Marble Falls stands tall in 45-41 victory
October 26, 2013, 12:15 am by Mark Goodson
By Mark Goodson
Highlander Sports Editor
Marble Falls sophomore quarterback Brennen Wooten gave a good fist pump with 1:27 left in the game Friday night after Keith Jerome bulled over from four yards out for a 45-41 lead.
Then it was up to the defense. They came through big time, stopping four straight plays and sealing Marble Falls first District 25-4A victory of the season. Marble Falls held up for a key 45-41 win over the Vista Ridge Rangers at Mustang Stadium.
The win opens the door for the Mustangs to battle down the stretch for the final remaining playoff spot from District 25-4A.
With the win, the Mustangs are 3-5 overall and 1-3 in district with remaining games against Dripping Springs and Leander. Wins in both, would put the Mustangs in the playoffs.
Vista Ridge falls to 4-4 oveall and 1-3.
The four big plays that won’t be forgotten anytime soon were made by a sophomore, two seniors, a freshman and a junior.
"This game was a team effort,’’ Marble Falls coach Todd Dodge said after notching his first win over a Leander ISD team in nine tries.
With 1:24 left, Vista Ridge set up with a first down at its 35. Vista Ridge sophomore Matthew Snow completed a pass to J.D. Hill for no gain with sophomore Eric Cauble snuffing out the play.
On second down, senior defensive end Chance Armstrong threw up his arms in anticipation of a Snow throw. Armstrong knocked the ball harmlessly to the ground
Senior cornerback Aidin Parnell and freshman linebacker Daven Manning stopped Vista Ridge’s Blake Gossett for no gain on third down. Tyler Ryan, the 5-7 ½, 160-pound bandit of the defense snuffed the fourth down attempt by Snow.
"We knew we had to get some big plays,’’ Armstrong said. "
We stepped up and did it. I was coming from the right and just threw both my hands up, it was just technique kicking in. This was big for our defense.’’
The game was full of big plays.
Senior receiver-kick returner and now the "Wild Horse’’ back Garrett Gray had a huge night. Gray caught 10 passes for 188 yards and scored five times. He had touchdown catches of 21, 21 and 51 and had his most important catch on a juggling effort for 41` yards on the team’s game-winning drive.
"I’m supposed to be the playmaker and that’s all I was trying to do,’’ Gray said.
Gray was streaking down the sideline looking to corral a heave by Wooten when he got a hand on the ball and then juggled it twice on his way to the turf for the big play on the final scoring drive.
Jerome bolted up the middle behind the blocking of Hunter Dooley, Chace Fry, Sam Kohutek, Drake Harkins and Ryan Becker for the final six of Marble Falls 45 points.
Jerome was a key ingredient all night, carrying the football 24 times for 112 yards.
Gray also scored on a 2-yard run in the direct-snap formation and had an explosive 94-yard kickoff return for another score.
Vista Ridge answered the 94-yard burst with a return by Isaiah Vilaire on the ensuing kickoff to push the score to 35-25 Vista Ridge with 5:22 left in the third quarter.
With a minute left in the third quarter, the Mustangs struck from 21 yards on a fade pattern. The Mustangs then traveled 80 yards in six plays to take the lead at 39-35 with 8:49 left on a 51-yard strike from Wooten to Gray.
Wooten finished completing 22 of 30 passes for 338 yards and four touchdowns. He hit key passes to five different receivers. He worked the sidelines to perfection after scrambling for more time on the game-winning drive.
Two big passes in the game were throws of 39 and 21 yards to J.T. Watson on crossing patterns.
For complete coverage, please read Tuesday’s Highlander.
|©2014 The Highlander. All rights reserved. All items contained on this site are property of the The Highlander.
P.O. Box 1000, Marble Falls, Texas 78654 - Phone: (830) 693-4367