By Colby Gordon / American-Statesman Correspondent
Posted Oct 25, 2019 at 7:12 PM
Updated at 10:00 AM
McNeil knows how to take advantage of an opportunity.
Presented with short fields and turnovers in the second quarter, the Mavericks capitalized on both and used a suffocating first-half defense to stun Stony Point, 38-28, Friday afternoon at Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex.
The Mavericks (3-5, 2-4 District 13-6A) — who are technically still alive for the postseason but need a miraculous series of events to get there — scored 35 straight points to end the first half and burned enough clock with two long drives in the second half to pull the upset. Sophomore Luke Hutchison threw three touchdown passes, and his older brother, Winston Hutchison, rushed for 179 yards.
Postponed to a 4 p.m. start from Thursday night due to lightning, Stony Point (6-2, 4-2) entered the contest looking to bounce back from its first loss of the year and improve its potential playoff position, while McNeil had lost its first four district games before topping winless Leander last week.
But the first half played out nothing like the teams’ records would indicate.
The Mavericks trailed 6-0 after Stony Point’s Kendall Thomas crossed the goal line from the 3 midway through the first quarter, but they immediately answered on J’Marri Perry’s 90-yard kickoff return.
Playing with the wind in the second quarter, McNeil broke the game open with four touchdowns in the final six minutes.
After a punt pinned Stony Point at its own 1, the Mavericks took over at the Tigers’ 10 following a negative 1-yard punt. Three plays later, Luke Hutchison hit Peyton Keily for a 4-yard touchdown.
Forcing a three-and-out, McNeil got the ball back at the Stony Point 45, then scored in two plays when Luke Hutchison connected with Sakiusa Tikoikosov from the 35.
The Tigers fumbled on the ensuing kickoff, and on the next play, Lorenzo Williams recovered a fumble in the end zone after Winston Hutchison had run for 30 yards, then lost the ball after being hit at the 5.
Following another Stony Point three-and-out, the Mavericks got the ball back in Tigers territory, and with 8 seconds left, Luke Hutchison hooked up with Blake Henke on a 23-yard TD pass.
In a span of 5:11, McNeil turned a 7-6 game into a 35-6 lead.
The Tigers got their offense on track in the second half with two short scoring runs by quarterback Kyle Overton and a 67-yard touchdown pass from Overton to Thomas.
But the Mavericks had a nearly eight-minute drive that ended with Johnathan Samaroo 29-yard field goal and another time-consuming drive that put a damper on any Stony Point comeback hopes.
Overton finished with 205 passing yards for the Tigers, who will need at least one more win in their final two games to clinch a playoff spot.