JENNIFER FIERRO • STAFF WRITER
MARBLE FALLS — The Marble Falls High School football team ended its final home game of the 2016 season with a 31-17 loss to Lockhart on Oct. 28.
The Lions (3-6 overall, 2-4 in District 25-5A) never completed a pass but still had 400 yards of offense, all on the ground, led by senior running back Greg Rivera and junior running back Austin Garcia.
Rivera ran for 193 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries, and Garcia added 98 yards and a score on 18 carries.
Mustangs head coach Matt Green said the two were standouts.
“They had two backs who were fast,” he said.
The Mustangs (2-7, 0-6) struck first when senior kicker Gavino Tinajera connected on a 26-yard field goal on the opening drive of the game.
The Lions responded with a 24-yard field goal by junior kicker Juan Ocampo to tie the contest at 3-3.
After Marble Falls turned the ball over on downs following a failed field goal attempt, Rivera ran 73 yards to paydirt and a 10-3 lead with a minute left in the half.
Early in the third quarter, the Mustangs defense recovered a fumble on the Lions 36, which led to a four-yard touchdown run by senior athlete Cade Cool to tie the game at 10-10.
On a 68-yard Lions drive, senior running back Stephon Houston scampered from two yards out to score, making it 17-10 Lockhart with 62 seconds remaining in the third.
Rivera sealed the win for Lockhart with a 45-yard run on a 90-yard drive for a 24-10 advantage midway through the fourth.
Garcia added a one-yard touchdown for a 31-10 lead after the Lions recovered a high snap by the Mustangs deep in Marble Falls territory.
Marble Falls junior quarterback Zach Rangel came off the bench to lead the Mustangs on a 70-yard touchdown drive that ended when he found Cool for a 16-yard score to make it 31-17.
Green said he thought the Mustangs were in position to make plays, especially on defense, most of the night. But the obstacle was that many of the players are sophomores and juniors facing veteran squads. That’s especially true, he said, of the linemen.
Marble Falls had six linemen who didn’t play because of injuries. That forced two players, junior Daniel Sparks and sophomore Chandler Walsh, to play on both lines.
“They’re in most of the night,” Green said. “They do everything they can in their power. I admire our kids for it. Our kids played with heart, and some played almost every snap.”
Sophomore quarterback Andrew Stripling threw for 186 yards, while Rangel had 52 passing yards and a score.
Senior running back Dalton Mayberry had 12 carries for 70 yards, and Cool finished with 79 receiving yards and a touchdown and ran for a four-yard touchdown.
Marble Falls ends the season at Dripping Springs at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 4 at Tiger Stadium, located on Tiger Lane at Bell Spring Road. Listen to the game on KBEY 103.9 FM Radio Picayune or at KBEYFM.com starting with a 6:30 p.m. pregame show.