GOLIAD – For the second week in a row, a late touchdown by their opponent sunk the Goliad Tiger football team.
Marion punched one in with fewer than four minutes left to erase a Tiger lead and win 24-23 at Tiger Stadium Friday night.
“It’s not so much disappointing because our kids are getting after it. We’ve just got to learn how to finish,” said Tiger coach Kevin Salazar about the loss, which dropped the Tigers to 0-2 on the season.
“We had opportunities to put the game away, and we’ve got to capitalize on those opportunities.”
Goliad went in front with 6:14 left in the fourth quarter on a 3-yard Gage Barrera touchdown run, but the Tigers couldn’t hold onto that lead.
Marion drove deep into Tiger territory on the ensuing drive and struck for a 24-yard touchdown with 3:41 remaining.
“We were bringing some pressure trying to get to the quarter. We had already sacked him four or five times, so we felt like we were getting some pretty good pressure,” Salazar said about Marion’s go-ahead touchdown.
“We just had a miscommunication between our corner and our safety in a combo call. They were confused on the call, and we just had a blown coverage.”
Goliad’s next possession ended with an interception on the first play and its final possession ended with a fumble on the second play.
“We had multiple opportunities throughout the game, but those two there at the end (hurt),” said Salazar. “We’ve got to take care of the football. We’ve got to stop shooting ourselves in the foot when we have opportunities.”
Barrera finished as the Tigers’ leading rusher, tallying 68 yards on seven carries. He scored twice on runs of 8 and 3 yards, the former of which made it 15-7 late in the second quarter.
Marion scored the game’s next 10 points to go in front 17-15 early in the third quarter before Barrera’s 3-yarder made it 23-17 in the fourth.
Cutler Zamzow had Goliad’s other touchdown with a 9-yard run midway through the first period.
Zamzow finished the game with 39 yards on seven carries.
Gene Ratliff had 10 tackles to lead the Tiger defense.
“I do feel like we got better this game,” Salazar noted. “We’ve just got to keep improving and progressing.”
The Tigers are back at home Friday night hosting George West. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m.