CAPTION: Marble Falls junior quarterback Colton Minor looks for a route to the end zone during the Mustangs’ loss to San Antonio Davenport. Photo by Stennis Shotts
The Marble Falls High School football team ended its season in a loss to San Antonio Davenport 28-7 Nov. 3.
The Mustangs’ (1-9, 0-5) lone win this season came against Fredericksburg 14-9 in week five. The Billies (3-7, 3-2 District 14-4A Division I) are preparing to face either Davenport or Lampasas for a bi-district championship.
Marble Falls head coach Brian Herman commended his players for their efforts against the Wolves (6-3, 4-1), who have a share of the District 13-4A Division I championship.
“We were overmatched,” he said. “I think we played a heck of a second half. We got the stops on the hard stuff and the easy stuff hurt us. They were a complete team. I thought we battled well. We came up short.”
He pointed out the Marble Falls defense sent an early message.
On Davenport’s only two drives of the opening quarter, the Wolves got inside the Mustangs’ five-yard line and went for it on fourth down.
To say the Mustangs stiffened on fourth down is an understatement. The Mustangs showed determination and strength to get to the ball carrier and stuff him at the line of scrimmage with the attitude of ‘you’re not getting in.’
On the first fourth-down stop at the Marble Falls two-yard line, the Wolves tried to push the ball carrier into the end zone. But the Mustangs buckled and pushed back, resulting in a two-yard loss for the ball carrier.
On the next drive, the Wolves again got inside the Marble Falls five-yard line. On fourth and goal from the Mustangs’ one, Davenport gave the ball to the same running back. But instead of the Mustangs tackling the ball carrier at the line of scrimmage, they picked him and moved him backward. That’s when the officials blew the play dead.
But the Davenport defense was up to the task, too.
On the Mustangs’ first offensive play from their four-yard line, senior Jaime Castillo ran for 14 yards. But Marble Falls could only muster four yards the next three plays and punted.
On the Mustangs’ second offensive series, they overcame a false start when Castillo got 16 yards on fourth-and-one. Then he had back-to-back carries resulting in a third-and-five. But the Mustangs were whistled for a false start. Junior Jett Martich got the penalty yards back and a little more resulting in fourth-and-two. Marble Falls called a passing play that went incomplete, turning the ball over on downs.
Davenport needed one play — a 23-yard pass to senior receiver Emmet Greiman from senior quarterback Triston Hamlin — to start the scoring with 9 minutes and 30 seconds left in the half. That was the first of the Wolves’ three consecutive scoring drives.
Marble Falls fumbled on its next possession.
The Wolves covered 30 yards in two plays that finished when sophomore running back Barrett Fallon walked into the end zone from a yard out for a 14-0 lead with 7:44 left in the second quarter.
After another Marble Falls punt, Davenport covered 84 yards in 11 plays that ended on a 22-yard touchdown pass to junior Daniel Soukup for the 21-0 advantage with 17 seconds left in the half.
The Mustangs got on the scoreboard when they hit paydirt on their second drive of the second half. Marble Falls covered 71 yards in 12 plays that ended when junior quarterback Colton Minor scampered his way into the left corner of the end zone. Senior Isaac Larranaga added the extra point to trim the deficit to 21-7 with 1:07 left in the third stanza.
Herman said the play was actually designed for Minor to pass, but the defense read it and jammed the running back and the line of scrimmage. Minor saw that and made the decision to tuck the football and go to the end zone.
“The right decision,” Herman said. “He made big plays. He made some good decisions that led to some good plays.”
The Wolves got the touchdown back early in fourth quarter when Fallon caught a five-yard pass from Hamlin to go up 28-7 with 8:47 left in the contest.
Marble Falls had 152 yards of total offense with 114 coming through its ground attack and 38 passing yards. Castillo had 13 rushes for 64 yards, all unofficial.
Meanwhile, Davenport had 316 yards of total offense with 225 yards coming from its passing attack and 91 from its running game. Hamlin threw for 212 yards and three touchdowns. Greiman caught five passes for 77 yards and Fallon had two receptions for 15 yards and a score and 14 rushes for 34 yards and a touchdown.
“I’m impressed with their offensive coordinator (Tyrell Mccrae),” Herman said. “Our defense was told to locate and find (Greiman), and he still beat us. He made plays on third down.”
Herman commended the defense for its performance in the first quarter and noted the offense’s hurdles.
“Problem is we didn’t get enough first downs,” he said. “They got us by three scores. I’m not upset with our kids by any means. I’ll be sad they never got to experience the playoffs. They got to a couple of years ago, but not as seniors. I want them to remember they never gave up. As beat-up as they were, it hurts more. A lot of kids playing are hurt.”
And he believes the Mustangs can turn things around in 2024.
“We have a great offseason and schedule changes,” he said. “We found some things through the year we need to work on.”
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CAPTION: Marble Falls senior Dominic Fierro runs for a first down against Davenport. Photo by Stennis Shotts