STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
KERRVILLE — The Marble Falls Mustangs lost to Kerrville Tivy 38-0 in a District 26-5A contest Oct. 20.
The Antlers (5-2 overall, 3-1 district) led 17-0 at the half.
“Our defense, I was super proud,” said Mustangs interim head coach Mike Birdwell about the unit’s first-half effort. “That was one of the toughest, gutsiest games they’ve played. They fought their tails off against an extremely talented team.”
After Tivy scored on its opening possession to make it 7-0, Marble Falls (2-5, 0-4) forced three consecutive punts and didn’t allow the opponent to score again until the final five minutes of the half.
Marble Falls senior defensive end Grant Fletcher had an interception in the second quarter and recovered a Tivy fumble on the first possession to start the third quarter.
Tivy sophomore Trapper Pannell passed, ran, and threw for four touchdowns, including:
- catching a 31-yard pass from senior quarterback Karson Valverde for a 7-0 lead;
- running for a 9-yard score on fourth-and-one for to make it 14-0;
- scampering 6 yards to paydirt for a 31-0 advantage;
- and throwing a 22-yard pass to junior receiver Josh Vela for a 38-0 lead.
Junior kicker Jasen Zirkel connected on a 35-yard field goal for the Antlers on the last play before the half for the 17-0 lead.
Tivy added to the lead when senior running back Hunter Saunders ran 35 yards for a touchdown and a 24-0 lead in the second half.
The Antlers never allowed the Marble Falls offense to find a rhythm. Tivy stacked the box, which left man-on-man coverage of the receivers. The Mustangs tried to hit a big play in the passing game but couldn’t.
Birdwell noted penalties also hurt, but he credited his players for their fight.
“Tivy is one of the elite defenses in the district,” he said. “I’m real proud of our quarterback (junior Andrew Stripling) and our kids. We were not going to play it safe.”
Marble Falls hosts Seguin on Oct. 27 at Mustang Stadium, 2101 Mustang Drive. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. Catch the game on KBEY 103.9 FM Radio Picayune or at KBEYFM.com starting with a 6:30 p.m. pregame show.