DEER PARK -- Nathan Mourik caught a game-tying touchdown pass from Greg Gallardo with 41 seconds left, and John Lopez added the tie-breaking extra point to lift Memorial High to a dramatic 19-18 victory over Deer Park at Abshier Stadium on Friday night.
The victory kept alive Memorial's hopes for a second straight district championship. Memorial, Deer Park and South Houston all stand 2-1 in district play, one game behind front-runner Dobie, defeated Sam Rayburn on Saturday.
Trailing 18-12 with less than four minutes left, the Mavericks marched 80 yards -- with no timeouts -- for the winning points. The drive's biggest play was the first one, a 40-yard pass from Gallardo to Daniel Talavera.
But the Mavericks won the game in the final minute when Gallardo hit Mourik from 2 yards out and Lopez added the extra point.
The underdogs Mavericks, now 4-4 overall, jumped off to a 12-0 lead in the first half. Mourik opened the scoring with a 5-yard TD reception from Gallardo midway through the first quarter. Memorial's Thaddeus Stewart hiked the lead to 12-0 midway through the second quarter on a 6-yard run. Both conversion attempts failed.
Deer Park, 6-2 overall, picked up a 33-yard field goal by Jacob O'Neil with three seconds left in the half.
The Deer used their strong ground game to grab contol of the game in the second half. Quarterback Austin Ranier scored on a 1-yard run early in the fourth quarter. Demetrius Banks gave Deer Park the lead on a 6-yard run with 3:42 to play.
Gallardo connected on 16 of 28 passes for 160 yards. Half of those completions went to Mourik, who totaled 88 yards. Stewart had 15 carries for 79 yards.
Banks piled up 205 yards rushing on 28 carries.