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PEARSALL MAVERICKS FOOTBALL
FOURTH QUARTER SCORE LIFTS BANDERA TO 29-22 VICTORY; TURNOVERS HURT MAVERICKS
A pair of turnovers and some questionable calls down the stretch from the officials proved costly for Pearsall as the Mavericks suffered a 29-22 loss to Bandera and dropped to 1-1 and third place in District 14-4A, Division II play last Friday at Bulldog Stadium.
Another slow start and turning the ball over twice in the redzone cost the Mavericks once again this week.
“It was a tough loss for sure,” PHS Head Football Coach Ruben DeLeon said. “We ran for over 300 yards as a team, but again, had costly turnovers that hurt our drives.
“We felt we would have scored on one of those drives and we would have been set up inside to twenty on the other.”
Pearsall opened the game with a nice drive that went to the Bandera 20-yard line but ended there on downs. The Bulldogs would turn that into a long scoring drive, capped by a two-yard touchdown pass with 3:03 left in the third. That score was set up by a 45-yard run on fourth and short.
The Mavericks’ big-play offense struck immediately after the Bandera score as Joey Ramirez took the handoff and sailed 75 yards for a touchdown on Pearsall’s first offensive snap.
Bandera blocked the conversion attempt and nearly returned it for a two-point safety but Hector Monroy made a leaping tackle to avoid the score.
After exchanging punts, the Bulldogs scored on a 45-yard strike late in the second quarter to go up 14-6.
Pearsall would fumble on its first offensive snap of the next series, setting the Bulldogs up at the Pearsall 30. The Maverick defense would hold Bandera to a missed field goal attempt and went into the half down eight points.
Bandera would cash in early in the third, scoring on a tw0-yard run with 9:31 to play. Pearsall would answer quickly, scoring on Elijah Luna’s seven-yard run. Luna set up his own score with a 44-yard scamper on the drive.
Pearsall went for two and succeeded, as they narrowed the gap to 21-14 with 6:55 to go in the third.
Another Pearsall defensive stop set the offense up and the team was driving when another fumble at the Bandera 16-yard line derailed that momentum.
The Maverick defense wasn’t finished, however, as linebacker Corbin Norris intercepted a pass and returned it to the Bulldogs’ three-yard line. Ramirez would go in from there and Pearsall converted for two to take their first lead of the night at 22-21 early in the fourth.
Bandera would then mount what eventually became the game-winning drive. Two questionable calls by the referees killed Pearsall’s defensive momentum and a third allowed the Bulldogs to convert for two points. The first call came as Gabriel Gutierrez tackled the Bulldogs’ runner for a big loss in the backfield on second down, which would have forced Bandera into a third and long situation. A late flag was thrown and Gutierrez was called for a facemask even though he had the runner wrapped up by the waist.
Another call came along the Bandera sideline as Pearsall defended a pass attempt along the sideline but the Mavs’ defensive back was called for pass interference. The play appeared to have been a clean pass breakup. Bandera would score on a six-yard run with 8:13 remaining to grab a 27-22 lead. The Bulldogs attempted a two-point pass and appeared to be stopped at the one-yard line but officials ruled that the runner crossed the plane of the endzone.
“The boys did not quit and kept on fighting through adversity,” Coach DeLeon said. “I was proud of that. The message for our boys these last couple weeks is to not worry about things we can not control, lets handle our business and continue to work to be the best we can be as a team on the field.”
Luna led the team with 208 yards of offense. He rushed for 140 yards and a score and went seven of 12 passing for 68 yards.
Ramirez had 200 yards of offense as he rushed for 169 yards and two touchdowns and had two receptions for 31 yards. He has now run for 1,271 yards and 19 touchdowns for the year.
Pearsall dropped to third place in the district standings at 1-1 entering its bye week.
“We still have a shot for a district crown,” DeLeon said. “We would have to win out and get some help as well. The bye will help some of our players that are banged up. It also helps us to be able and prepare for a physical Devine team.”
Following a week off, the Mavericks will host district first place and #17 state-ranked Devine on October 28. The Warhorses, 7-1, won five straight to open the year before losing to San Antonio Davenport, 63-28. Devine then crushed San Antonio YMLA 56-0 and Carrizo Springs 54-6 to open district. Devine will host Bandera this week.