Marcus Mouro’s father kicked for the Hilmar Yellowjackets, and so did his older brother. So here was the third Mouro – appearing in only his third varsity game – lining up a decisive extra point Friday night in overtime.
Mouro, a sophomore, swung his left leg and packed a family wallop, drilling it straight and true and sending his teammates into a delirious sprint onto the field. Hilmar bused home with a pulsating 43-42 win over Hughson, a victory built on quarterback-receiver chemistry and one mighty gene pool.
Hughson (6-2, 1-2) extended the game when Mouro – after two freezing timeouts by Huskies coach Reyn Franca – mishit a 37-yard field goal on the final play of regulation.
Franca again applied the ice by using his only timeout in OT but, this time, Mouro did not flinch.
“It (calling the timeouts) works against some people,” Mouro said. “I was ready. I had to redeem myself.”
Hilmar (5-3, 2-1) tied the game 42-42 in OT on a nine-yard back-shoulder pass from Daniel Texeira to Alex Chavez, a clutch throw on third down. It preceded Mouro’s game-ending kick and again displayed the amazing chemistry between these two senior stars.
89Total points scored by Hughson the last two games, both resulting in losses
The 6-foot-2 Chavez released from his defender to the outside and, like it was attached to a string, the ball from Texeira was delivered on time. Then again, they’ve played catch together since they were 5.
“We have the connection. I get on my break and I know where the ball will be,” Chavez said. “I know him.”
Texeira and Chavez combined for 11 receptions for 135 yards. But Mouro finished it, leaving one side in joy and the home team in despair. Both displayed a winning effort.
“Two small towns,” Hilmar coach Frank Marques said. “Everything America is all about.”
Hughson took a 42-36 lead on Josh Duron’s third touchdown, a 10-yard rip to the outside on the first play of overtime. The kick was missed, however, and Hilmar soon walked through that open door.
The Huskies must wonder what they’ve done to cross the football gods. They’ve dropped their last two Trans-Valley League games, both in overtime, both by a point.
“The difference between us being in first place and having two losses is two points in two overtimes,” Franca said. “It can’t bounce this way for us again. This hurt.”
Hughson used a gamelong parade of big plays to stay close and finally crept ahead 36-30 with 7:51 left on Walter Fountain’s 20-yard pass to Duron, followed by Fountain-to-Griffin Genzoli for the two-point conversion.
Two small towns. Everything America is all about.
Hilmar coach Frank Marques
A few minutes later, the Huskies appeared to take charge on Fountain’s remarkable tipped-ball interception and 96-yard return to the end zone. The pick-six was called back due to a personal foul, however, and Hilmar turned the break into the tying touchdown by Cody Rentfro.
Both quarterbacks shined. Texeira, willing to scramble from sideline to sideline, passed for 274 yards and four touchdowns and also rushed for 119 yards and a TD.
“I definitely love this game,” Texeira said. “We knew Hughson would be a tough rival and the game would decide playoff spots.”
Fountain answered by passing for 315 yards and five touchdowns, including a 36-yard Hail Mary to Sean Bledsoe to end the first half. Bledsoe sped past the coverage and made the catch at the goal line, beyond the reach of two leaping defenders.
Another TVL classic was decided by a kicker who had not donned helmet and pads before this season.
“Best feeling ever,” Mouro said. “I’m still smiling.”