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PEARSALL MAVERICKS FOOTBALL
Mavericks earn 30-29 win over previously unbeaten Aggies in non-district thriller.
Pearsall notched its biggest win of the season and passed its toughest hurdle of the young season with a 30-29 win over Poteet last Friday at Mack Laxson Field.
In a tight contest throughout, the teams were tied at halftime before exchanging leads in the third quarter.
Elijah Luna stepped in front of Poteet quarterback Asael Moreno’s pass and returned it 65 yards for touchdown to give Pearsall a 22-14 lead.
The Aggies would then reel off 15 straight points as they scored a pair of touchdowns and a field goal.
The Mavericks were able to keep things close by denying the Aggies on both two-point conversion attempts.
Joey Ramirez, who has come in clutch for the Mavs all season, turned things around for Pearsall in the fourth as he broke off a 97-yard touchdown run, which proved to be the game-winner.
“It was a great team win for the program and the team this season,” PHS Head Coach Ruben DeLeon said. “We are far from our overall goal this season.”
Things didn’t go according to plan initially for Pearsall as the team drove to the Poteet 18 yard line on their first series but did not score. A Mavs’ fumble at the 22 led to a one-play Aggies’ drive and an 8-0 lead with 5:47 to play in the first. Ramirez then scored the first of his three touchdowns on the night when he broke free from 60 yards out late in the first. Pearsall went for two to tie things up at 8-8.
Ramirez capped another Pearsall drive with a five-yard score early in the second to give the Mavs a 14-8 lead. That score was set up as the team converted on third and 18 with a 42-yard Matt Hughes pass to the five to Shawn Rivera.
Poteet would tie things up late in the second on a two-yard scoring pass with 1:40 remaining. Pearsall seemed to answer that with a score of their own with 16 seconds to play in the half as Hughes went in from the two on a quarterback sneak. The touchdown was negated by an illegal block penalty. The Mavericks would try a 35-yard Hector Monroy field goal but the attempt sailed just wide.
Momentum seemed to shift in Poteet’s favor immediately after Luna gave Pearsall a 22-14 lead with his interception return. The Aggies scored on a three-play drive to cut it to 22-20, stopped the Mavs and moved down the field for a 33-yard field goal to take a 23-22 lead and then pulled out to a 29-22 advantage on a 70-yard touchdown pass with 8:26 to play. That score came after Pearsall came up empty on a trip to the Poteet 27-yard line.
Things seemed to get bleaker on Pearsall’s next possession as Hughes was blindsided on a pass attempt and fumbled the ball. The Mavs would recover at their own three but Hughes was knocked from the game for a play. Luna took the snap at quarterback and handed off to Ramirez who tore through a massive hole on the left side of the line and raced 97 yards for the touchdown. Luna took the snap on the conversion attempt and trotted into the endzone to give Pearsall a 30-29 lead with 7:40 remaining.
The Mavericks would stop Poteet on their next possession and were driving to seal the win when Ramirez coughed up the ball at the Aggies’ nine-yard line with less than two minutes remaining. Ramirez and his defense would bail him out however, stopping Poteet on downs at the 40. Ramirez made the tackle on the final play.
The senior ball carrier had another huge night, rushing for 305 yards on 22 carries and three scores. He has tallied 890 yards and 14 touchdowns in four games this year and is averaging over 14 yards per carry.
Hughes went six of 11 passing for 88 yards while Luna had 75 yards of total offense. He accounted for 27 rushing yards, 29 receiving yards and 19 passing yards. Hughes, Kingston Martinez and Luna all combined for 64 yards rushing.
With a trip to 1-3 Lytle this week, and a chance for a letdown following an emotional win, DeLeon said his team’s mentality is strong and focused.
“Our boys know we can’t be overlooking opponents,” he said. “This week it is back to work and our focus is on this week’s opponent and the goal is to be 1-0 at the end of the week and continue to build in the right direction.”
The Poteet win also came despite numerous injuries on the defensive side of the ball.
“We were getting guys back from being banged up and also looking at different guys on that side of the ball,” the coach said of some personnel changes on defense. “We still have several key guys out and are hoping to get them back sooner rather than later.”
Pearsall will be at Lytle this Friday at 7 p.m.