxie Homer and a successful two-point conversion to cut the lead to 27-14.
Ware would connect with Butler again later in the fourth quarter to extend the lead to 34-14 and secure the win.
“It was nice to pick up a win against a franchise that’s been around for so long in the Outlaws,” Fuller told DFUSA. “Our team came out and I was real happy with the way they came out in the second half.
“There was a good crowd of fans for a road game and Lubbock had just as many, if not more, fans on their side of the field. The Outlaws have been around more than anybody and this being our first year, we hope we can be around as long as they have.”
The Pride came into their inaugural season with high expectations of winning a league championship and so far they are on pace and in great position to do so.
“It’s a pretty lofty goal,” Fuller said. “We’ve done some things off the field that already feels like we’ve already won championship. This team it not just about one of us, it’s not about me or one player on the team, all of us will have to come together as a team to be successful and our faith has grown as a team so much this season. I can’t say it enough, we’re thankful to God to be able to play football and as we win more football games, we’ll use it as a platform to glorify Him.”
The Pride (5-0) head to El Paso this weekend to take on the Sun City Reapers (3-2) and the Outlaws (2-3) host the El Paso Sun Devils (3-2)
“The Reapers are a good team, having to travel to El Paso hopefully we play well and put a big game on,” Fuller said.
— West Texas Pride (@WTPRIDE) April 5, 2016