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DISTRICT 14-4A, DIVISION II
Carrizo Springs rallies late to stun Pearsall at Mack Laxson Field.
Pearsall had a touchdown called back on a penalty and three other possessions deep into Carrizo Springs territory that came up empty in a 22-17 loss to the Wildcats in District 14-4A, Division action last Friday at Mack Laxson Field.
The Mavericks led 17-7 for the majority of the contest but a 14-point swing in the third quarter seemed to turn the momentum in the contest. Pearsall could have secured a playoff spot with a win over the Wildcats.
“It was a tough physical ballgame,” PHS Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Edward Bocanegra said. “Defensively, we played an excellent game, coming up with big plays, and getting the ball back for our offense. “Offensively, it was a night of great execution, but we were unable to finish drives and put the ball in the endzone. We had 80 more total yards and finished the game with over 300 total yards.”
Bocanegra said the touchdown that was called back was costly but didn’t blame it for the outcome, moreso he was disappointed at the team’s inability to capitalize on its other possessions.
“Having the touchdown called back on the first drive was huge in the end, but that didn’t define the game,” he said. “We had plenty of opportunities and we didn’t take advantage of that. We’ll go back to work and get ready for Devine.”
Things started well for Pearsall in the first quarter although a power outage on the home side prior to kickoff may have been a precursor of things to come.
Brady Blackburn connected with Joaquin Harper on a 42-yard touchdown reception early in the first but the play was negated by a holding penalty. Pearsall would settle for a 38-yard field goal by Blackburn and a 3-0 lead.
Carrizo Springs answered with a 50-yard touchdown run on their ensuing possession to grab a 7-3 lead.
Pearsall then turned the tide with a pair of scoring plays. First the defense got in on the action as Cole Morse forced a fumble that Sebastian Talamantes picked up and returned 20 yards for a score. Joey Ramirez then capped a Pearsall drive in the second with a three-yard touchdown run as the lead surged to 17-7.
The Mavericks were once again in scoring position late in the half but the Wildcats picked off a Blackburn pass at the three-yard line.
The momentum really turned in the third quarter after the Mavericks drove to the Wildcats’ two-yard line but were turned away on fourth down. The Wildcats then went 98 yards and scored on a three-yard run to make it 17-14 with 1:42 remaining in the third.
Another Pearsall drive went just inside the Carrizo Springs 30-yard line but also came up empty in the fourth quarter. The Wildcats would score with 1:34 remaining to grab the lead for good. Pearsall forced a stop on fourth and long on the drive but an unsportsmanlike penalty gave the Wildcats 15 yards and a first down. Another third and long situation went the Wildcats’ way on the drive as the receiver went up between two Pearsall defenders to make a key first down at the two-yard line.
Offensively, Joey Ramirez led the team with 103 yards on 11 carries and a touchdown. Ramirez also tallied five tackles defensively. Talamantes also posted six tackles and a touchdown for Pearsall.
With a 1-2 record in league play, Pearsall can still clinch second place in 14-4A if they can win their remaining two games. The team will be in Devine this week to take on the second place Warhorses. Devine is 6-2 this season and 2-1 in league play. Hondo sits in first at 3-0 while Carrizo Springs is third at 2-1. Pearsall and Crystal City are both 1-2 but the Mavs hold a two-point tiebreaker over the Javelinas due to a forfeit. Bandera is winless at 0-3.
“This game is a UIL Top 100 Rivalry Game and it’s going to be a great match-up on Friday,” Bocanegra said of this week’s outing. “Not getting the outcome we wanted against Carrizo Springs hurts in the sense that we did not clinch a playoff spot, but I really don’t like to look ahead or rely on a team to help us.
“We beat Devine, we put ourselves in a great spot for the playoffs, and that’s what we are focused on. Going to Devine and playing four quarters of great football.”