Mavs get well at Pasadena’s expense with 41-7 victory
After getting hammered the last two weeks, Memorial was sorely in need of a confidence builder.
Well, talk about your perfect timing. Walking through the Veterans Memorial Stadium gate just in the nick of time was none other than Pasadena, a club that’s won once in 14 years against the Mavs.
With quarterback Sabian Smith throwing for a pair of touchdowns and rushing for two more, Memorial returned to the win column with an easy 41-7 District 22-6A victory on Homecoming night.
The Mavs finished five of their first six possessions with touchdowns as Memorial improved its overall record against Pasadena to 14-1.
Defensively, twice Memorial prevented Pasadena from finding points when the Eagles were inside the 20-yard line.
“Execution-wise, we did a pretty good job. We’re just trying to get better, trying to throw the ball a little bit better, help us get out of jams and improve our third-down situations. Our intensity level was pretty good. We’re trying to step up our intensity level. Summer Creek and Dickinson will show you those things,” Mavs head coach Chris Quillian said.
Memorial needed just its opening 11 plays of the game to stake the defense to a 13-0 advantage. A seven-play drive created the first touchdown, a Smith pass of 23 yards to Jacob Hadley, who also caught an eight-yard touchdown pass for Memorial’s fifth score.
The Mavs did a nice job of overcoming an eight-yard quarterback sack in that first series that knocked the team out of the red zone. But two plays later, Hadley was catching a pass in the back of the end zone.
A beautiful punt return by Jordan See gave the Mavs a short field for their second score. Needing just 14 yards, Jaylen Beverley scored from three yards out. See also collected an interception in the end zone.
The Mavs would answer Pasadena’s lone touchdown with a two-play, 62-yard touchdown march. Smith displayed how lethal he can be when he puts his track shoes on, using his big build to trek 49 yards for the touchdown.
Beverley gave his teammates a 27-7 halftime lead with a five-yard scoring run as the passing game produced a 34-yard pass Marcos Lomas and a 30-yarder to Joseph Campbell.
Again, the team did a nice job of overcoming adversity when the team was whistled for holding. That forced the abandonment of the running game but the passing game stepped in nicely.
Pasadena struggled terribly with snaps from center all night long. High snaps that forced quarterback Armando Gracia to grab the ball over his head opened the door for sacks or hurried throws.
And then there was the ball that rolled between the punter’s legs, leading to a 31-yard loss and a tackle at the Eagle 1-yard-line. Smith scored the points and Oscar Aguirre kicked the PAT, creating the final score with 9:18 remaining.
As for those two nice defensive stands by Memorial, one had Pasadena on the Mavs’ 18-yard line and a new set of downs and the other was a first down on the 5-yard line in which the Eagles got nothing out of that threat.
“We gotta do better in the red zone. We’ve got to find more points. That’s all it comes down to. We’ll keep working,” said assistant coach David Zapien, who was covering for head coach Jeff Ganske who is in Pennsylvania for a wedding.
Pasadena’s lone score was a Gracia pass to Angel Garibay of 19 yards that made it 13-7 with 11:14 left in the second quarter.
GAME NOTES: Quillian moved within two games of tying John Snelson for most games as Memorial High School’s head coach. Snelson, now at Dickinson, was the Mavs head coach for 68 games. Quillian is now at 66.