SAN ANTONIO (Kiii Sports) - The Calallen Wildcats had two costly turnovers and a tough penalty call that derailed their quest for the school's first ever football title.
The Wildcats fell to the Manvel Mavericks 31-28 in the 4A-II State Semifinals on an un-timed play that saw the Mavs' Josh Martinez kick the 25 yard game-winning field goal.
The kick was set up when backup Quarterback Andrew McCurley threw an interception with 15 seconds left. Two plays later the Mavericks completed a pass down deep inside Calallen territory, but not before the clock expired. The 'Cats were called for a roughing the passer penalty on the play, a call that was questionable at best as Marcus Escobar appeared to hit Mavs' QB Shane McCarley within a second or less of releasing the ball. The penalty gave the Mavericks the ball at the Calallen 8 yard line with no time left, but also allowed Martinez the opportunity to make the game-winning kick.
"The quarterback rolled out, he scrambled, we came in, he threw the ball and hit him almost simultaneously and the said it was roughing the quarterback. They got 15 more yards, and that's the difference in the ballgame right there," Calallen coach Phil Danaher said. "It's just hard to believe that an official's call decides whether you go to the state championship or not, and that's what's sad."
Senior Running Back Marcus Price had championship-type performance in a semifinal defeat. Price had two kick return touchdowns, including a 100 yard return in the 1st quarter.
"It's a tough loss, to be one step closer to the state championship. It's a huge loss. That personal foul killed us right there at the end,"Price said.
Calallen's season ends at 13-2 while Manvel advances to the 4A-II Championship Game against Aledo next Saturday at Cowboys' Stadium.