Courtesy of San Antonio Gunslingers
ODESSA, TX – The inaugural “Battle of Texas” between the San Antonio Gunslingers and the West Texas Warbirds did not disappoint. The teams played like they were rivals, despite having very different records, with the game being decided late in the fourth quarter, 38-36. San Antonio (5-0) came away with the win, and the fans in West Texas (1-4) with an entertaining contest.
The Warbirds gave the Gunslingers all they could handle after reworking their entire offense. San Antonio’s quarterback, Arvell Nelson, acknowledged their effort saying, “The Warbirds fought hard. They are getting better every week. They came in with a great offensive game plan and got the ball out quick.” West Texas quarterback Daniel Smith was often pressured but never sacked in the contest. He completed 20 of 36 passes for two touchdowns and rushed for two more touchdowns. Jordan Gandy caught both touchdown passes, and the Warbrids added to their tally on a ‘pick six’ interception by Trevonte Coleman. Turnovers ultimately doomed the Warbirds’ bid as they were stopped three times on fourth down, had a field goal attempt blocked, and fumbled the ball away once.
The Gunslingers returned the favor by committing three of their own turnovers coming on two interceptions and a failed fourth down conversion. Nelson completed 17 of 33 passes with three touchdowns and rushed for two more touchdowns. Pierre Turner added another rushing touchdown. Kadir Chisolm led the team with two touchdown receptions, followed by Phillip Barnett with a single reception that opened the scoring for San Antonio.
This win did not silence the pundits pointing to the Gunslingers’ narrow margins of victory, with one broadcast commentator referring to their season as “a house of cards.” The Gunslingers’ veteran fullback and mac linebacker Pierre Turner had a different take entirely. “Resilience is what separates us from the other teams, being able to overcome adversity and to continue to come away with the wins. That’s what makes us a championship caliber team. The scary part is, we haven’t even come close to our full potential.”
San Antonio next plays at home, coming off six weeks on the road, hosting the 3-2 Jacksonville Sharks at the Freeman Coliseum Sunday on May 28, which will mark the Gunslinger’s Military Appreciation Game.