If Malakoff’s Everardo Garcia felt the pressure of the moment, he sure didn’t show it.
Garcia drilled a 29-yard field goal in overtime to give his team a 37-34 win over Cameron Yoe in the Class 3A-Division I quarterfinals on Friday night, ending a back-and-forth battle in the pouring rain from start to finish.
Malakoff (14-0) advances to play Yoakum in the semifinals. Cameron Yoe (11-3) saw its season end after finishing as state runner-up in 2015 and missed out on the state semifinals for the first time in five years.
Cameron Yoe turned the ball over on four downs on its only overtime possession.
“I felt a lot of excitement when I went out there,” Garcia said. “I was nervous, honestly, but I was excited that I had a shot to win the game for us. I had a kick blocked earlier in the game so I wanted to make up for that.”
It was a game full of twists and turns from the start.
Malakoff scored on its first possession, eating up a big chunk of the field with a 48-yard pass from Judd Miller to Q.T. Barker and finishing the drive off with a 6-yard touchdown run by Miller for a 6-0 lead with 9:32 left.
Cameron Yoe tied the score on a 16-yard touchdown pass from Zack Andress to Sicory Smith with 6:46 left in the first quarter, with Smith hitting two spin moves on his way to the end zone.
After the Yoemen recovered a Malakoff fumble on the next possession, Andress was picked off by Malakoff’s Tyler Russell in the end zone on 3rd-and-1 and Barker took the next play from scrimmage 62 yards to the house, catching a screen pass and outrunning the Yoemen’s defense for a 13-6 lead.
Cameron Yoe tied the score 13-13 on its own screen pass-and-run, this one a 42-yard touchdown by Jordan Wells, but Breashawn Williams gave Malakoff a 20-13 lead on a 41-yard touchdown run with 4:56 left in the second quarter.
The teams traded blows the entire second half, with Cameron Yoe tying the score on a 4-yard touchdown run by Nico Vargas, then taking a 27-20 lead on a 26-yard touchdown pass from Andress to Iverson with 5:52 left in the third quarter after Malakoff fumbled away the kickoff.
Malakoff answered right back with a 95-yard touchdown pass from Miller to Jaquaylon Hart to cut Cameron Yoe’s lead to 27-26. The Yoemen went up 34-26 on a 33-yard touchdown pass from Andress to Westbrook.
Malakoff tied the game and forced overtime with 5:00 left on a 13-yard pass from Miller to Russell, with the duo connecting again on the two-point conversion.
Cameron Yoe turned the ball over four times.
“I thought our kids played their hearts out, but four turnovers is just too much,” Cameron Yoe coach Tommy Brashear said. “Especially against a great team like that. Tip our caps to Malakoff, because they played a heck of a game tonight.
“I feel awful for our seniors, because this is it for them. Their goal and our goal as a team was to win a state title and they came up short, so it’s hard to see them end it like this.”
Andress completed 17 of 35 passes for 213 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions — two by Russell. Miller was 12-of-24 passing for 277 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Barker led all players with five catches for 122 yards.