By Richard Hernandez | Photo by JayJay Gonzalez
With each game in the playoffs having more and more at stake, the Mavs were ready for their next opponent. The stage was set at the Alamodome on Sat. Dec 10 as the Mavs took on Fort Bend Hightower in the State Semifinals, and with the game site being in San Antonio, the Mavs had their first taste of home field advantage.
As the game approached kickoff, the Mavs knew exactly what they were up against: a dynamic quarterback, Hightower’s Bralon Addison, who could turn an ordinary loss of yards into a 20 yard first down, in a matter of seconds.
“To have a shot against them we needed to be able and stop them on defense, and cause turnovers,” coach Jim Streety said.
The team had a difficult time containing the opposing quarterback, as he rushed for a touchdown on Hightower’s very first possession. That, however, was answered by a touchdown by the Mavs senior quarterback Justin Jones, and so the shoot out began. The game continued to be a show of the strong offenses, until Hightower forced the first three-and-out of the game. Hightower took advantage of the chance, and never looked back. The game ended in a 54-35 season-ending loss for the Mavs.
“It was a good game,” Jones said. “They just stopped us a couple of times.”
As time ran out, the emotion on the Mavs sideline was apparent, but Coach Streety embraced his players and reminded them of the great season that they had.
“It’s always fantastic when you over achieve, and this is one of those times and it feels great,” Streety said.
The loss sunk in deep with the seniors on the team, who realized that this was the last time they would play football in high school.
“I was sad,” senior Shawn Muller said, “I really couldn’t believe it was my last game of high school football.”
After a 0-3 start, an exciting overtime victory over Judson, and a run into the State Semifinals, the team looks to simply enjoy the underdog story that was the their season.
“We want to give our great seniors plenty of recognition,” Streety added. “From here, we just enjoy this.”
Although the season is over, the team can look back at their run into playoffs, and realize that they’ve learned a lot along the way.
“I feel like we’ve grown a lot since the start of the season. We learned a lot about ourselves and we’ve learned how to overcome adversity and be the best,” Muller added.