Like two weeks ago in their 48-7 season-opening rout of Victoria St. Joseph, the Tigers’ struggled in the first half and managed just one touchdown. But with help from its stingy defence, Goliad used quarterback Dalton Sturm’s two second-half touchdown runs to pull away for the victory and start the season 2-0 for the second straight year.
“We have to take care of all those little mistakes,” Mares said of the Tigers’ second slow start. “We kept shooting ourselves in the foot. When you do that, the good ball clubs are going to hang with you.”
Sturm rushed for 119 yards and three touchdowns on 21 carries and completed eight of 18 passes for 147 yards.
Sturm scored on a 7-yard run with 9:39 left in the first quarter and added the extra point to put the Tigers up 7-0.
But Yorktown quarterback Jacob Garcia scooped up a fumbled snap and ran 45 yards for a touchdown with 5:58 remaining until halftime. Reagan Billings extra-point kick tied the game at 7-all.
Goliad began to wear down the outmanned Wildcats in the second quarter.
“Toward the end of the second quarter, you could see them slouching over a little bit,” Goliad lineman Austin Speed said.
“They can’t sub that many people and they were getting tired.”
The biggest defensive play for the Tigers came early in the third quarter when defensive back Justin Thomas stripped Caleb Schendel of the ball deep inside Goliad territory.
“That was a team effort,” Thomas said of the play. “Everybody worked together. Someone was holding him and someone was punching the ball. It wasn’t just me.”
“JT is always around the football,” Mares said. “He makes those kind of plays and you just count on him for the unexpected.”
Goliad went up for good when Sturm raced 45 yards on a keeper for a touchdown with 6:20 left in the third quarter. Kersey Jones’ 8-yard touchdown run with 2:41 remaining in the third quarter put the Tigers up 21-7.
Sturm finished the game’s scoring with a 24-yard touchdown run with 3:05 left in the contest.
“We started out slow, but we kicked in during the second half,” Thomas said.
“We’re going to try to figure out what we’re doing wrong in the first half. What we’re doing in the second half is really working.”
The loss dropped the Wildcats to 1-1 on the season. Schendel led Yorktown with 109 yards rushing on six carries.
The Tigers will travel to Edna on Friday to take on the Cowboys in another non-district game at 7:30 p.m.
Edna handed Goliad its first loss last season 41-28 at Tiger Field.
“We’ve definitely been waiting for this game for a long time,” Speed said. “Last year, it didn’t end good. We want redemption. We know we can’t come out slow in the first half and I guarantee we’re going to fix that.”
“We like playing Edna because they’ve got speed and quickness,” Mares said. “That gets us ready for what’s coming in the future.”
Jones had 35 yards on three carries and Joseph Burns rushed for 32 yards on five carries.
The Tigers will host Mathis on Sept. 20 before starting District 15-2A Division I play Sept. 27 at George West.