A web of Memorial defenders -- Brandon Ramirez (55), Andrew Garza (32) and Aaron Robinson (11) -- put an end to Lawrenzo Minor's attempt to convert a fourth down in the third quarter.
Korey Malone returned a fumble 45 yards for a touchdown in the final three minutes to carry Memorial High to a 14-7 victory over Fort Bend Clements and cap a showcase performance for the Mavericks' defense at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Malone, a senior linebacker, scooped up a fumble near midfield by Clements fullback Trevor Moore and raced to the end zone with 2:55 left to break a 7-7 tie and power the Mavericks to their first victory of the season.
The contest was a two-sided shutout until late in the third quarter when Clements tailback Lawrenzo Minor finally found a crack in the Memorial defense, which until then had been a fourth-down nightmare for the run-minded Rangers.
Minor scampered in from 14 yards out as Clements took a 7-0 lead with 1:02 left in the third.
Memorial's offense finally got untracked early in the fourth quarter when Chris Cargile darted 43 yards into Ranger territory. With 10:34 remaining in the game, Memorial quarterback Greg Gallardo found receiver Brandon Thomas for a 17-yard TD pass that enabled the Mavericks to tie the contest.
The Rangers positioned themselves for a late threat only to lose the ball and the game.
Minor rushed for 169 yards on 37 carries but the Memorial defense allow little else. The Rangers completed none of their six pass attempts.
The Mavericks produced only eight first downs and 141 total yards. The issue was left to the Memorial defense, which provided five drive-ending stops on fourth down.
Cargile picked up 89 yards on 13 rush attempts. Memorial is now 1-1 for the season. Clements fell to 0-2.
Memorial quarterback Jordan Wyatt is upended by three Clements defensive players as he tries to drive his team off its goal-line late in the third quarter.
Clements rushing standout Lawrenzo Minor can't escape the the long arms of Memorial linebacker Andrew Garza.
Minor finds only minor running room as Mavs linebacker Luke Melendez (39) and defensive back Thomas Gamez close in.
Clements defenders Collin Cole (52) and Mitch Matthews (85) put the brakes on Memorial's Derek Lee.
Memorial's leading rusher, Chris Cargile, clears the line and races past the outstretched arm of linebacker Daniel Jeffrey.
Memorial defenders Mark McNeil (92), Andrew Garza (32) and Douglas Holder (5) stack up Minor on a third-down plunge in the third quarter.
Minor finally breaks through late in the third quarter, racing 14 yards for the game's first touchdown.