Mariner High rebounded from a tough loss of a week ago to pull out a 20-19 win over host LaBelle on Friday night.
Tailback Chance Reiter (17 carries, 141 yards) scored on a 3-yard run with 3:31 to go and Andrew Kibler capped a big night with the extra point for the victory. He also had field goals of 21 and 36 yards.
That was the only time Mariner led.
“They did a heckuva job tonight,” Mariner coach Travis Smith said. “They’re special kids. We’re happy to get this victory. We really needed it.”
The Cowboys took a 6-0 lead in the opening seconds of the game on a 30-yard interception by Adan Zamarron and a 13-3 lead on a 92-yard kickoff return by La’Travis Williams.
Meanwhile, LaBelle’s defense played bend but don’t break for three-plus quarters.
“Defensively, we played well in spots,” LaBelle coach Chris Siner said. “We gave up a little bit of yards on plays.
“It came down to they made kicks and we didn’t. When you’re a division lower, you have to get all your points.”
Mariner tied the game with 7:19 left on a 2-yard pass from quarterback Cairo Jeunegens to Geovanni Garcia. LaBelle then came back and scored on a well-designed 8-yard pass play from Tyler Burton to Michael Rothenhoefer. That was the Cowboys’ only TD from the offense as the Tritons had another stout defensive effort.
“The defense is going to carry us all season,” said Smith, whose team lost a late lead in a 22-13 defeat against Bishop Verot last week. “We finally put something together on offense. It was good to see the guys show resiliency.”
MARINER 20, LaBELLE 19
M 0 | 6 | 0 | 14 — 20
L 6 | 7 | 0 | 6 — 19
L: Adan Zamarron 30 interception return (kick failed)
M: FG Andrew Kibler 21
L: La’Travis Williams 92 kick return (Jonathan Morales kick)
M: FG Kibler 36
M: Geovanni Garcia 2 pass from Cairo Jeunengens (Kibler kick)
L: Michael Rothenhoefer 8 pass from Tyler Burton (kick failed)
M: Chance Reiter 3 run (Kibler kick)
Rushing – Mariner, Cairo Jeunegens 9-31, Chance Reiter 17-141, Christian Butz 3-1, Eric Preston 7-71, Geovanni Garcia 7-37, Joey Lane 1-minus 3. LaBelle, Zamarron 7-29, Williams 19-63, Maynard Blackmon 4-12, Tyler Burton 3-minus 10.
Passing – Mariner, Jeunegens 3-8-0-25. LaBelle, Tyler Burton 3-7-0-42, Bryce Hall 0-2-1.
Receiving – Mariner, Reiter 2-23, Garcia 1-2. LaBelle, Angel Vargas 1-21, Blackmon 1-13, Rothenhoefer 1-8.