Holy cross

Jordan Battles of Holy Cross lead rally at San Antonio Sports All-Star Game

Channeling Baker Mayfield, Holy Cross quarterback Jordan Battles had a good feeling heading into Saturday’s San Antonio Sports All-Star game.

Battles completed 12 of 16 passes for 221 yards and four touchdowns and rushed 10 times for 66 yards, leading Team Gold to a 44-31 victory over Team Black at Heroes Stadium.

“I woke up this morning feeling unsafe,” said Battles, who won the game’s MVP honors with his performance. “I thought I was going to win this MVP. It’s as much their reward (my teammates) as mine.

Such excellence was typical for Battles the previous two seasons as Brandeis’ starting quarterback.

He led Brandeis to the quarterfinals in 2018 and 2019 before being transferred to Judson. After UIL did not approve his eligibility for varsity athletics at Judson, Battles enrolled at Holy Cross, where his father, Shaun, once played the running back role and where he was once a ball boy.

Battles was happy to put it all behind him.

“It was a mad, mad rush – going through COVID and the transfer and everything,” Battles said. “Everything worked out at the end. I’m just glad I came here and got to have fun playing football.

Battles have also reunited with their former coach at Brandeis, David Branscom, who coached the Gold team.

“What makes him great is that he’s such a competitor,” Branscom said. “No one is ever going to scare him in any way. He’s just built differently in that sense, so having those kind of guys on your team makes the other guys better.

The battles helped lead a comeback charge as Team Gold scored 44 straight points after falling 17-0 in the first quarter.

It all started when Southside’s Caleb Camarillo hit a 60-yard Battles pass with 1:05 left to drop Team Gold to 17-7 in the first quarter.

“We put this game on Monday,” Camarillo said. “We practiced it, practiced it, practiced it. As soon as the game was called, I saw the safeties move wide. I glanced at him and (Battles) looked at me, and we knew it was going to happen.

Team Gold recovered a fumble on Team Black’s 36-yard line on the next drive.

Tied battles with Antonian’s Bryon Armstrong for 17 yards to bring the score to 17-13 after an extra point blocked.

Team Gold converted a blocked punt on the next drive into a 26-yard catch by Royal Kyle of Madison of Battles midway through the second quarter to take the lead for the first time.

Brennan’s Jonathan Swisher had a 23-yard field goal with 8 seconds left in the second quarter to increase Team Gold’s lead to 23-17.

Harlan quarterback Kannon Williams scored off a 4-yard goalie for Team Gold in the lone score of the third quarter.

Battles capped their big game with a 63-yard pass to LEE’s Jeremiah Shelton in the opening play of the fourth quarter to give Team Gold a 37-17 lead. Harlan’s En’Dreas Spriggs caught a 21-yard pass from Antonian’s Zachary Schwalen to take Team Gold’s lead to 44-17.

Team Black took the lead early with a 20-yard field goal by Reagan’s Nicholas Hernandez that capped the game’s first down.

After Clemens’ Max DiDomenico knocked out Battles, it led to a one-yard run by Wagner’s LJ Butler and a 10-0 lead at 6:12 of the first quarter. Butler had a 28-yard gain and Seguin’s Marques Washington added a 12-yard rush along the way.

A salvage fumble from Reagan’s Pryce Yates led to Team Black’s next scoring, a 35-yard catch by Dylan Cooper of Marshall, who landed a deflected pass from Gage Lowry of La Vernia to Andrew Edwards of Clemens.

Butler, a four-year-old starter with the Thunderbirds, finished with 98 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries.

“In all-star games there are a lot of great players so it can go both ways,” Butler said. “We’re going up and the momentum has changed, and we just couldn’t get the momentum back.”


Twitter: @hinojosa_david