COLLEGE STATION — After falling shy of advancing to the Division I championship bracket on Friday at the Texas State 7on7 tournament, Saturday presented a new set of challenges for the Mercedes Tigers in the consolation bracket.
The Tigers would not be denied as they marched their way to the semifinals for a second straight season. However, in the semis, the Tigers fell just short against Hutto 39-32. Hutto went on to win the consolation bracket title with a 41-39 win over San Antonio O’Connor.
Mercedes wrapped up tournament play with a 5-2 overall record and a 3-1 record in the consolation bracket. The Tigers’ offense wracked up plenty of points and held their own with some of the top dogs in the state.
The Tigers began their consolation bracket run with a 32-20 win over El Paso Coronado. In Game 2 they locked horns with Corsicana. Both teams swapped leads until a pick-six put Corsicana ahead 19-14.
Before the first half ended, Tigers QB Marc Ledesma lobbed one up for Ryan Reyes, who climbed the ladder and held on for the score that put Mercedes up 28-19 at the break. Reyes hauled in another score in the second half and Mercedes pulled away for the 47-33 victory.
In the quarterfinals, the Tigers met up with Lufkin and gutted out a 27-21 win putting them in the semifinals.
The Tigers jumped out to a 13-6 lead in the semis, but Hutto tied the game twice in the first half and in the second half took a slim 33-26 lead. Mercedes tried battling back, but a late Hutto pick-six sealed the win for the Hippos.
“It was a great tournament overall and another great experience for us,” said Roger Adame III. “Today’s one-and-done scenario helped us because that’s what the playoffs will be like. We know what to expect when we come up here, it’s the best of the best and as a senior this was my last tournament so I’m just thankful for my team and all the support we have gotten.”