Memorial junior Miguel Taboada (top) bangs home the game-winning 27-yard field goal out of the hold of Jordan Wyatt while under a heavy rush from Sam Rayburn's Francisco Jimenez (4). (Bottom) Mavericks Dorian Johnson (45) and Adrian Boutte (9) go airborne in celebration as Taboada (14) looks on and the Memorial bench erupts.
TABOADA'S LAST-PLAY FG ENDS POINTS FREE-FOR-ALL
For 47 minutes and 55 seconds of game clock Friday night, the only value the Memorial Mavericks could find in Miguel Taboada's left leg was in its ability to launch extra points and effectively cross the "t's" on touchdowns.
That all changed with five seconds left in a crazy game that may well be remembered as a state-playoff directional sign -- for both Memorial and Sam Rayburn.
Taboada trotted onto the field at Veterans Memorial Stadium and after a timeout -- called by his own team -- launched a 27-yard field goal on the final play, giving the Mavericks the final word in an offensive scream fest and a manic 45-43 victory that reaped homecoming heartache on the Texans.
Trailing 43-42 with only 58 seconds left following a Sam Rayburn TD and two-point conversion, the Mavericks got just enough to squeeze out the winning field goal. Shrugging off the handicap of a holding penalty, Memorial drove 40 yards, the big play a 28-yard pass from Greg Gallardo to Brandon Thomas. That set up Taboada's winning field goal on the next play.
The Texans, who trailed 21-7 at halftime, were saddled with yet another stumbling start in a District 22-5A opener -- despite scoring 35 points in the second half. Sam Rayburn hasn't beaten Memorial since the Mavericks' first season of varsity football in 2004.
Yet, playing without starting quarterback Eric Aldava, the Texans roared to life in the second half with Freddy Sevilla, Sam Rayburn's star receiver, taking snaps. Sevilla punished the Mavericks for 237 yards on 22 carries.
The Mavericks, 2-4 for the season, countered with a 161-yard rushing performance from Chris Cargile and another 120 yards on the ground from Ahmon McLeod. Gallardo threw for 142 yards, an even 100 of those going to Thomas on just three receptions.
The teams combined for 977 yards, 36 first downs, a dozen TDs and, of course, one field goal. Their combined 821 yards on the ground was split almost evenly.
Cargile scored three TDs for the Mavericks while Michael Boyd tallied three TDs for the Texans, now 3-3 for the season.
Sam Rayburn tied the game at 21-all by scoring the first two TDs in the second half, the first on a 5-yard pass from Sevilla to Michael Ponce and the second on an 8-yard run by Boyd.
Cargile scored from two yards out to get Memorial back in the swing, but the Texans tied the game again on a 1-yard run by Sevilla. It was 28-28 going into the fourth quarter.
The teams traded TDs again to start the quarter, Cargile scoring from the eight and Boyd doing exactly the same. With just under nine minutes left, the Texans got what looked like a decisive break. Ponce, playing linebacker, forced Cargile to fumble. Carlos Rios recovered for the Texans near midfield.
But Memorial's defense picked that moment to briefly reassert itself. The Mavericks held the Texans on downs, and the teams went back to swapping TDs.
Reggie Turner gave Memorial the lead with 2:08 left when he raced in from 25 yards out. But the Mavericks gambled with a short pooch kickoff that initially wound up in the hands of their coverage team. The Texans got the ball, instead, because of interference on a fair-catch attempt.
Boyd scored from the four with just 58 seconds left -- and the Texans decided to go for the victory. Alec Canas skirted into the end zone on the conversion for a 43-42 Texans lead.
But Sam Rayburn's victory wasn't to be. Taboada's field goal left zeros on the clock and emptiness in the hearts of the once hopeful Texans.
Sam Rayburn's Michael Boyd blasts into the end zone from eight yards out with 4:36 left in the third quarter. The score lifted the Texans into a 21-21 tie.
Texans linebacker Michael Ponce separates Memorial's Chris Cargile from the football with just under nine minutes left in the game, providing his team with a potentially big break that led to nothing (see below.)
Sam Rayburn's Tim DeSoto (24) celebrates a recovery by teammate Carlos Rios (90) of the fumble caused by Michael Ponce (above). The Texans were forced to turn the ball over on downs.
Memorial sophomore Reggie Turner follows the blocking of Manuel Rodriguez (75) and sets sail on a 25-yard TD run with 2:08 left in the game.
Memorial quarterback Greg Gallardo delivers a pat on the helmet to Reggie Turner after his 25-yard TD run helped stake the Mavericks to a 42-35 lead with 2:08 remaining.
Memorial defenders Aaron Robinson (11) and Sam Barajas (40) take down Sam Rayburn receiver Alec Canas in the second quarter.
Texans defensive end Zach Purvis topples Memorial's Chris Cargile in third-quarter action.
Memorial running back Ahrmon Mcleod blasts into the red zone to help set up a third-quarter Mavericks TD.