By Mike Blackwell
The Wimberley Texans took the term “survive and advance” literally last Friday night at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Beeville, thwarting a game-winning, two-point conversion try by Rockport-Fulton with just three seconds remaining to win 42-41 and advance into the fourth round of the class 4A state playoffs.
The Texans will now face district rival Navarro at 3:30 p.m. Friday in the Alamodome in San Antonio.
Wimberley’s Christian Marshall had put the Texans ahead 42-35 with just 58 seconds remaining in the game by returning an interception 45 yards. That pick six set up a dramatic last minute of play, as the Pirates drove the ball quickly down the field and scored on a Joe Franks 13-yard touchdown run with just three seconds remaining, cutting the Wimberley lead to 42-41.
That set the stage for the climactic final play on the two-point conversion. Instead of attempting a game-tying extra point that most assuredly would’ve sent the game into overtime, the Pirates went for two and the win, but running back Garrett Loudermilk was stopped well short of the goal line on an off-tackle play.
Marshall then recovered the Rockport-Fulton onside kick attempt to secure the win for the 10-3 Texans. The Pirates’ season ended at 9-4.
The game included six lead changes between the two teams with polar opposite offensive attacks: Wimberley’s spread attack vs. the slot-T scheme of the Pirates. Both teams moved the ball at will throughout the game.
Josh Limely scored a pair of touchdowns for Wimberley in the first half, and Marshall added a 61-yard touchdown reception from Texan quarterback Cooper McCollum as the two teams entered halftime tied at 21 apiece.
Jaxon Watts added a 16-yard touchdown reception from McCollum in the third period, which ended with the two teams tied 28-28. Franks, who finished the game with 183 yards rushing, scored two of his three touchdowns in the fourth period, and Moses Wray added a 13-yard touchdown run to Marshall’s pick six to cap the scoring for the Texans.
Marshall finished the game with four receptions for 120 yards. Wimberley finished the game with 427 yards of total offense.