By DR. DAVID DAVIS
It wasn’t pretty and at times it was quite ugly. But a win is a win no matter how you look at it.
“I am just proud of our kids who just kept fighting, kept scratching and kept clawing,” Manvel coach Kirk Martin said. “They just found a way to win at the end. It was sloppy, lot of penalties, some turnovers and some bad third down defense. We had terrible offensive play.”
With only four seconds showing on the clock in the fourth quarter and the game tied 21-21, sophomore kicker Luis Moreno stepped up to attempt a 25-yard game-winning field goal.
The young kicker, with ice water in his veins, booted the ball down the middle of the goal posts with plenty of room to spare giving the No. 1 Class 5A state-ranked Mavericks a thrilling 24-21 win over the visiting 6A state-power North Shore Mustangs.
Manvel led 21-14 late in the game with North Shore taking possession of the ball at the 5:39 mark at the 47-yard line of the Mavericks.
The Mavericks took the 21-14 lead on the final play of the third quarter when Manvel QB Kason Martin hit Jalen Preston who took a short pass and turned it into a 58-yard crowd-pleasing touchdown.
With 1:28 left in the non-district contest, North Shore scored on a 22-yard pass from QB Isaac Cerda to WR Ralph Davis to complete the nine-play, 47-yard scoring drive.
The Mustangs considered a two-point conversion, but after a timeout, reconsidered and John Villalobos booted the PAT to knot up the game 21-21.
North Shore kicked the ball off into the hands of the dangerous Jalen Preston who almost broke the kickoff for a score. The Texas A&M commit did return the ball to the North Shore 48 with 1:17 still left on the clock.
On first down, QB Kason Martin hit Warren Laster for a 23-yard gain to the Mustangs 25. Manvel used a couple of plays to move the ball to the 8-yard line. After a couple of incomplete passes to the end zone, Villalobos trotted on the field for the game-winner with four seconds showing on the clock.
“Offensively, we just didn’t play well,” Kirk Martin said. “We did enough to win but I thought we should have played better.”
Kason Martin returned to the Mavericks after a broken hand in late August and missed on his first six throws.
“Coming in, I was super excited and I was just ready to get back in the swing of things,” Kason Martin said. “I came in more nervous than I was having fun. I should have just slowed down and been a lot smoother but their defense did bluff a lot.”
It was evident that Martin was off with his timing to his receivers. He was either underthrowing or overthrowing his receivers. He finished 4-for-12 in the first half for 101 yards.
However, Martin’s biggest completion came on a 77-yard pass to Kam Scott early in the second quarter. Scott broke a tackle at the 40-yard line to take it in the end zone with 11:08 before halftime. That gave Manvel its first lead of the game, 14-7.
North Shore (0-2) came right back with Zach Evans powering his way through the Maverick defense en route to an 8-yard score to tie things up, 14-14.
The Mustangs scored first in the game at the 4:24 mark of the opening period after both teams had punted three times each.
Cerda hit Darion McDaniel on an 18-yard touchdown pass for a 7-0 lead.
Manvel tied it up at 7-7 when Martin hit Scott on a 13-yard slant pass in the end zone with 58 seconds left in the opening stanza.
Both teams just couldn’t get on track offensively as there were 14 punts between both squads.
“I thought we played so well last week but they are a good team,” Kirk Martin said. “They had a lot to do with it, but we need to clean some things up. I think we can be one of the best teams out there if we can just fix some of the sloppiness that we had.”
Manvel finished with 12 penalties for 120 yards while North Shore had six penalties for 65 yards.
Martin finished the game hitting 10-of-21 for 241 yards and three touchdowns.
Ladarius Owens was the leading ball carrier with 11 carries for 20 yards while Denerick Prince had six totes for 15 yards. It was a much different game on the ground than against Pearland with they racked up 362 yards rushing.
Preston led all receivers with six catches for 113 yards and one TD. Scott had two grabs for 91 yards with both going across the pay station. Warren Laster had two receptions for 37 yards.
Manvel’s defense held North Shore to seven first downs and 62 total yards.
The Mavs will now get ready to host the Willowridge Eagles on Friday, Sept. 29 at 7:00 p.m. for Homecoming at Alvin Memorial Stadium.