Late score gives Marble Falls homecoming win vs. Leander
JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF
MARBLE FALLS — No turnovers in the end zone this time.
The Marble Falls High School football team defeated Leander 49-46 on Oct. 17 in a District 25-5A contest that was also the Mustangs’ homecoming.
Few Mustangs wanted to win the game more than junior quarterback Brennen Wooten.
The Mustangs (4-3 overall, 2-2 district) trailed 46-42 against Leander (0-7, 0-4) with three minutes remaining in the game.
Wooten had the chance to erase the memory of an interception he threw in the end zone against the Lions a year ago that allowed Leander to win the game and qualify for the playoffs over the Mustangs.
He said he’s thought about that play several times a week since last November.
“We talked about it, the offensive line and me,” he said. “This is a turning point for us. I told them this could be big for us. I have a lot of confidence in them, in this offense.”
Wooten hit junior receiver Jacob Metcalf on a 7-yard game-winning touchdown pass with 17 seconds left in the game. Metcalf was hit hard as he stretched out to haul in the pass but was able to get a foot in bounds as he was falling.
The contest ended when Marble Falls senior linebacker Jeff Ramey recovered a Lions fumble, Leander’s fifth of the game.
“The defense created turnovers and flew to the ball,” Mustangs head coach Matt Green said. “Our offense, at times, we put them in bad positions. They had to overcome some stuff and a few penalties.”
Both teams played to a 7-7 tie in the first quarter. But Marble Falls outscored Leander 14-3 in the second thanks to a 7-yard touchdown throw to sophomore running back Daven Manning from Wooten. Then, senior linebacker Travis Dilworth fell on a fumble in the end zone for the other score and a 21-10 halftime lead.
Each team scored a touchdown in the third quarter.
The high scoring began in the final quarter with Wooten hitting Metcalf on a 61-yard touchdown and sophomore defensive back Sam Harkins catching a fumble in midair and running it in for a 55-yard touchdown.
Meanwhile, Leander senior quarterback Brandon Hopp scored on a 1-yard touchdown and threw passes for 13 and 58 yards for scores in the fourth quarter. Junior running back Ray Gibson scored the final Lions touchdown on a 25-yard run.
Then came Wooten’s game-winning drive.
The Mustangs quarterback finished with 356 yards passing and three touchdowns, and Metcalf had seven receptions for 206 yards and two touchdowns. Manning ran 15 times for 145 yards.
“I love having the ball in my hands and in the offense’s hands,” Wooten said. “I have a lot of confidence in our offense.”
Leander did not play like a squad that had not won a game all season, Green said.
“They played, they fought, they battled,” he said. “Give Leander credit. They have speed and talent everywhere. I think, in the end, our kids made the plays. Our kids refused to lose the game.”
Marble Falls travels to Cedar Park, 200 Gupton Way Drive in Cedar Park, on Oct. 24 for a district matchup. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
MF – Brennen Wooten 5-yard run (David Salinas kick), 7:59
L – Darian McClatcher 26-yard run (Kyle Murdock kick), 6:07
MF – Daven Manning 9-yard from Wooten (Salinas kick), 9:36
MF – Travis Dilworth recovers fumble in the end zone (Salinas kick), 6:25
L – Murdock 24-yard field goal, 3:43
MF – Royale Brown 14-yard run (Salinas kick), 9:59
L – McClatcher 34-yard pass from Brandon Hopp (Murdock kick), 5:44
L – Hopp 1-yard run (Murdock kick), 10:48
MF – Sam Harkins 55-yard touchdown on fumble recovery (Salinas kick), 10:12
L – Michael Berry 13-yard pass from Hopp (Murdock kick), 8:57
L – Mikael Dawkins 58-yard pass from Hopp (Murdock kick), 4:58
MF – Jacob Metcalf 61-yard pass from Wooten (Salinas kick), 4:43
L – Ray Gibson 25-yard run (Murdock kick), 3:29
MF – Metcalf 7-yard pass from Wooten (Salinas kick), :17
LEANDER: First downs, 24; Total net yards, 448; Rushes-yards, 48-277; Passing, 281; Interceptions, 1; Comp-att-int, 14-29-1; Fumbles-lost, 4-4; Penalties-yards, 11-110
MARBLE FALLS: First downs, 22; Total net yards, 463; Rushes-yards, 26-222; Passing, 357; Interceptions, 0; Comp-att-int, 20-29-0; Fumbles-lost, 1-1; Penalties-yards, 12-116
RUSHING – (Leander) Darian McClatcher 13-107, Brandon Hopp 24-124, Ray Gibson 8-44, Parker McNeil 3-2. (Marble Falls) Brennen Wooten 6-7-1 touchdown, Jacob Metcalf 1-(-1), Royale Brown 5-45-1 touchdown, Daven Manning 14-171
PASSING – (Leander) Brandon Hopp 14-25-281-3 touchdowns, Parker McNeil 0-4. (Marble Falls) Wooten 20-28-357-3 touchdowns, Cade Cool 0-1
RECEIVING – (Leander) Mikael Dawkins 3-99-1 touchdown, McClatcher 3-98-1 touchdown, Michael Berry 6-70-1 touchdown, Gavriel Sanchez 2-14. (Marble Falls) Cool 7-63, Peyton Emery 3-57, Metcalf 6-183-2 touchdowns, Brown 2-18, Manning 2-36-1 touchdown