ODEM – The Saturday night lights were on at Owl Field during the televised game between the Owls and visiting Mathis Pirates and both did not disappoint the viewing audience. Odem hung on to defeat Mathis 13-12 during their non-district matchup.
The game was plagued with turnovers at the onset. Odem drove to the Mathis 20 before Ethan Munoz recovered a fumble for the Pirates. Mathis paid the favor back when they fumbled, and Odem’s Orlando Gonzalez jumped on the loose ball at the Pirates 25. Hunter Dawson connected with Phillip Dominguez at the one and Marcus Martinez finished off the drive with a one-yard scoring run. Gabriel Bueno tacked on the extra point as Odem went up 7-0 with 4:09 left in the opening quarter.
The Pirates made a move on their ensuing possession. Isaac Gutierrez used runs of 22, 10 and 11 to give Mathis a first down at the Owls 25, but an interception by Odem’s Dylan Andrade stopped the drive.
The Owls sputtered and were forced to punt after a combined sack by JT Coronado and Tim Morin. Gutierrez then went to work, returning the punt 65 yards for a touchdown. The point after missed but the Pirates were within 7-6 with 11:34 left in the second quarter.
After the teams again exchanged punts, Odem moved to the Pirates six before the drive stalled and the Owls settled for a 21-yard Bueno field goal with 2:50 left in the half as the game entered the half with Odem up 10-6.
The third quarter was dominated by both defenses including a Dominguez interception for Odem. The Owls used 10 plays to reach the Mathis five before a huge tackle for loss by Thomas Villarreal forced the Owls to settle for a 25-yard Bueno field goal to make it 13-6 with 11:10 left in the game.
Later in the game the Owls were forced to punt, and the Pirates’ Isaiah Ricarte blocked it, giving Mathis life at the Odem 35. Consecutive runs by Villarreal gave Mathis a fresh set of downs at the 44. Seth Gibson followed with a big 37-yard gain to the Odem seven. James Romero came up with a big tackle for loss for the Owls but on the next play Jacob Martinez connected with Gutierrez on a nine-yard touchdown strike with 2:12 left to make it 13-12. The Pirates went for two and did not make it, leaving them on the wrong end of a 13-12 decision.
Sophomore Marcus Martinez got a rare start at running back for Odem and did not disappoint, finishing with a game high 129 yards. Hunter Dawson added 44 yards on the ground and completed 3 of 8 passes for 35 yards.
Orlando Gonzalez finished with seven tackles and a sack, Bailey Hernandez add five tackles while James Romero, Dylan Andrade and Phillip Dominguez each had one sack.
For the Pirates, Thomas Villarreal had 41 yards rushing and had 17 tackles on defense. Seth Gibson added 37 yards on the ground while Jacob Martinez completed 5 of 12 passes for 61 yards.
On defense Andrew Cuellar added 14 tackles with a sack, Darian Rodriguez had eight tackles and Isaiah Ricarte had two sacks.