The Calallen Wildcats beat a determined Robstown Cottonpicker team 35-21 Friday night at Cottonpicker Stadium.
Although the game was already Calallen's, a fumble deep in Wildcat territory with 15 seconds left in the game was recovered by Robstown freshman Adrian Molina who returned it to the Wildcat 2-yard line.
As time expired, Cottonpicker running back Jovan Villanueva scored the final touchdown and Robstown converted the two-point conversion to end the game.
"We got outplayed," said Calallen head coach Phil Danaher. "They played more inspired football, they were hungrier, and they fought for every yard they could get."
Calallen quarterback Jeramie Marek had another productive all-around performance with a rushing touchdown, a passing touchdown, and an interception he made playing defense.
Villanueva had one of his best performances for the Cottonpickers, rushing for more than 100 yards and two touchdowns.
Robstown's defense was on full force in the opening of the game, stopping the Wildcats on fourth down on Calallen's opening possession.
At the Calallen 40-yard line, the Cottonpickers began driving as Villanueva rushed for 23 yards to the 17.
On second-and-goal on the Wildcat 3-yard line, Villanueva punched it in the end zone, giving Robstown a 7-0 lead.
Later in the first quarter, Calallen was at its own 46-yard line on third-and 14 when Marek found an open Hunter Whetsel for a 54-yard touchdown reception.
The Wildcats failed to get the point-after as the Cottonpickers still led, 7-6, at the end of the first quarter.
Early in the second quarter, Calallen got its first lead in the game as Marek scored on a 15-yard touchdown run.
After failing to convert the two-point attempt, the Wildcats were up 12-7.
With nine seconds to go in the first half, Robstown kicker Estuardo Sanchez successfully kicked a 37-yard field goal as the Cottonpickers trailed by only two, 12-10, at halftime.
"We needed to execute better," Danaher said. "Our receivers dropped some passes, and it looked like we weren't ready for this team."
On fourth-and-3 at the Wildcat 38-yard line, Robstown tried to convert on its opening drive of the second half.
Calallen's Bryden McClure sacked quarterback Chris Buentello as the Wildcats got the ball early in the third quarter.
During that drive, the Wildcats were at the Cottonpicker 19-yard line on third-and-11.
Marek threw an interception to Buentello and the Robstown crowd erupted as the Cottonpickers got the ball back.
Back-up quarterback Randy Flores took snaps for Robstown and on third down Flores threw an interception to Marek who returned it to the Cottonpicker 5-yard line.
McClure found the end zone for Calallen from five yards away as the Wildcats increased their lead, 20-10, at the end of the third quarter.
Robstown's Sanchez kicked another field goal, a 33-yard attempt that put the Cottonpickers within a touchdown, 20-13.
On the Robstown 32-yard line, Marek threw a 24-yard pass to receiver Logan Verrett, bringing the ball to the Cottonpicker 8-yard line.
McClure rushed for his second touchdown as the Wildcats locked up the game, 35-13, before Robstown added the final touchdown.
"We weren't really clicking today," Marek said. "Robstown was fired up and ready to play, but you can't complain with a win."
The Wildcats hope to perform better Friday in their final home game of the regular season as they face the Tuloso-Midway Warriors.
"We were too laid back in practice," said linebacker Kris Guerrero said. "Our attitude was too mellow and it wasn't very smart of us to come out and play like this."
The game is Calallen's homecoming and will be played at Wildcat Stadium Friday night at 7:30.