JENNIFER FIERRO / STAFF WRITER
CASTROVILLE — The Marble Falls High School football team dropped its second consecutive District 26-5A game, losing 35-21 to Medina Valley on Sept. 23.
Marble Falls head coach Matt Green said not all is lost because he believes tiebreakers will be used to determine at least one playoff berth at the end of the regular season.
The Panthers (3-2 overall, 1-1 district) got the ball back after Marble Falls (2-3, 0-2) scored on a two-point run by sophomore running back Cooper Wilson with just under 12 minutes left in the contest.
Medina Valley senior quarterback Ethan Dowell capped a 49-yard touchdown drive when he scored on a two-yard run that chewed up almost 8 minutes left to ensure victory.
That drive was highlighted by broken tackles and other Panther running backs getting positive yards.
Meanwhile, the Mustangs offense was driving the ball but two straight dropped passes forced Marble Falls to turn the ball over on downs.
To Green, those drives said so much about the game.
“We definitely left some plays on the field,” he said. “Sometimes, Medina Valley was getting in the open field and we missed, and sometimes, they broke through our tackles.”
The Mustangs struck first thanks to a five-yard pass to senior running back Dalton Mayberry from sophomore quarterback Andrew Stripling. Senior kicker Gavino Tinajera added the extra point for a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter.
After the Marble Falls defense forced a turnover on downs by stopping a fake punt, Stripling found junior receiver Keegan Deering for a 10-yard touchdown pass and a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter.
Back-to-back facemask penalties aided the Panthers in their scoring drive that ended when senior halfback Tristan Stivors scored on a five-yard run. Junior kicker Ethan Hassinger added the extra point to trim the Marble Falls lead 14-7 midway through the second period.
The Panthers blocked a Marble Falls punt that gave them the ball at the Marble Falls 30-yard line. Three plays later, Stivors scored on a seven-yard run. The extra point was missed, so Marble Falls led 14-13 late in the second quarter.
Medina Valley turned a Marble Falls interception into a 21-14 lead when junior tailback Caytan Chang scored on a 23-yard run and then added the two-point run for the halftime lead.
Chang began the second half by catching a 17-yard touchdown pass from Dowell. The extra point was good for a 28-14 advantage.
An interception by Marble Falls junior cornerback Jesse Garrison led to Wilson’s touchdown. Wilson got two yards on fourth-and-one and scored on the next play from three yards out to trim the deficit to 28-21 early in the fourth quarter.
Stivors had 130 all-purpose yards, while Dowell threw for 140 yards.
Stripling ended the game by throwing for 178 yards and two touchdowns. Mayberry ran for 95 yards, and junior receiver Michael Wilcox had 117 yards.
“Our kids are fighting as kids as they know how,” Green said. “Our kids are playing ad hard as they can.”
Marble Falls is on a bye next week then hosts Boerne Champion on Oct. 7.