ANDERSON — The Anderson-Shiro Fighting Owls began the 2023 football season with a resounding 28-6 win over the Hearne Eagles. Pregame banter from the Eagles on a X/Twitter social media post referenced the Owls were on the Eagles’ clock, but Anderson-Shiro were the top birds when the clock hit zero.
The Owls responded to the bulletin board material with solid and impressive play throughout the game, flying across the goal line first on a 49-yard pass from Connor Daley to Christian Schroeder.
Hearne responded on the ensuing kickoff returning the ball for a touchdown to even the contest.
After that long return, the Eagles couldn’t muster much on offense or defense. Owl senior running back Jarvis Haynes showed his skill set with a couple of magnificent runs behind his offensive line. He capped the drive with his first touchdown of the season. Senior Jordan Coronado made a circus catch for the 2-point conversion.
Daley finalized the first half scoring connecting on a 30-yard pass to Pierce Goodwin.
The third quarter was a stalemate. Each team traded punts and poor field position throughout the quarter.
It was an explosive start to the fourth quarter with the Owl’s special teams putting on a display. Kagan Stephens fielded an Eagle punt and made one of the most spectacular returns in recent Owl memory. Stephens weaved his way in and out of defenders, following a parliament of Owls. He broke tackles on his way to a large celebration in the end zone with his coaches and teammates. Ta’Colby Calhoun kept the tempo powering up the middle for the 2-point conversion.
Defensively, the Owls had spectacular play shutting down a host of Eagle athletes. Hearne managed only four completions on 17 attempts for negative one yard. The Eagles were also limited to 77 yards rushing.
Jordan Coronado, Randy Mills, Pedro Martinez, Kevin Cabrera, and Mason Kolby were all cited by Coach Brad Hodges for making significant contributions. Hodges also complimented Mills and center Laiken Myrick on the offensive line for stellar play.
The Owls host the Danbury Panthers Sept. 1, for homecoming. “Danbury brings a lot of depth with them,” said Anderson-Shiro Head Coach Brad Hodges. “They are a very big, hard nose, tough group of guys. We will need to play our best again this week.”
The homecoming community parade and pep rally is Wednesday, Aug. 30, in historic downtown Anderson. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Friday.
As always, you can follow along for live updates and short videos on Facebook at the Navasota Examiner’s sports page.