JENNIFER FIERRO • STAFF WRITER
MARBLE FALLS — A hard-fought game wasn’t decided until the final two minutes. But in the end, the traditional powerhouse found a way as Kerrville Tivy defeated the Marble Falls High School football team 17-14 on Oct. 14.
The loss drops the Mustangs to 2-5 overall and 0-4 in District 26-5A, while Tivy moves to 2-5 overall and 2-2 in district play.
“Our kids fought, they battled, they scrapped,” Marble Falls head coach Matt Green said. “I’m really proud of our kids. Our kids were warriors tonight.”
Tivy sophomore kicker Jason Zirkel hit the game-winning 24-yard field goal with one minute 59 seconds left in the ballgame. The field goal was the result of the Antlers defense netting its second turnover of the night, this time an interception near its 20-yard line.
Zirkel had missed a 29-yard attempt two series earlier, which summed up much of the evening for Tivy.
After a scoreless first quarter and most of the second, the Mustangs forced a turnover on downs.
Three plays later, senior running back Dalton Mayberry busted through the line and ran 27 yards to paydirt for Marble Falls. Senior kicker Gavino Tinajera added the extra point for a 7-0 lead with five minutes and 19 seconds left in the first half.
Tivy answered on the next drive, which ended when sophomore quarterback Karson Valverde ran to the end zone from four yards out to tie the game at 7-7 with 2:20 left.
After the Mustangs forced a punt to begin the third quarter, the offense drove 80 yards for the lead. Mayberry scored his second touchdown on a three-yard scamper for a 14-7 advantage midway through the third quarter.
Tivy looked poised to cut into the deficit, but Zirkel missed the field goal attempt with 9:03 left in the contest.
On the ensuing drive, a trick play by the Mustangs cost them nine yards on first and 10. Two incompletions forced Marble Falls to punt. But the low snap in the own end zone forced the punter to run it out; however, he could only get to the 16. He needed to reach the 30 for a first down.
Two plays later, Tivy senior running back Hayden Schreckenbach tied the game at 14-14 on a five-yard touchdown run.
In the final nine minutes, the Antlers had 70 yards of offense and 10 points. Marble Falls had 46 yards, no points, a turnover on downs, and an interception.
The Mustangs held Tivy to 222 yards of offense, 57 of them in the air. Green tipped his hat to the defense, particularly senior Sam Harkins, who had numerous tackles for losses and plenty of solo tackles.
“Our defense played superb,” he said. “Sam Harkins had the game of his life.”
Marble Falls had 328 yards of offense with 218 on the ground led by Mayberry’s 23 carries for 169 yards and two touchdowns.
Despite the outcome, Green couldn’t have been more pleased with the effort and determination of his squad.
“This team played the best I’ve ever seen them play,” he said. “We did everything in our power to win this game. In the end, we didn’t make enough plays.”
Marble Falls travels to Seguin (1-6, 0-4) on Oct. 21 with a 7:30 p.m. kickoff at Matador Stadium, located on Texas 123 at Cedar in Seguin. Listen to the game on KBEY 103.9 FM Radio Picayune or at KBEYFM.com starting with a pregame show at 6:30 p.m.