SAN ANTONIO — The Mission Veterans Patriots found themselves in a three-score hole during Friday’s Region IV-5A DII area round matchup against the Marble Falls Mustangs, allowing touchdowns on the Mustangs’ first three drives.

The Patriots buckled down after the slow start, cutting the into the lead on a 63-yard touchdown pass from Ricky Reyna to Enrique Ordaz, while stuffing the Mustangs’ rushing attack.

Still, the Patriots could not overcome their miscues, committing eight penalties, while turning the ball over four times, as Mission Veterans fell to Marble Falls 35-13 on Friday at Heroes Stadium.

“We were moving the ball every possession we had,” Mission Veterans head coach David Gilpin said. “It was first down after first down then we’d shoot ourselves in the foot. The penalties hurt us. It’s a part of the game and we have to deal with it.

“It got us behind the chains a few times. Opportunities for some big plays didn’t develop because of it.”

Mission Veterans’ Enrique Ordaz (18) celebrates his touchdown against Marble Falls during a Region IV-5A DII playoff game Friday at Heroes Stadium in San Antonio. (Joel Martinez | [email protected])

The Patriots offense struggled to finish drives during Friday’s contest, going converting only 42.9% of their third downs, while going 1-for-4 on fourth down.

Reyna finished the game with 235 yards through the air for two touchdowns, while Ordaz reeled in five catches for 96 yards and one score. Senior wideout Marckopolo Cavazos added a late touchdown for the Patriots on a 70-yard catch and run with 1:06 left in regulation.

Mission Veterans quarterback Ricky Reyna (7) passes the ball against Marble Falls during a Region IV-5A DII playoff game at Heroes Stadium on Friday in San Antonio. (Joel Martinez | [email protected])

Defensively, the Patriots buckled down during the third quarter, holding the Mustangs scoreless, before allowing a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns that put the game out of reach.

The Mustangs had three players with over 100 yards on the ground, including a game-high 135 yards and two touchdowns for Robert Adame.

“I feel like we dominated the second and third quarter,” Gilpin said. “Our defense was shutting them down. Offense was moving the ball but we couldn’t sustain a drive. Something would break down. You have to give Marble Falls credit. But I felt like we left a lot of points on the field tonight. You can’t do that in the second round of the playoff against a good football team.”

With that, the Patriots’ season comes to an end with an 8-4 mark, while earning a share of the District 16-5A DII title. Meanwhile, the Mustangs move on to the Region IV-5A DII semifinals, facing off against the Alamo Heights Mules.

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