For the first time in 700 days, the Sealy Tiger football team lost a regular-season game.
The Brazosport Exporters took over on their 28-yard line with exactly 6 minutes remaining and made their way into the red zone with time running down only to be called for a false start.
After a 3-yard run from Daraell Preston, the Brazosport field goal team made its way onto the field facing a 4th-and-11 from the Sealy 18-yard line and knocked through a 35-yarder to take a 21-20 lead with 50.3 seconds left.
The Tigers fielded the ensuing kickoff at their 19-yard line and Carter Cryan found Ja'Marris Cotton for a 6-yard hookup but Cryan was sacked then threw incomplete bringing up a 4th-and-7 on the 21-yard line. A 12-yard connection with Draper Parker set Sealy up on the 33 with only seconds remaining.
Cryan escaped the pocket but still couldn't find anyone open and threw it out of bounds, leaving 1.2 seconds on the clock. Flags came flying and the play was announced as intentional grounding, meaning a loss of down and a 10-second runoff with the penalty coming in the final two minutes of the half, ending the contest there.
For the majority of the senior class, it was the first regular-season loss they've experienced in their high school careers and it was also the first loss on the new Mark A. Chapman Field at T.J. Mills Stadium in its second year of operation.
The coaches maintained, however, this isn't the end of the world.
"Sometimes a loss isn't the worst thing but you obviously can't keep losing," said offensive coordinator Chris Carruthers.
"You can learn a lot from a loss, it's not a bad thing, but that means we've got to go to work," head coach Shane Mobley said. "We spent more hours preparing this week than we have in the past and now we have two weeks to prepare for El Campo.
"If you take a loss this early on in the season and you let that keep you down, you won't get out," Mobley continued. "Everyone wants to win so when you don't win you've got to find the good within it."
There were still plenty of positives from both sides of the ball with the passing game clicking on a couple of big plays and the defense keeping the opponents off the board or two quarters.
After the Tigers faced their first deficit of the season following a second-quarter field goal, Cryan lofted a pass for Cotton to run under and take to the house for a 53-yard score although the ensuing point-after try was blocked and taken back for a two-point conversion to make the halftime score 6-5 Sealy.
Cryan found Cotton again with an 18-yard fade to the corner before Hunter Clark found himself all alone with only the goalposts in front of him for the Tigers to take a 20-5 lead going into the final 12 minutes of regulation.
A Preston run from a yard out a minute and a half into the fourth quarter chipped away at the deficit before a double pass made it a 2-point game after an unsuccessful 2-point conversion attempt by the Exporters.
The Sealy offense sputtered with its two other fourth-quarter possessions, punting the ball away both times, ultimately leading to the last-minute field goal that handed the Tigers' their first regular-season defeat since the 53-44 contest in Bay City during the 2017 campaign.
Now, Sealy faces some unfamiliar territory but will have an extra week of preparation and recovery thanks to a bye week leading up to the showdown with El Campo which pulled off a 33-29 win over the winless Fulshear Chargers Friday night.
"Hopefully, it will humble us a little bit because last year was big it was a deal where we did well and so everyone's fired up and that does carry over but at the same time you can get complacent," Mobley added. "As a coach sometimes you can see the work ethics and things like that and I promise you, our kids work harder than any program I've ever been a part of and they are dedicated.
"It's not the effort aspect it's just don't get too comfortable with winning," he continued. "If they don't like this taste, they won't let it happen again. And you don't just walk out onto the field and say this isn't going to happen again; it's how you prepare."