At the beginning of the season, some thought that Manvel might not go undefeated, but would be the favorite to win the District 23-5A crown.
Facing Crosby, a pre-season No. 1 Class 5A state-ranking, North Shore, the defending Class 6A Div. I state champion, and state-power Pearland, the Mavs had their work cut out for them.
All Manvel did was beat Crosby 35-21, North Shore 26-13, and Pearland 36-0 to begin the 2016 football campaign with a 3-0 record.
The next step in the journey was to challenge for the league title which they did without any opposition for a 7-0 mark.
There was Manvel and then there was the rest of the league battling for a playoff spot.
The Mavericks outscored their district rivals by an average of 51 to 9.
That included a 63-6 thrashing over Fort Bend Marshall (8-2) who came into the contest undefeated and another district power FB Elkins (6-4) 50-14.
Now, the second leg of the season begins as Manvel sets their course in the Class 5A post-season with the next goal to capture the 5A Region III Div. I championship that would catapult them to the state semifinals and ultimately the opportunity to capture a first-ever state title.
Manvel will move into the next phase with the momentum of a 49-3 district win over Galena Park.
The game wasn’t expected to be close and Manvel fulfilled all expectations with the rout of the Yellowjackets who finished the 2016 season with a 2-8 overall mark and winless in district at 0-7.
The first half was totally dominated by the Mavs with the second half in cruise control.
Manvel put 27 points on the scoreboard in the opening eight minutes as Galena Park was completely outmatched from the start of the kickoff.
It didn’t take long for the Mavs to find the goal line as junior QB Kason Martin tossed a short 1-yard scoring pass to Arik Bennett with 10:16 left in the first period. Luis Moreno tacked on the PAT for a 7-0 lead.
Running back Sam Smith added the next score at the 7:00 mark in the first on a 4-yard blast through the middle of the Galena Park defense for a 14-0 advantage.
Manvel increased the lead to 20-0 when Jalen Preston gathered in a perfect 20-yard scoring strike from Martin at the 4:14 mark.
With only 31 seconds still remaining in the opening quarter, Martin found Deneric Prince open on a 4-yard scoring toss for the 27-0 lead.
The defense put a couple of points on the board when they got a safety at the beginning of the second quarter to make the score 29-0.
Galena Park finally got some offense going to put the ball at the Manvel 15 yard line before settling for a 32-yard field goal by Jordi Marroquin making the score 29-3 with 6:20 left in the first half.
It took only 14 seconds for Manvel to answer as Cam Scott gathered the ensuing kickoff two-yards deep in the end zone and returned the ball 102-yards for a sensational touchdown with 6:06 left before intermission for a 36-3 lead.
With only 42 seconds left before halftime, Manvel would strike again on a Judah Thomas 2-yard scoring run to up the lead to 43-3.
Manvel would add one touchdown in the second half and the defense would toss a shutout to make the final score 49-3.
Matthew Goodson scored the only touchdown on a 5-yard run while the PAT missed the mark.
The Mavs piled up 439 total yards while Galena Park was limited to only 121 total yards.
Martin was 14-of-31 passing for 175 yards and three TDs.
Smith had 103 yards rushing on four carries for one score.
There were 11 different players who caught passes as head coach Kirk Martin cleared the bench.
Manvel will now prepare for the Class 5A Region III Div. I playoffs against Fort Bend Austin on Thursday, Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m. at Alvin Memorial Stadium.
Story by Dr. David Davis
Photo by Casey Chancellor