By DR. DAVID DAVIS
Photo by CASEY CHANCELLOR
The No. 2 Class 5A state-ranked Manvel Mavericks took care of business over the Ball High Tornadoes to keep their perfect season at 4-0.
Despite not having their usual strong offense dominating the opponent, the Mavs were still able to thwart the Tors to get the District 23-5A win.
It looked like the Mavs would run away with the game on their opening possession despite starting on their own 4-yard line after the opening kickoff.
Manvel attacked the Ball High secondary as Manvel quarterback Kason Martin hit Warren Laster four times to move the ball down the field.
The big play of the drive was a Martin to Jalen Preston 30-yard connection to the Tors 19.
It took only three plays to slam the ball into the pay station as Martin scored on an 8-yard keeper for a 7-0 lead with 5:30 left in the first quarter.
The Manvel defense held Ball High to a three-and-out and a interference call on fourth down when Manvel attempted to catch the punt gave the Mavs the ball at the Tors 35-yard line.
It took only one play for Manvel to find the end zone again as Ladarius Owens scooted 35-yards to pay dirt for a 14-0 advantage with 2:55 left in the first.
That would be the end of the scoring in the first half until Ball High took advantage of a Manvel fumble that set the offense up at the Mavs 22.
The Tors turned the miscue into a 2-yard score by Clarence Dalton to cut the lead to 14-7 at intermission.
However, the second half belonged to the Mavericks as they outscored the Tors 21-0 to get the 35-7 victory.
Manvel got the second half kickoff and drove to the Tors 10 before a fourth down pass from Martin to Kam Scott was dropped in the end zone.
Ball High went three-and-out with Ball High’s punter Zach Lerner getting only a one-yard punt setting up the Mavs in good field position.
It took only four plays for Manvel to score the first touchdown of the second half as Deneric Prince raced across the goal line on a 7-yard touchdown making the score 21-0 with 6:23 remaining in the third period.
On Ball High’s next possession, the Tors tried a fake punt on their own 49 which didn’t fool the Manvel defense.
Manvel wasn’t able to take advantage, but did so on their next possession as Prince completed a six-play drive with an 11-yard scoring run for a 28-0 lead at the 11:55 mark of the fourth quarter.
The Mavs final score came on a 2-yard run by Owens with 7:52 left in the game thanks to an interception by Cecori Tolds for a 35-7 final.
Martin was 9-of-19 passing for 78 yards. Prince was the leading rusher with 15 carries for 123 yards and two TDs. Owens had eight totes for 92 yards and a pair of scores. Preston had three catches for 30 yards.
Manvel (4-0, 2-0) will face Fort Bend Marshall (3-1, 2-0) on Saturday, Oct. 14 at 1:00 p.m. at Hall Stadium.