IOWA COLONY — Holding on for dear life, the Manvel Mavericks left Freedom Field clutching a 39-27 victory Thursday over visiting Crosby.
Leading 39-13 early in the third quarter, the Cougars mounted a comeback with quarterback Deniquez Dunn running wild on the Maverick defense. Dunn had scoring runs of 10 yards and 67 in the third period to pull the Coogs within a 12-point deficit with 31 seconds left in the quarter.
The Mavericks tightened up their defense in the final 12 minutes, and Crosby left some points on the field to prevent the game from getting any closer.
Runs and passes by Dunn along with runs by Leondre Smith had Crosby at the Manvel 13-yard line with a first down late in the game with a chance to get within one score. A 6-yard run by Dunn took them to the seven, but on fourth down and three from the six, Smith bobbled the direct snap and Manvel shut down the play to take over the ball and run out the clock.
Manvel quarterback Tucker Yarbrough and junior receiver Jalen Walthall were quite a combination in the first half. Walthall had five catches for 77 yards and three touchdowns, including connections of 30, 16 and 22 yards and the Mavericks led 21-13 with 5:49 left before halftime.
The Mavericks capitalized on an interception by defensive lineman Deundre Potts with 3:56 left before halftime, setting them up at the Crosby 45. After a short gain on first down, Donavan Englin took off on a 43-yard scamper into the end zone to raise the lead to 27-13.
Two quick touchdowns in the third period by Manvel — on a 65-yard reception by Jalen Paxton and an 8-yard run by Jordan Vaughn — gave the Mavs their biggest lead, 39-13.
But flags hurt the Mavericks dearly as they were hit with 13 penalties for 133 yards.
Yarbrough finished the game 19-for-32 for 314 yards through the air. Eglin led the run game, going for 144 yards on 13 carries. But 123 of those yards were in the first half as he didn’t see as much action in the second half.
Dunn ran for 191 yards on 31 carries while also throwing for 129 yards on an 8-for-21 night.
Crosby falls to 0-2 on the season while the Mavericks are 2-0 and will host Houston Sharpstown on Sept. 12 at Freedom Field.