The explosiveness of Morton Ranch quarterback Jaymarcus Wilson, along with that of fellow skill position players Jaelon Moorehead, Josh Gaton and Devin Winfield, were on display Friday, Oct. 4, as the Mavericks answered an early 10-point deficit against Cinco Ranch with 41 unanswered points en route to a 41-10 win at Rhodes Stadium.
While it was a less-than-stellar Homecoming game for the Cougars, it was another statement game by the junior Wilson, who had two touchdowns on the ground and one through the air. Wilson started the season as a defensive back, the position he’s still listed as on the team’s roster, but was moved to quarterback in Week 2.
The win pushed the Mavericks to 4-2 overall, 1-1 in District 19-6A, while Cinco Ranch dropped to 0-6, 0-2.
Morton Ranch coach Ron Counter said they needed Wilson’s energy for a charged-up Cinco Ranch team in the game’s first 20 minutes.
“It was Cinco’s Homecoming, and I thought they came out very competitively,” Counter said. “I thought their kids played really well, and they showed up ready to play. We didn’t show up ready to play, and you saw what happened.”
The Cougars took a 3-0 lead with 2:34 left in the first quarter on a 25-yard field goal by senior Roger Sanguinetti. The kick was set up by a 37-yard trick play: quarterback Evan Dunn threw what looked like a screen behind him, along the sideline to wideout Thomas Pursley, but Pursley then threw the ball forward to Dunn, who ran along the opposite sideline.
It seemed like Cinco Ranch had a little Homecoming magic working in its favor when it scored its touchdown with 5:25 left in the first half. Carson King, a team captain, defensive back and holder, was able to field a low snap on a field goal attempt and hit fullback Lane Staton as he leaked out from the formation for a 16-yard score.
However, that was the last bright spot for Cinco Ranch, as Wilson and the offense established their footing to take the lead by the end of the half.
On the next drive following Staton’s score, Wilson had a 35-yard carry that set up his own 11-yard quarterback draw for a touchdown with 3:13 left in the second quarter.
After forcing a three-and-out, the Mavericks took possession again with 1:25 left in the half. After two runs by Morton Ranch for no gain, Cinco Ranch called a timeout with 1:10 left, hoping to get a stop and a punt return after a third-and-10 play.
Instead, Wilson hit Gaton along the sideline for 28 yards and then in the slot for 11 yards. With the clock continuing to run and Morton Ranch out of timeouts, Wilson kept the ball on an option play, cutting through defenders in the middle of the field, for a 34-yard touchdown and a 14-10 lead with 14 seconds left before halftime.
Counter said he had faith that the offense would right itself if given the opportunity.
“We just had to settle down and make plays,” he said in a postgame interview with Wilson, squeezing his signal-caller on the shoulder as he spoke. “The offense was struggling there a little bit in the first quarter, but we settled down, and this guy here (Wilson) is making all sorts of plays for us. He’s doing a great job.
“We thought he’d be our quarterback next year as a senior, but I’ve been telling him for two years … that we’ve got him in our back pocket.”
Wilson said he played quarterback a bit his freshman year and in junior high, but logged most of his time as a defensive back his sophomore year, the start of this season and during the offseason.
“I was working as a defensive back and working on my backpedaling, because I didn’t think I was ever going to get to play quarterback,” Wilson said, laughing. “You’ve got to have those quick feet, and I played quarterback in junior high, which helped.”
Jaymarcus Wilson had 3 touchdowns - 2 on the ground, 1 in the air - in Morton Ranch's 41-10 win. He talks about what went on the huddle when they were down 10-0, and about his TD run at the end of the 1st half. pic.twitter.com/Rv16OZ76mS— Katy Times Sports (@KatyTimesSports) October 5, 2019
In the second half, Morton Ranch controlled the clock with runs by Wilson, Moorehead and Winfield. The trio combined for 41 carries and 275 yards, including a 6-minute, 30-second drive in the fourth quarter that ended in a touchdown.
Wilson and Moorehead each had two rushing touchdowns.
With the running game working in the second half, it opened up the passing game for Wilson and Gaton. Wilson finished 10-for-12 passing with 135 yards and a touchdown. That score was caught by Gaton on a 39-yard fly route.
Gaton finished with eight catches for 113 yards.
“We work really hard in practice, and it’s paying off in games,” Wilson said of his chemistry with Gaton, adding that he thinks he can continue to improve his pocket quarterbacking skills. “I think I can improve on my footwork and my arm, getting better on that.”