Tim Griffin and Bill Hilbig Express-News Staff Writer
Publication: San Antonio Express-News
Date: December 22, 1991
New University of Texas coach John Mackovic was an interested spectator, watching most of the game from the press box. Mackovic has found a big interest in Texas football since taking the job two weeks ago.
“I think that overall, our reception has been very positive,” Mackovic said. “We haven’t really had a chance to do too much but hope to keep on working.” Mackovic watched Marshall for the second-straight week after watching the Rams’ victory over Aldine last week in Houston. “We want to get a message to Texas high school coaches and players that we have a strong commitment to building a program primarily with Texas players.”
Mackovic was returning to Texas Stadium after serving as the Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback coach in 1982-83.
“My two years here were two years I wouldn’t trade for 10 years any place else,” Mackovic said. “They were exciting and quite fruitful.” Mackovic met with former Cowboys vice president Tex Schramm for several minutes before the game.
Quite a comeback: Sophomore Odessa Permian running back John Williams completed a remarkable comeback with two second-half touchdowns in Saturday’s game. Williams sustained a broken nose, eight stitches in the forehead and an eye injury in a Thanksgiving evening car accident. He said Saturday’s game was the first time he felt he was at 100 percent. “God was with me to let me get through that,” Williams said. “I feel very fortunate I was able to come back as quickly as I could.” Williams’ TD runs came on touchdowns of 10 and 6 yards, both coming in the third quarter.
Similar offense: Mackovic’s high school team in Barberton, Ohio, ran a similar offense as Marshall’s ground-oriented game. “It’s almost like I’m watching my old offense from 30 years ago,” Mackovic said. “I’m very impressed with how they operate.”
Meeting with the UIL: University Interscholastic League athletic director Bill Farney met briefly after the game with victorious Permian coach Tam Hollingshead. The UIL ruled that Permian could not defend its 199 state title after illegal preseason workouts before last year. “There are no hard feelings between us,” Hollingshead said. “I think Mr. Farney is a great man. I’ve played golf with him in the past. That is over.” Hollingshead said not defending the title was not a motivational tool for his team. “We quit talking about that situation last November,” Hollingshead said.
Payback Tour: Permian fans labeled the Panthers’ latest jaunt through the playoffs their “Payback Tour” in obvious reference to their one-year suspension from postseason play.
Holmes back: The 50 yards Anthony Holmes gained on the Rams’ first drive of the game were more than he gained the entire game against Houston Aldine in the semifinals. Holmes had a total of 47 yards rushing against the Mustangs.
Familiar foes: The last time a San Antonio team reached the state finals was Judson in 1983. Ironically, the Rockets beat another District 4-5A team, Midland Lee, for the title. The score was 25-21.
Perfect first: Marshall kept its perfect first-quarter streak intacted. The Rams did not allow a point in the first quarter all season. Permian’s first touchdown came with 11:50 left in the second quarter.
Television viewers: The game was broadcasted live by 18 television stations in Texas and one in New Mexico. ESPN will rebroadcast the game twice, Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. and Jan. 13 at 2 a.m.
Saving the UIL: The Permian victory saved the UIL the embarrassment of having two third-place teams in their districts win state titles. Killeen, the big 5A champion, was third in District 13-5A while Marshall was third in District 28-5A. Permian was first in District 4-5A.
Bigger regular 5A: This is the second year in a row that the regular Class 5A champion had a larger student enrollment than the big 5A champion. Big 5A champ Killeen has 2,400 students while Permian has 3,000 students. Marshall (Texas), last year’s big 5A champ, had fewer students than regular champion Aldine (1,400 to 2,460).
Northside success: If Marshall had won it would have marked the second Class 5A state title for the Northside School District this year. Jay won the volleyball title in last month.
Re-districting: Bill Farney said Saturday that the UIL will announced its re-districting plan Jan. 30.