Lone Star Gridiron

BONUS – 5A Victoria Memorial vs. McAllen Memorial

1ST QUARTER - The first stanza of play was a running demonstration. McAllen set the scene by introducing the Bradley Stephens show. His dramatic and powerful runs setup an easy scoring pass for McAllen. Victoria responded by putting on a 18 play drive featuring a whole lot of short runs by Cleat Cooley and short dives up the middle by QB, Keith Barefield. The total lack of imagination on the part of Victoria's playcallers resulted in the drive stalling at the 2 and settling for a short field goal. The quarter was completely consumed by the two drives. McAllen 7 - Victoria 3

2ND QUARTER - Bradley Stephens capped a six minute drive to extend their lead. Victoria once again attacked with a running game - this time with a newly discovered Option attack. Keith Barefield conducted a masterful drive keeping the pitch on several carries before finishing off the drive with a four year run by the aptly-named Cleat Cooley. Victoria appeared to have scored too quickly this time around as McAllen was left with nearly three minutes in the half. Marching down on the legs of Bradley Stephens and some well-timed passes by Mitchell Bunger before being halted by the Vipers. With the ball and 32 seconds remaining in the half, Victoria could have taken a knee, but chose to run Barefield up the middle. One hard hit later and the new QB was being carried off the field, unable to put any weight on his injured leg. The half ended on a very dismal note for Victoria McAllen 14 - Victoria 10


3RD QUARTER - Victoria opened up with the ball, down by 4 and a different quarterback, Mike Nuells under center. A controversial spearing penalty against McAllen saved what would have been a stalled drive and gave the Vipers new life. Nuells appeared much more comfortable going to the air than Barefied as he launched a 34 yarder to Demetric Lofton. Twenty yards worth of penalties pinned Victoria to a 3rd and 30 around midfield. Nuells scramble cost the Vipers 5 more yards and forced the punt. The 11 yard kicked ended a drive that started with spark and fizzled fast.

Bradley Stephens busted the McAllen drive wide open with four runs including an amazing 18 yarder. Victoria was penalized on a completly phantom pass interference call leaving the Mustangs at Victoria's 17. Stephens did his impersonation of a young Earl Campbell rumbling in for the touchdown. McAllen 21 - Victoria 10

After an unsportsmanlike conduct call on Victoria during the TD, McAllen kicked off from the 50 and nearly recovered the onside attempt. The Vipers, Justin Kitchens bolted for a first down, but a Nuells sack and a very confusing spot after another Victoria penalty stuck them deep in trouble in their own end of the field. Nuells made up for all the Viper miscues in one amazing 24 yard run that saw him knocked around like a pinball but continue to roll forward. Another two scampers by Nuells put Victoria with a first on the McAllen 41. Nuells tossed two scary incompletions before once again taking to the ground and winding up at the 26 with a 1st down. A toss to Demetric Lofton secured the score with 51 seconds left in the 3rd quarter. McAllen 21 - Victoria 16

4TH QUARTER - With new fire on the Victoria side provided by Michael Nuells, the Vipers set about trying to figure out how to stop Bradley Stephens. The big man crossed 100 yards on the drive which saw Victoria again shoot themselves in the foot with penalties. A quick pass down the field by Bunger put them 1st and 10 and the Victoria 24. As tempers flared in the hotly contested battle, Victoria was once again hit with a big personal foul leaving McAllen on the 12 with a 1st down. Victoria sucked it up and stopped a run up the middle by Bradley Stephens at 4th and 2 on the 5. The Mustangs settled for a FG McAllen 24 - Victoria 16

With 8 minutes to go in the game and down by 8, Victoria took the field on their own 36. Lofton dropped his third sure-fire touchdown of the day as he seems to have trouble handling the long passes despite getting both hands on the ball. McAllen seemed to have snuffed out the drive before it reached midfield, but Victoria ran the "fumblerooski" for 36 yards as Bradley Stephens saved the touchdown for McAllen. The Vipers appeared to be snakebit as a holding penalty whiped out a large portion of their gain. Victoria which had shown no imagination for three and a half quarters pulled off two surprises in a row running an inside reverse to Demetric Lofton for the TD. The two-point conversion to tie the game was no good. McAllen 24 - Victoria 22

With 5:47 to go in the game and up by 2 points, Bradley Stephens called for a fair catch despite a 20 yard cushion. Victoria fell into a prevent defense and McAllen got an easy first down on their 27. A couple of weak runs by Stephens and an incomplete pass looked to end the drive, but a another mysterious call against Victoria (roughly the QB) not only extended the drive, but may have broken the Vipers back. Victoria again responded from somewhere deep within by standing firm on defense and putting McAllen in a 4th and long. A punt by (who else?) Bradley Stephens opened the window a crack for Victoria 74 yards away with 1:47 remaining.

A scramble by Nuells that seemed to take all day resulted in a 20 yard gain. Going one too many times to a dry well however, Nuells again threw to Lofton on a long route and this time not only did Lofton fail to make the catch, but McAllen intercepted the ball at their 21.

Content to milk the clock, McAllen handed to (uh, yeah) Stephens for one of his larger runs - 17 yards, Under a minute left in the game, Bunger took a knee and Victoria took a timeout. It was too little, too late as a great game came to an end. McAllen 24 - Victoria 22


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