New Caney quarterback Jayden Tutwiler-Dew scrambled 54 yards to put his Eagles just five yards away from the end zone and a chance to tie up the game against the Mavericks, but the clock was in Marshall’s favor as the buzzer sounded and the Mavericks walked away with a 34-26 victory in their season opener.
Marshall finished the night with 17 first downs and a total of 367 yards, 205 coming through the air and 162 coming on the ground. Brent Burris went 14-of-30 for 205 yards and one interception. Dominique Williams had 20 carries for 126 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught four passes for 128 yards. Demarcus Williams rushed six times for 37 yards and one score.
The Eagles had 24 first downs, 358 rushing yards and 66 passing yards for a total of 424 yards. Tutwiler-Dew went 6-of-14 for 66 yards. Kendrick Reescano led the game in rushing with 156 yards and three touchdowns on 17 carries. Cale Sanders, Jr., had 22 carries for 153 yards and one touchdown.
New Caney won the opening coin toss and chose to defer, giving Marshall’s offense the first possession. The Mavericks picked up a first down before it was forced to punt to the Eagles for their first possession.
The Eagles saw their first possession come to an end when Lyrik Rawls scooped up a loose ball. A few plays later, Buchanan split the uprights for 24-yard field goal to give the Mavericks their first points of the season and a 3-0 lead.
The Eagles faked a punt on fourth down late in the first quarter to keep their drive alive. That drive ended with an eight-yard touchdown run to give New Caney its first lead of the night when Reescano punched it into the end zone. The extra point was no good but the Eagles led 6-3 with 28 seconds left in the first quarter.
After an interception by New Caney, the Eagles added to their lead when Sanders jogged it in from a yard out. Israel Oregon tacked on the PAT to spread his team’s lead to 13-3 at the 11:38 mark in the second quarter.
Marshall scored its first touchdown of the season when Demarcus Williams took the ball on a reverse, cut the corner and crossed the goal line for a 15-yard score. Buchanan added the point after, putting his team within three points, 13-10, with 6:09 remaining in the first half.
The Mavericks jumped back into the lead moments later when Dominique Williams went the distance from 24 yards. Buchanan’s extra point gave Marshall a 17-13 ked with 2:59 left until halftime.
With seconds ticking before halftime, Marshall’s offense was driving down the field and got into New Caney territory but the buzzer sounded and the Mavs ran out of time, leaving the halftime score at 17-13.
A punt by Buchanan put the Eagles inside their own one-yard line. A 50-yard run by Sanders was immediately followed by a 49-yard touchdown run by Reescano to put the Eagles back in the lead, 20-17 with 7:57 left in the third quarter.
The Mavericks found themselves inside their own one-yard line before advancing into Eagle territory but they were forced to punt back to New Caney. Marshall’s Marcus Washington scooped up a loose ball and took it back to the end zone from about 20 yards away to put Marshall back in the lead, 24-20 with 4:45 left in the third quarter.
The lead switched hands yet again when Reescano broke through piles of defenders and went the distance from 38 yards, giving the Eagles the 26-24 lead with 2:36 left in the third quarter.
That lead didn’t last long, however. Dominique Williams break loose and found the end zone on a 47-yard sprint to put his Mavericks back in the lead,
With about two minutes left in regulation, the Mavericks were forced to punt. The Eagles fumbled the punt and it was recovered by the Mavericks. From there, Marshall added a little more separation with a 20-yard field goal from Buchanan to make the score 34-26 with just 56 seconds remaining in regulation.
The contest wasn’t over yet as New Caney had one more chance to score and go for two to tie it up and bring it into overtime. The Eagles were faced with fourth-and-long when the ball fell to the ground, followed by several yellow flags. The call was pass interference against the Mavericks and the Eagles were still alive. That’s where Tutwiler-Dew took off for 54 yards.
It looked like he had a chance to score but he was brought down by Sam Palmer. The quarterback picked up the first down but it was too little too late as all zeroes were on the clock and the Mavericks sealed up the 34-26 win.
The Mavericks are slated to return home to play host to the Longview Lobos for the 110th meeting between the two schools. The Eagles are scheduled take on Kingwood Park on the road.