SLATON — Two teams facing each other for the third time in the last year had a hard time keeping their emotions in check Friday night at Tiger Stadium.

Slaton put up 13 first-half points and held off a Brownfield rally in the second half for a 13-12 nondistrict win.

The Tigers improved to 2-0 on the season, while Brownfield, led by Malachi Garcia’s 124 rushing yards, fell to 0-2.

Laz Galindo completed eight of 11 passes for 118 yards for Slaton, and one clutch throw-and-catch with time running out in the game helped the Tigers secure the win.

Galindo hit Quevon McDaniel for 16 yards on a third-down pass play with just over two minutes left in the game to extend Slaton’s final time-killing drive. Earlier in the drive, which began with more than eight minutes left in the game, Galindo picked up four yards on a crucial fourth-and-two play.

“Yeah, it was an ugly win, but what matters is that we found a way to finish the game and get the win,” Galindo said. “We got slapped with a lot of adversity in the game, but we overcame it.”

The two teams combined for 21 penalties, including six 15-yard markoffs for personal fouls or unsportsmanlike conduct. Brownfield and Slaton faced each other twice last year, the second time in the bidistrict round of the 3A playoffs in a 36-28 Slaton win.

Slaton coach Jeff Caffey said he was proud of his team’s resilience in overcoming its 15 penalties, but he said the team will need to improve its focus and discipline.

“It’s hard to find words for what the guys did wrong all night, but we assured them we’re going to work on fixing (the penalties),” Caffey said. “Despite all that, I’m really proud of our guys for finishing the game right and for taking over on that final drive. We had some backup players who had to step up and finish the game, and they did.”

The Tigers struck first, scoring on their first possession on a 56-yard bomb from Laz Galindo to Quevon McDaniel. Slaton extended its lead to 13-0 in the second quarter on a 37-yard touchdown run by tailback Zephron Ortiz.

Brownfield got back in the game with a pair of third-quarter touchdown runs from Malachi Garcia. The first Garcia touchdown capped a drive that was set in motion by an onside kick recovery to start the second half.

Garcia, who completed just three passes on the night, connected with Jaden Martinez on a 30-yard catch over the middle to set up his second touchdown.

Slaton’s Ortiz finished the game with 95 rushing yards on 10 carries, while Galindo added 39 yards on eight carries.

What's next

Brownfield will face Tahoka next week, while Slaton will put its unbeaten record on the line in a nondistrict showdown against undefeated New Deal.

SLATON 13, BROWNFIELD 12

Brownfield;0;0;12;0;—;12

Slaton;6;7;0;0;—;13

First Quarter

SLA — Quevon McDaniel 56 pass from Laz Galindo (kick failed), 4:47

Second Quarter

SLA — Zephron Ortiz 37 run (Tae Thompson kick), 3:34

Third quarter

BRO — Malachi Garcia 2 run (kick failed), 9:36

BRO — Garcia 4 run (run failed), 0:21

TEAM STATISTICS

BRO;SLA

1st downs;14;13

Rushes–yards;34-216;39-220

Passing yards;39;118

Att-Comp-Int;3-16-0;8-11-0

Fumbles-lost;3-2;1-1

Punts;3-25.7;3-26.0

Penalties;6-60;15-115

Individual Statistics:

Rushing: Brownfield, Malachi Garcia 18-124, Jeremiah Mendez 10-65, Richard Piedra 5-27; Slaton, Zephron Ortiz 10-94, Laz Galindo 9-39, Elijah Williams 7-29, Reece Bryant 7-32.

Passing: Brownfield, Malachi Garcia 3-16-0, 39; Slaton, Laz Galindo, 8-11-0, 118.

Receiving: Brownfield, Jaden Martinez 1-30; Slaton, Quevon McDaniel 3-71.