Goliad quarterback Dalton Sturm ran for four touchdowns, threw for another and kicked a 35-yard field goal as the Tigers improved to 4-1 overall.
“We didn’t plan to start the game that way, I can grant you that,” Goliad head coach John Mares said. “But the character of the team came out and the kids didn’t give up. They fought the rest of the way.”
“We know how to fight back,” Sturm said. “We knew we were going to score some points and we knew our defense was going to stop them.”
George West’s Kody Mircovich returned the opening kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown to give the Longhorns a quick 6-0 lead.
George West (1-4) recovered a Tiger fumble at the Goliad 45 just 19 seconds later and capitalized on Matthew Martinez’s 38-yard touchdown run with 10:08 left in the first quarter to make it 12-0.
Sturm, who rushed for 239 yards on 17 carries and completed 11 of 23 passes for 224 yards, scored on an 11-yard run with 5:50 remaining in the first quarter.
Goliad went up for good with 2:09 left in the first quarter on a 52-yard touchdown pass from Sturm to Colby Berger. Sturm’s 2-point conversion pass to Mac Wimberley made it 15-12.
After Charles Wright recovered an onside kickoff at the Longhorns’ 31, Sturm’s 35-yard field goal with 10:59 remaining in the second quarter padded the Tigers’ lead to 18-12.
Sturm scored on a 47-yard run with 5:24 remaining until halftime and added another touchdown run before halftime as Goliad went into intermission with a 31-20 advantage.
Sturm accounted for 463 yards and the Tigers rolled up 317 rushing yards and 541 total yards.
Trey Moya had four receptions for 75 yards and Desmond Perry caught four passes for 59 yards.
The Goliad defense shut out George West in the second half and allowed only 227 total yards.
“We did what we had to on defense,” Mares said. “We made a few adjustments at halftime and we got after them.”
“We practiced real hard all week,” nose guard Richard Fullingim said. “Coach (John) Reyes knows what to do in certain situations.”
Jourdanton and Marion also won their District 15-2A Division I openers Friday. Jourdanton (4-1) rolled to a 61-0 win over San Antonio Brooks (0-5) and Marion (3-2) took a 36-31 upset victory over Luling (4-1).
Goliad will try to remain atop the district standings Friday when it hosts the San Antonio Cole Cougars (1-3) at 7:30 p.m. at Tiger Field.
“It’s great to win your first district game and it’s even better when you win on the road,” Mares said.
“It’s important to win that first district game because you get the notion you can win every game,” Sturm said.