Seguin senior Garrett Luensmann (33) scored the first offensive touchdown of his varsity career out of a special goal-line package in the third quarter of Friday's Homecoming game against Medina Valley. Photo by Andie Rangel.
(Seguin) - Medina Valley stuffed Seguin sophomore Jhaelen Mickles two yards short of the end zone on a two-point conversion try with eight seconds remaining to hand the Matadors a gut-wrenching 31-30 district loss Friday night in the 2017 Homecoming game at Matador Stadium.
Seguin trailed 24-9 with 4:49 left in the fourth quarter, but came storming back to tie it in a span of 2:25 on touchdown passes from Mickles to Hayden Haas and Clarence Tibbs, with a recovered onside kick sandwiched between the two scores. A two-point conversion pass from Brian Cash to Mickles on a trick play after the second of those touchdowns knotted things up at 24-all with 2:24 remaining.
Medina Valley took less then a minute to drive 70 yards in five plays, reclaiming the lead at 31-24 on Alek Child's 36-yard touchdown pass to Ryan McCauley with 1:38 to go.
Mickles, a sophomore making his first start at quarterback, calmly led the Matadors on an eight-play, 65-yard drive and darted through the Medina Valley defense from 16 yards out to stretch the ball over the goal line and make it a one-point game with just eight seconds left.
Faced with the choice of having Daniel Salamanca kick the tying PAT to force overtime or sending the offense back out to go for two points and the win, Seguin head coach Travis Bush turned the decision over to the players who engineered the valiant comeback.
"We asked the guys what they wanted to do, you know, we let them make the call," Bush said. "We asked them, and they felt confident that we could win it then. What they had done moving the ball, running game wise, the defense was tired, but the bottom line was we asked our kids what they wanted to do, and they wanted to win it."
Seguin lined up at the three-yard line with receivers Hayden Haas, Jacob Berkley, and Brian Cash on the right side of the formation, Michael Mickles split wide to the left, and Clarence Tibbs alongside Jhaelen Mickles in a shotgun backfield. Medina Valley called timeout twice before the Mats finally snapped the ball. Mickles rolled out to the right on a run-pass option with Haas open in the back of the end zone, but the sophomore elected to turn upfield toward the goal line, and a host of Medina Valley defenders closed in on him for the game-clinching tackle.
"He's going to look on film and see Haas wide open in the corner there and get sick, but that's part of the growing pains, again, with a young quarterback, but he'll be great for the future here at Seguin, and I think he did a great job," Bush said. "At quarterback, you learn your biggest lessons by making mistakes."
Hayden Haas sprints upfield after a reception during Seguin's district loss to Medina Valley at Matador Stadium on Friday. Haas pulled down his ninth touchdown catch of the season late in the fourth quarter. Photo by Andie Rangel.
Medina Valley chewed up nearly half of the first quarter with a game-opening 12-play, 81-yard drive to take a 7-0 on James Gipson's five-yard touchdown run with 6:06 left in the period.
Seguin ate up nearly as much time on a 16-yard, 68-yard march, but came away with no points after failing to convert on fourth down at the Medina Valley 18-yeard line.
Daniel Salamanca produced the only Seguin points of the first half when he drilled a 28-yard field goal with 3:37 left in the second period to make it a 7-3 game. Medina Valley pushed the lead to 14-3 on Charlie Marsh's 13-yard touchdown pass to Bryan Tanglao just 29 seconds before halftime.
The Panthers' ball-control offense, mixing runs out of the Slot-T and timely pass completions in occasional spread packages, limited the Matadors to just three first-half possessions.
Seguin's first touchdown came in unconventional fashion when senior linebacker Garrett Luensmann lined up at tailback in a goal-line package and powered into the end zone from four yards out to punctuate an 11-play, 74-yard drive with 9:52 left in the third quarter.
The Mats trailed 14-9 at that point, but Medina Valley would string together a 22-yard field goal by Ethan Hassinger and a touchdown run from Devin Johnson to put Seguin in a 15-point hole with less than five minutes to play in the fourth quarter.
Mickles completed a 45-yard pass to Haas on the first play of the ensuing drive, a pass interference penalty on the Panthers followed, and with the Mats facing fourth-and-goal at the nine-yard line, Mickles lofted a perfect pass to Haas in the end zone. Salamanca's PAT made it 24-16 with 3:38 to go.
Salamanca's onside kick was perfect, taking a high, awkward bounce that allowed Deryn Taylor to chase it down and recover it at the Medina Valley 44. After the Mats quickly moved it inside the 10, Tibbs took a swing pass from Mickles and sprinted toward the right pylon for the touchdown that set up the tying two-point conversion toss from Cash to Mickles.
Though the rally eventually fell short, and the game ended in bitter disappointment, Bush believes Friday's fourth quarter is a sign that the program is moving in a forward direction.
"I told them that I've never been more proud of a group of guys than I am of them, and the way they fought," the coach said. "You can see the culture here changing. That's the first time we've probably had a chance to win the game on a two-point conversion at the end of the game in a long time, and so it's something that we've got to get used to, and the next time we get an opportunity, we'll win it. "
Mickles finished 31-42 through the air for 353 yards and two touchdowns while running for 46 yards on 17 carries. Haas totaled 130 receiving yards and a score on eight catches, and Brian Cash enjoyed his most productive game of the season with 12 receptions for 127 yards. Michael Mickles (49 yds.) and Jacob Berkley (34 yds.) chipped in with four catches apiece. Tibbs rushed for 33 yards on eight carries. The loss leaves Seguin little to no margin for error if they still hope to secure one of the four available playoff berths in District 26-5A. The Matadors (2-5) are 1-3 in district play with games remaining against Marble Falls, Kerrville-Tivy, and the Boerne-Champion. Dripping Springs sits atop the standings with a 4-0 district record. Two teams who have already beaten Seguin, Medina Valley and Alamo Heights, are tied with Tivy for second with 3-1 league marks. Champion sits in fifth place at 2-2, Seguin in sixth, and Lockhart and Medina Valley bring up the rear with identical 0-4 district records.
Seguin visits Marble Falls this Friday at 7:30 p.m. The game will air live on KWED 1580 AM and Seguintoday.com, with pre-game coverage at 6:30.