SAN ANGELO, TX— “We are hungry for this next game. It’s huge. We say it’s gold ball season whenever district starts,” said Ozona head coach Jarryd Taylor.

The Christoval Cougars and Ozona Lions are entering their second week of district play, aiming to rebound from their initial district losses.

“Getting the actual win now. Finish is our focus now,” said Taylor.

Following a narrow defeat to the undefeated Sonora Broncos in week seven, the Lions have recognized their errors and gained insight into how to approach future games.

“I learned that it’s little mistakes that are keeping us away. It’s just little mistakes. I threw a couple of interceptions and a couple of things like that. We limit those and win that game,” said Ozona quarterback Hudson Fowler.

Regarding the Cougars, they recently suffered a shutout loss to Anthony. It wasn’t the ideal start to district play, but they’re optimistic that this experience has given them a clearer understanding of the challenges within the district.

“This district is no joke. Going into it, we were pretty confident going up against Anthony, and I think that bus ride got to us a little bit. It was pretty far out there, but in the end, I think we should’ve come out on top,” said Christoval slot receiver Jake Edmiston.

The Cougars and Lions will clash in Lion territory, both determined to gain the upper hand.

“They can be in three or four different defenses throughout the game. They do different things on offense and mix styles, which makes it more difficult for us, but the important thing is our kids are focused right now. They poured their heart and souls into Sonora, and they are just ready to get a win,” said Taylor.

“Ozona is a good team. We are not counting them out for anything, but I think we are more sound, and we had a wake-up call to Anthony,” said Edmiston.