The Mavericks started strong against Kinsley but fell short in the end with a 42-36 loss.

The Kiowa County Mavericks came out strong in the first half of their game Oct. 19 and took a 22-0 lead against Kinsley. But Kinsley scored three touchdowns in the last minute of the first half and changed the dynamics of the game. The Mavericks bounced back in the second half but Kinsley had too much momentum and handed the Mavericks a 42-36 loss.

Coach Tye Remy said they started strong but the momentum swing caused some doubt among the players.

“We came out and our game plan was working well. We were ahead 22-0 when we allowed them to score the first time. There was a moment in that second quarter where I think we started to doubt ourselves and they were able to get some big plays on us,” Remy said. “We missed some of our length in the secondary which was sidelined by injuries this week.”

The team was able to move the ball effectively on the ground. A.J. Owens was having a nice game running the ball. Defensively, the team was getting them off the field as well, Remy said.

Kinsley came back with three touchdowns in the last minute of the first half and the team couldn’t overcome injuries and a lack of experience.

“The last minute of the second half, our injuries really caught up to us. We had three seniors sidelined and we did miss them,” Remy said. “I have faith in our underclassmen to get the job done but a lack of experience may have hurt at that juncture.”

Though the momentum swung in favor of Kinsley, the Mavericks were able fight back and keep the game close.

“I think that, when you have a big lead and it disappears, you really find out who is mentally tough and wants to play. We had a lot of guys step up and work really hard in the second half and we even had a chance to go score at the end to win the ball game,” Remy said. “We have really great kids and I was proud that they kept fighting.”

Kinsley hurt the Mavericks rushing attack so passing was vital to stay in the game. An injury forced Cale Thompson out of the game and Cooper Zenger stepped up to lead the team.

“Kinsley was able to halt our rushing attack in the second half and being able to get some scores through the air were vital to staying in the game,” Remy said. “We played (Cooper) Zenger at QB because our starter, Cale (Thompson) was out. I was impressed with Cooper being able to sling the ball around like he did. We were able to get it to our receivers and they were able to make some big plays.”

The Mavericks are at home this week against the St. John-Hudson Tigers.