It was an electric atmosphere and a standing-only crowd at Tiger Stadium in Malakoff on Friday night as the Tigers hosted the Grandview Zebras in the highly-anticipated 3A Division I state final rematch.
The game lived up to the hype as a tightly defensive contest, but the Zebras were able to prevail and win their third straight game against the Tigers, 14-13, thanks to a couple of key miscues by Malakoff, who took their first loss of the season.
Keevie Rose put Malakoff on the board first, 7-0, with a 10-yard touchdown run on a 70-yard drive on their second possession.
With 4:37 until halftime, Tremayne Gullatte dashed for a 12-yard TD run and Grandview tied it up at 7-7.
The Zebras would take the lead for good at 14-7, the halftime score, when Antonio Arellano brought back a Tiger fumble for a 22-yard score on Malakoff's ensuing drive.
The second half was a defensive dogfight until there was 4:55 remaining in the game, when Andreas Garrett caught an 11-yard TD pass from Darion Peace. It looked like the Tigers were about to tie the game.
However, Malakoff was assessed an unsportsmanlike penalty during their celebration afterwards and that cost them 15 yards on the ensuing PAT attempt. The Zebra defense blocked the kick and the Tigers trailed 14-13.
Grandview tried to build on the lead with a 34-yard field goal with 52 seconds left, but it missed and Malakoff got one more shot, but with no timeouts.
They reached midfield and the clock ran out on an incomplete pass, allowing the Zebras to escape with the 14-13 victory.
Malakoff drops to 3-1 and travels to Longview this Friday to play the Spring Hill Panthers at 7:30 p.m.