JENNIFER FIERRO • STAFF WRITER
MARBLE FALLS — When it had to have a touchdown, the Marble Falls High School football team scored it.
Trailing San Antonio John Jay 9-7 with nine minutes and 27 seconds left in the game, Mustangs junior quarterback Cade Cool engineered the game-winning drive that covered 84 yards in 12 plays and was highlighted by a 10-yard pass to junior running back Dalton Mayberry for a touchdown in a 15-9 win.
“We knew we were ready to go,” Mayberry said. “We were doing it for each other.”
Head coach Matt Green said it was difficult to express the importance of earning the win.
“Words can’t put it in perspective,” he said. “It’s tough (to describe). You get some confidence.”
The game was a defensive struggle, though it didn’t start out that way.
Marble Falls struck first, taking its opening drive 53 yards in nine plays for a touchdown when junior running back Sam Harkins ran for the score from five yards out for a 7-0 lead.
That stood until 11 minutes and 52 seconds left in the half. That’s when Jay senior quarterback Moses Reynolds, a Division I prospect as an athlete, found senior receiver Michael Urrieta for a 10-yard touchdown. The drive covered 72 yards in seven plays to knot the score at 7-7.
Both defenses came up with huge stops. The first was by Jay when it forced a fumble on third-and-goal and recovered the loose ball with 6:36 remaining in the half.
The other was by Marble Falls when it held on fourth-and-goal from its one-yard line after the drive started on the Jay four-yard line.
Green said officials spotted the ball one the one-inch line as the Mustangs offense took over.
And on the next play, the Jay defense sacked the Marble Falls quarterback in the end zone for a safety and a 9-7 lead with 1:33 left in the half, which it remained at halftime.
In all, the Marble Falls defense recovered two Jay fumbles to go with the turnover on downs. A third Jay fumble was recovered by the Marble Falls kickoff team early in the first quarter. Jay had 11 total possessions in the contest, and Marble Falls forced six punts.
Marble Falls junior linebacker Robert Atkinson said coaches give the defensive players goals each day that boil down to two words.
“Perfect effort,” he said. “We come out, we get lined up and get everybody in the right spot. No one is quitting on each other.”
And that’s what fans saw from the defense against Jay, he added.
Cool finished the contest by completing 12 passes for 150 yards and a touchdown and had nine rushes for 66 yards, while Mayberry had 10 receptions for 68 yards and a touchdown and five carries for 11 yards.
Marble Falls travels to Boerne High on Sept. 11 with a 7:30 p.m. kickoff at Boerne Independent School District Stadium, 1 Greyhound Lane in Boerne. Listen to the game on KBEY 103.9 FM Radio Picayune or at KBEYFM.com.