Originally Published: August 25, 2018 11:03 p.m.
SPRING VALLEY — It will take time to pull through its growing pains, but Mayer’s football team should improve steadily as the 2018 season progresses.
A week after succumbing 50-0 to defending 1A state runner-up Superior at home, the Wildcats lost a narrow 28-24 decision to stalwart St. David Friday night, Aug. 24, at Mathern Field.
Mayer, a state playoff qualifier in 2017 that has a greener group this fall, fell to 0-2, while St. David, which didn’t reach state this past season, improved to 2-0.
Offensively for the Wildcats, junior quarterback Garrett Urquides completed 5 of 9 passes for 81 yards and a touchdown, and he had six carries for 78 yards and a TD. On defense, Urquides was responsible for 11 tackles and a sack at defensive end.
After a scoreless first quarter on Friday, tailback Zach Young carried an option pitch from Urquides for a TD, followed by a 2-point conversion, for an 8-0 lead in the second period. The Wildcats held that advantage heading into halftime.
Mayer appeared to be in control in the third quarter after scoring a pair of TDs, snaring a 24-6 lead. However, Young, Urquides and starting linebacker Marcos Leal were all injured by the mid-way point of the period, which paved the way for a St. David comeback.
“We did have control of the game,” Wildcats coach Mike Gutierrez said. “I felt like once we came out and scored a couple [TDs], we were starting to get the momentum our way. A couple injuries happened, and then it just kind of went downhill.”
Each of the three injured players is expected to be OK, Gutierrez said. Urquides absorbed a cleat to the shin and Leal suffered a strained neck, which delayed the game for 45 minutes so that paramedics could tend to him.
The Tigers proceeded to piece together a 22-0 run and they hung on to win late.
“We’re very thin with experienced players,” Gutierrez said of his Mayer team. “We just have to stay positive and kind of build. It might not necessarily turn out in the win column this year, but we’ve just got to stay moving forward. I’ve got to get some of the younger kids some reps so that they’re ready.
“But we’ll keep plugging along and try to get better every week.”
Mayer has a bye week this week before traveling to Joseph City (0-1) on Sept. 7. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
St. David plays its home opener versus NFL YET at 7 p.m. Aug. 31.
Doug Cook is a sports reporter for The Daily Courier. Follow him on Twitter at @dougout_dc. Email him at email@example.com or call 928-445-3333, ext. 2039.