But Mares chose Monday to look ahead instead of dwelling on the disappointing defeat.
The Tigers saw a 20-7 halftime lead whittled away by the Indians’ power running game and quarterback Chase Harrison’s touchdown run with 15 seconds left gave Jourdanton a 28-23 win at soggy Indian Stadium.
The loss dropped the Tigers to 5-2 overall and 2-1 in district play while Jourdanton improved to 7-1 and 4-0. Goliad’s playoff hopes could be determined in its next two games. The Tigers host Luling (7-1, 3-1) Friday before traveling to Marion (5-2, 3-0) on Nov. 8. Marion defeated George West 36-21 Friday night while Luling blanked San Antonio Cole 19-0.
“We knew that the next ball games were going to be our toughest ball games,” Mares said. “depending on how we do against them will either put us in the playoffs or put us at home.”
Jourdanton went up 7-0 with 2:03 left in the first quarter on Isaac Oropeza’s 10-yard run and Jerald Meyer’s extra point. But Goliad quarterback Dalton Sturm then led the Tigers’ offense to three second-quarter touchdown drives.
Sturm, who completed six of 17 passes for 150 yards, threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Desmond Perry with 11:28 remaining in the second quarter. The two connected again 6 1/2 minutes later on a 17-yard strike to put the Tigers up 14-7.
With 14 seconds left before halftime, Sturm lunged over the pile and stretch the ball over the goal line to send Goliad into halftime with a 20-7 advantage.
Jourdanton, which rushed for 329 yards, went to the ground in the second half to wear down the Tigers’ defense. Oropeza scored on a 6-yard run on the Indians’ first possession of the third quarter as Jourdanton pulled within 20-14.
Sturm’s 32-yard field goal with 7:23 left in the third quarter widened Goliad’s lead to 23-14, but Jourdanton continued to pound away with its ground game and Harrison scored on a 4-yard run with 11:53 remaining in the game to pull the Indians within 23-21.
Jourdanton, which lost 21-20 at Goliad on the final play of the game last season, then gained revenge moments later with its game-winning touchdown march.
“We knew when we went into the ball game, we were going to play a pretty physical team,” Mares said.