Mavericks rebound in second half but come up short against South Gray

The Kiowa County Mavericks came to life in the second half of their game against the South Gray Rebels last Friday but it wasn’t enough to overcome a 24-6 deficit at the half and the Mavericks lost 30-20.

South Gray got on the board three times in the first quarter and added a fourth touchdown in the second but the Mavericks defense stopped all four attempts for two point conversions. They also stopped South Gray’s two point conversion attempt in the second half as well causing South Gray to turn the ball over on downs a couple of times as they improved in the second half.

“Being disciplined and doing their jobs was helpful,” said coach Tye Remy. “It seemed like we were getting out of position early and gave up big plays. We tightened up. Unfortunately, we gave too big of a lead to come back from.”

In the third quarter, the Tigers scored three times while holding the Rebels scoreless and drew within four points of the Rebels.

“We just started playing better. It took a pep talk at halftime but we finally started to show signs of life,” Remy said. “We had been dealing with a lot of sickness and I think that can help explain some of the slow start.”

The Mavericks scored in second quarter on a Cale Thompson 19 yards pass to Rhylan Tedder. This combination has been working well for the Tigers all season.

“Cale is accurate when he throws the ball and Rhylan catches everything that gets to him. That is about the size of it,” Remy said.

Two point conversions have been an issue for the Tigers although they did have one successful attempt against South Gray. It is an area that needs some work.

“We are exploring ways to be more efficient on two point conversions,” Remy said.

Remy said this has been a season of improvement for his players.

“You could say that there was improvement from everyone this week, just as you can say there were things each individual needed to work on,” Remy said. “These are kids and it is our job to teach them. The lesson I want us to learn from this week is to start the game with a vengeance. We showed a lot of character to come back, we just need to be that tough from the beginning.”

As they prepare for their next match against Ness City, Remy will keep his players striving for improvement.

“Our goal is to just keep getting better every day,” Remy said.

Kiowa County is now 3-3 on the season and will face Ness City this Friday.

Stats: In the game against South Gray, the Mustangs ran 74 plays and recorded 23 first downs. They were flagged for three penalties for 25 yards.

Passing: Cale Thompson 17 of 29 for 178 yards and one TD, Cooper Zenger 1 of 2 for 19 yards.

Rushing: A.J. Owens 10 for 24 yards; Cooper Zenger 13 for 67 yards; Gage McDonald 5 for 10 yards; Cale Thompson 15 for 109 yards and two TDs.

Receiving: Cooper Zenger 2 for 41 yards; Brandon Boyles 6 for 38 yards; Rhylan Tedder 9 for 114 yards and one TD.

All purpose yards 426: Owens 24, Zenger 127, McDonald 10, Thompson 287, Boyles 38, Tedder 114.

Tackles: 13 players had 22 solo tackles and 26 assists.

Sacks: Zenger 2, Koby West 0.5, Kaden Ulrich 0.5.

Punt returns: Boyles 1 for 6 yards, Tedder 1 for 17 yards.

Conversions: Braiden Merhoff 1 rushing for two points.