The Kiowa County Mavericks dropped their first playoff game 54-42 to the Solomon Gorillas on Friday, ending their 2012-2013 season. On a night when the Mavericks needed either their defense of offense to ‘kick it up a notch, BAM!’ neither were able to overcome a hungry Gorillas squad.
Trever Powell opened scoring for both teams, turning an opening seconds interception into the Maverick’s first touchdown. At the end of the first quarter KC had a 12-6 lead, thanks to an as-expected offensive performance by Powell, who put the Mavs ahead with a 75-yard kickoff return for TD.
The Gorilla’s dominated in the second quarter, marching methodically down the field, pushing through on key third and fourth downs. When their back was against the wall, Solomon went to the pass play. The Mavs pass coverage has been tentative all season and the Gorillas took advantage early and often.
Solomon’s Colton Shirack passed for 74 yards and three touchdowns, throwing only one interception, a late first half touchback to Powell that fizzled in the red zone. Mason Demars, aside from reeking havoc on KC’s offensive line all night, received a 33-yard Shirack hail Mary, rushed for 62 yards on 15 carries with an interception.
The Gorillas couldn’t shut down the offense or the defense completely, but crippled both significantly. They stymied the Mav’s rushing game on early downs and found routes through an inconsistent KC defense.
The Maverick Nation loyalist that made the 6-hour round trip could smell a come back victory in the fourth quarter when the Gorillas were forced to punt from midfield on fourth down. The Mavs were down by six, with more than a minute and a half remaining on the clock, but a soon-to-follow Solomon interception suffocated any remaining chances.
The Mavericks finished their season with a pair of losses, including last Friday’s 32-28 loss against the St. John Tigers.
The final regular season contest between the Tigers and the Mavericks lived up to the high expectations.
A key defensive play, inside of the Tigers red zone, swung the momentum when #58 Aaron Heft jumped the gun and gave the Tigers a first down on a five-yard penalty. Powell rushed for 130 yards on 28 attempts, and Keenan Behee rushed for 140 yards on 18 attempts for an average 7.78-yard per carry. Creighton McDonald had a lower than average performance, rushing 48 yards on only 7 carries.
The Mavericks finish their season 6-3 overall and a 2-1 league record, going 4-0 on the road and 2-3 at home.
Look for our season wrap up in next week’s Signal.