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PHOTO / RICK MENDER

Daniel Reza finds room to run last week at Panther Stadium. He rushed for 119 yards in Thursday’s game against Laredo Nixon. MV will host Southwest Friday, 7 pm, at Panther Stadium.

Chances slip away in loss to Nixon

 

By Jeff Stivors

Anvil Herald Correspondent

 

     Laredo -- Medina Valley traveled the 142 miles down Interstate 35 to play the Nixon Mustangs last Thursday night at Shirley Field, which is shared by three Laredo ISD schools.

     Coaches will often say that playing on a Thursday or Saturday is not a normal time for a high school football team. Sometimes, however, when playing against large school districts, this is necessary because of the shared field. Coaches often say that it kind of throws off your routine.

     But coaches will never make an excuse, as was true for Coach Andrew Britt on Thursday, as the Panthers fell to Nixon, 16-14.

     Coach Britt didn’t pull any punches. He said that the Panthers beat themselves. Although Nixon made the plays and got the stops when they needed to, most of MV’s mistakes were self-induced and correctable, Coach Britt said.

     The loss gave MV its second loss in district, virtually eliminating them from any shot at the 13-5A-I championship this season. What is still in their grasp is a chance at a 2 or 3 seed in the UIL playoffs.

     Southwest comes to Medina Valley this Friday for a huge district matchup, with the winner looking for a second seed. There are still several weeks left in the district race, but this next Friday is a big one.

     Nixon received the opening kickoff, and the Panther defense had its best showing of the night, stopping the Mustangs and forcing a punt. 

     MV drove to the Nixon 31- yard line where they ran out of downs. Nixon then went on its first scoring drive, and in the process converted two fourth downs, a 4th-and-5 and a 4th-and-2. They capped the drive with a nine-yard touchdown pass to bring the first quarter to an end.

     Medina Valley took its next possession down the field as senior Carter Hewitt had a big run and a big reception from junior quarterback Michael Newton. After three straight incomplete passes, senior kicker Gavin Ripps’ 36-yard attempt missed.

     Nixon took over at their 20-yard line, and on the first play hit a streaking receiver for 59 yards. The defense held there, but the Mustangs connected on a 32-yard field goal to take a 10-0 lead. 

     Medina Valley wasted no time, picking up some chunk yards as senior Daniel Reza, moved to running back this week because of injuries, carried five times for 54 yards. Newton ran it in from two yards out to give the Panthers their first score, cutting the deficit to 10-7.

Nixon, which scored on every possession in the first half except the opening drive, had their own chunk plays for 45 yards and then on 4th-and-2, punched it in from two yards out to give the Mustangs a 16-7 lead with 28 seconds left in the half. The PAT was missed.

     Medina Valley got one last chance before the half. A 20-yard Reza run and a 25-yard Hewitt reception led to a 37-yard field goal attempt that was wide right, keeping the score 16-7 at halftime. 

     Medina Valley got the ball to open the second half, starting on their own 38. A couple of penalties and a sack hampered the drive, but the Panthers then turned the ball over after a big hit by the Mustangs’ free safety.

     Big defensive plays by senior Lorenzo Morales and a sack of the Mustang quarterback forced Nixon’s second punt of the game. MV took over on the Nixon 40 after a short kick.

     The Panthers struggled to move the ball again and were forced to punt the ball away. Senior punter Brennan Butler pinned Nixon at the Mustang 4-yard line. The MV defense stepped up, forcing another punt and getting the ball back with 23 seconds left in the third.

     Starting at the Mustang 33, the Panthers moved the ball behind Reza and sophomore receiver Jayden Tercero. Reza had a 1-yard TD run, bringing the Panthers within 16-14.

     Nixon was forced to punt again, and the Mustang punter returned the favor – possibly the play of the game – as he pinned the Panthers on their own 1-yard line with under three minutes left in the game.

     After a Tercero reception and some nice runs from Reza, the Mustangs intercepted with 1:57 left in the game.

     Nixon missed a 34-yard field goal try, and the Panthers got the ball back with 55 seconds left. The drive started with a promising reception by Hewitt, who raced 39 yards. The Panther offense, however, stalled and the final score stayed at 16-14.

     The Panthers will kick off against the rival Southwest Dragons at 7 p.m. this Friday at Panther Stadium.

Laredo Nixon 16

Medina Valley 14

Scoring Summary

Medina Valley 0 7 0 7 - 14

Laredo Nixon 7 9 0 0 - 16

N - Limon 9 pass from Gonzalez (kick)

N - 32 FG

MV - Newton 2 run (Ripps kick)

N - Hernandez 2 run (kick failed)

MV -  Reza 1 run (Ripps kick)

Individual Statistics

Medina Valley

Rushing: D. Reza 22-119; M. Newton 2-2; J. Tercero 1-(–9).

Passing: M. Newton 14-26-1, 253 yards.

Receiving: C. Hewitt 5-104; J. Tercero 6-80; D. Reza 1-52; C. Galyon 1-10; T. Millis 1-7.

Nixon

Rushing: E. Hernandez 17-38; R. Gonzalez 4-18.

Passing: R. Gonzalez 20-33-0, 230 yards.

Receiving: SD Haynes 4-81; T. Limon 7-69; H. Ramos 4-50; E. Pulido 1-17; E. Hernandez 3-11; J. Quintana 1-4.

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