Football wins season opening game against Concordia Lutheran


Daniel Hrachovy

Head Coach Kevin Veltri celebrates his first win with the Mavericks.

With a steadfast goal line defense trying to protect an 8-point lead, a clock malfunction gave the Concordia Lutheran Crusaders an extra opportunity in the waning seconds of the season opening game at Skip Lee Field.

For eight stressful seconds, the roaring student section was so loud that the noise led to a false start penalty that helped the Mavericks secure a 21-13 victory.

“There were a hundred kids screaming,” captain Cameron Mudd said. “The student section can actually cause penalties if they’re loud enough. In the most crucial moment of the game, that helped us win.”

In the final moments of the game, Concordia ran eight plays inside the red zone. With every play came the false hope that the game was over. With eight seconds remaining, the Crusaders failed to score on a third-and-goal situation, which should have been the last play of the game. However, when the scoreboard clock failed to start at the beginning of the play, the officials reset the clock to two seconds, allowing the Crusaders to run another play.

“There was a moment when everyone began celebrating what we thought was a victory,” captain Stuart Wallace said. “I even hugged the coaches, but then we had to go back on the field.” 

This wasn’t the first time there was drama in the fourth quarter against the Crusaders.

In the first game of the 2018 season, quarterback Wesley Gow tore his ACL late in the fourth quarter, ending his senior season. The injury forced backup quarterback George Caldwell into a varsity game for the first time.

“It definitely meant more to our team, especially to me, that this was the team we played against when we lost our captain,” Caldwell said.


The first game of the 2019 season didn’t start smoothly for new head coach Kevin Veltri. The Crusaders took the lead on a 55-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, and the Mavericks fumbled the ball shortly after. 

The coaching staff made the necessary adjustments to the offensive game plan that turned the game around. Junior running back Landon McKelvey scored on a 7-yard run, and then senior cornerback Peter Cannon ended a threat by intercepting the Crusaders in the end zone just before halftime.

“Coach Veltri studied their film before the game and knew how Concordia would respond to certain formations,” Caldwell said. “He really made some good calls resulting in big-time touchdowns.” 

In the third quarter, Caldwell hit senior wide receiver Lucas Desjardins, who had escaped one-on-one coverage, for an 84-yard touchdown. The Crusaders responded with a 17-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, but Cannon blocked the extra point that would have tied the score.

The Mavs capped their scoring when Caldwell hit Desjardins again for a 29-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. Caldwell finished the game with 287 passing yards, and Desjardins finished his big game with four catches for 172 yards and two touchdowns.

“The first game is always a test of a team’s character,” Caldwell said. “You can play each other in practice; you can play scrimmages, but it’s not until the first game that you see how our team responds to true adversity. And we came out strong and resilient.”

The Mavs will play Second Baptist on Sept. 6 at 7:00 at Eagle Stadium.