MESQUITE – It was a battle of the Tigers Friday at Mesquite E.H. Hanby Stadium.
When the final horn sounded, Mount Vernon knocked off the No. 4-ranked Malakoff Tigers 37-34 in the Class 3A, Division I, Region 2 championship game.
Mount Vernon (12-2) advances to face the No. 6-ranked Jim Ned Indians (12-1) in the Class 3A, Division I state semifinals next week. Jim Ned defeated Pilot Point, 45-28, Thursday night in the Region 1 final in Stephenville.
In the first half, Mt. Vernon opened the scoring marching down the field as Brock Nellor found Jacob Marshall on a 5-yard touchdown. Nellor ran in the two-point conversion for 8-0 lead.
Malakoff (10-3) senior quarterback Darion Peace answered right back on a 1-yard run with 5:53 remaining in the opening quarter for the 8-7 deficit. Juan Gonzales booted the PAT good.
Mount Vernon added to its lead in the second quarter as Nellor scored on a quarterback sneak from a yard out. He ran in the two-point conversion for the 16-7 lead with 10:55 remaining in the first half.
Malakoff answered again with an 8-yard run by Duce Hart with 5:04 remaining in the first half. Juan Gonzales booted the PAT good for the 16-14 deficit.
The Tigers then gained their first lead of the game with 10 seconds remaining in the first half. Peace ran around the left side of the line to the end zone for the 20-16 lead. The Tigers went for two but after a chop block pushed the ball back, Malakoff failed on the conversion pass.
Malakoff continued its impressive play on their first drive of the first quarter going 65 yards in three minutes. Nathan Jones hauled in a 19-yard pass from Peace for the 27-16 lead. Gonzales booted the PAT good with nine minutes left in the third.
Mount Vernon ended a 20-0 run by Malakoff as Marshall hauled in his second TD, this time a 39-yard reception from Nellor. The Tigers went for two but failed for the 27-22 deficit with 3:18 remaining in the third quarter.
Following an interception by Malakoff’s Jaylon Mosley at the Mount Vernon 23, the Tigers went and scored as Peace scored on a 5-yard run. Gonzales booted the PAT good with 7:14 remaining for the 34-22 lead.
Mount Vernon countered the Malakoff score with 5:14 remaining as Nellor scored once again from a yard out. Adrian Diaz booted the PAT good with 5:14 remaining in regulation for the 34-29 deficit.
Mount Vernon grabbed the lead with 1:27 remaining as Nellor scored from 19-yards out on fourth and one. Nellor then found Gunnar Fielden for the two point conversion and the 37-34 victory.
8:00 1Q MV – Jacob Marshall 5 from Brock Nellor (Nellor run) Mount Vernon 8, Malakoff 0.
5:53 1Q MHS – Darion Peace 1 run (Juan Gonzales kick good) Mount Vernon 8, Malakoff 7.
10:55 2Q MV – Nellor 1 run (Nellor run) Mount Vernon 16, Malakoff 7.
5:04 2Q MHS – Duce Hart 8 run (Juan Gonzales kick) Mount Vernon 16, Malakoff 14.
:10 2Q MHS – Darion Peace 9 run (pass failed) Malakoff 20, Mount Vernon 16.
9:00 3Q MHS – Nathan Jones 19 from Darion Peace (Juan Gonzales kick good). Malakoff 27, Mount Vernon 16.
3:18 3Q MV – Marshall 39 from Nellor (run failed). Malakoff 27, Mount Vernon 22.
7:14 4Q MHS – Peace 5 run (Gonzales kick good). Malakoff 34, Mount Vernon 22.
5:14 4Q MV – Nellor 1 run (Adrian Diaz kick good). Malakoff 34, Mount Vernon 29.
1:27 4Q MV – Nellor 19 run (Gunnar Fielden from Nellor) Mount Vernon 37, Malakoff 34.