By DR. DAVID DAVIS
Having the first two games cancelled because of Hurricane Harvey didn’t make it any easier on the Pearland Oilers having to face No. 1 state-ranked Class 5A Manvel Mavericks in the season opener for both teams.
Plus — it was also the first game for Pearland’s new head coach James Farmer at the helm of the Oilers.
To top things off, Pearland was hampered by the absence of two starting offensive linemen while two Oiler defensive starters, end Gilbert Ibeneme and linebacker Michael Moore, were injured in the first half. Another, cornerback Austin Deason, was carted off the field in the fourth quarter.
“We’re pretty decimated now with five starters out,” Farmer said. “We’ll regroup and get ready for Pasadena Memorial.
“It’s hard to match up with that speed and talent Manvel has the first game of the year, and that’s the first time we’ve seen it. The first quarter got away from us, but I was proud of the way we played in the second quarter.
“Then we had one or two busted assignments in the third quarter, and against a team like that, you can’t bounce back. And then when Deason ran into the bandstand, that shook up a lot of kids because that was a nasty gash.”
Manvel faced a little adversity to begin the game as senior quarterback Kason Martin was not able to play due to a wrist injury. However, the talent-laden Mavericks just reload with versatile athletes that can pick up the slack and not miss a beat.
Martin was replaced by senior athlete Jalen Preston who took over the offensive controls as the field general.
All he did was score three times on runs of 9, 2, and 2 yards in leading the Mavericks to a 45-0 advantage. Preston finished with 112 yards rushing on 11 carries and the three scores.
Backup quarterback Josh Coltrin was 7-of-10 passing for 103 yards and one score.
Manvel scored their first touchdown on a 11-play, 66-yard drive capped off by a 9-yard run by Preston at the 5:51 mark of the first quarter.
The Mavs held the Oilers to force and punt and took their next possession at their onw 48-yard line. It took nine plays to move 52 yards with Preston scoring on a 2-yard keeper for a 14-0 lead.
Manvel increased their lead to 21-0 when the Mavs scored on a 53-yard drive in only three plays. Preston once again was the star as he got loose for a 44-yard jaunt to the Pearland nine-yard line. Two plays later junior transfer running back Garrison scored on a 3-yard plunge with 7:02 remaining before intermission making the halftime score 21-0.
The scoring parade continued in the second half as Preston scored his third touchdown on a 2-yard run and then Ladarius Owens scored on an 18-yard run with 6:08 remaining in the third period to increase the lead to 35-0.
The lead swelled to 42-0 when Coltrin connected with Terrance Norman, Jr. on a 24-yard scoring strike with 10:43 left in the final quarter and kicker closed out the scoring with a 39-yard field goal at the 5:19 mark of the fourth quarter to put the finishing touches on the scoreboard 45-0 for the Mavs.
Pearland did manage one score coming with only 1:31 left in the game as junior quarterback Austin Landry scored on a 2-yard keeper to post the 45-7 final score.
This was a rare game for Manvel where the rushing total far exceeded their passing yards.
“That may be a Manvel record,” Manvel head coach Kirk Martin said of the rushing barrage. “I think in football you have to be able to (run and pass).
“With Kason hurt, Josh Coltrin (backup quarterback) is certainly capable, and he’ll get better and better as we go. But I felt like in this big of a game we needed to go with Jalen, a guy that’s been in the fire.
“I didn’t know how it would go, but the first series went well, and the next series and the next, and it worked out real well. He also handed off to some of those other big monsters who were toting it.”
The Mavs finished with 362 rushing yards on 50 carries for five touchdowns compared to 103 yards passing and one score.
Johnson finished with 89 yards on the ground on 13 totes and one score. Owens had 101 yards rushing on 11 carries and one TD.
Manvel will host the North Shore Mustangs on Thursday, September 21 at 7:00 p.m. at the Alvin Memorial Stadium.
The Oilers will need to see some marked improvement as they face the Pasadena Memorial Mavericks on Friday, September 22 in their home opener at The Rig at 7:00 p.m.
Pearland finished with only 147 yards of total offense with 120 yards on the ground and one score. Evan Burgess was the leading rusher with 44 yards on 12 carries.
Landry was only 2-of-13 passing for 31 yards while rushing for 29 yards on eight carries and one TD.
Clayton Broeder had one catch for 22 yards.