LEAGUE CITY - Tucker Yarbrough passed for 298 yards and four touchdowns, while the Manvel Mavericks’ defense also held the Clear Lake Falcons out of the end zone in a 34-6 romp in the 2019 football opener for both teams Friday night at Challenger Columbia Stadium.
The Falcons jumped to an early 3-0 lead on Maxwell Loucks’ 31-yard field goal with 5:23 left in the opening. Lake then had an opportunity to immediately increase their margin after recovering a fumble deep in Manvel territory.
However, the Manvel defense ultimately forced the Falcons to settle for another Loucks’ field and the sophomore’s 40-yard attempt fell short of the mark. The Mavs dominated things the rest of the way, promptly marching for a 15-play, 75-yard scoring drive, which was capped by Jordon Vaughn's four-yard run with 10:36 left in the second quarter.
Antonio Rodriguez booted the extra point through the uprights for a 7-3 Mavs’ advantage.
While Manvel also struggled with penalties and center snaps during the contest, the Mavs’ defense picked up the slack, limiting the Falcons to minus three yards on the ground and forcing five turnovers.
“I though defensively, we played really well,” Manvel head coach Kevin Hall said following the game. “We had a couple of things that we messed up on, but overall we played really well.
“But again, we have five starters back on defense. Offensively, we didn’t play well. Except for three or four drives, we didn’t execute well. But again, there’s only one returning starter and it showed tonight. That’s what next week’s practice is for. It’s for the next game and so on. It’s getting to be a good football team and it’s not an event, it’s a process.”
After Vaughn’s TD, Manvel defensive back William Evans recovered a fumble on Lake’s next possession, paving the way for Yarbrough to nail Jalen Paxton with a 23-yard strike in the back of the end zone to increase the Manvel lead to 13-3.
Evans fell on another loose ball later in the period, setting up Zion Johnkins’ 18-yard diving grab to make it 20-3 at the break.
Johnkins also motored 37 yards on a catch-and-run fling from Yarbrough to climax a seven-play, 69-yard drive to open the third period and the junior added his third receiving TD on a 21-yard reception early in the fourth.
The Mavs next host Crosby for their home opener on Sept. 5 at AISD’s Freedom Field at 7 p.m. Manvel will be looking to avenge a heartbreaking 49-47 defeat to the Cougars last season with Crosby scoring the winning TD on the game’s final play.
“Crosby is a tremendous team,” Hall said. “We got up on them 21-0 last year and then decided we didn’t know how to play defense. They came back and beat us on the last play and deservedly so. They have a new coach and after looking at the scrimmage film, they haven’t missed a beat.”