Matanzas rallied from a third quarter deficit to take the lead Friday night against Pedro Menendez, but as the rain began to fall, the Pirates coughed up costly turnovers, eventually losing 27-23 in the District 4-5A opener.
Iann Hubs connect on three field goals in the first half for Matanzas, but the Pirates trailed 15-9 at half time. On the first drive of the second half, Pedro Menendez (1-2, 1-0 District 4-5A) marched 75 yards to take a 21-9 lead.
Then, the Matanzas offense began to click.
With 7:35 to go in the third quarter, Matanzas quarterback Jeremiah Wilson found Marquese Jones down the right sideline for a 47-yard touchdown pass.
After forcing Pedro Menendez to punt on its next drive, running back De’Undre Lumpkins took the handoff on the first play of the ensuing Pirates drive and scampered 41 yards to give Matanzas its first lead of the night, 23-21, with 5:18 left to go in the third quarter.
Lumpkins continued to impress, breaking the 100-yard mark for the second straight game. He had 12 carries for 126 yards with one touchdown and one fumble lost.
With 2:09 to go in the third, Pedro Menendez responded, scoring on a two-yard touchdown run to give the Falcons the lead for good, 27-23.
As the third quarter came to a close, the rain began to fall.
The Pirates managed to mount a few drives in the fourth quarter, but sloppy playing conditions led to a Matanzas fumble with 6:07 to go.
The Pirates defense stiffened, though, and gave the offense one last shot.
With 3:02 left on the game clock, Matanzas took over at its own 25-yard line. But on the first play, Wilson threw an interception on a streak route up the left side.
Wilson finished the game 7-for-11 for 90 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
Defensively, Zack Gonzales led the Pirates with seven solo tackels, four assists and three tackles for loss.
The loss puts Matanzas (1-3, 0-1 District 4-5A) in a tough spot in the district heading into the bye week — a similar situation the Pirates faced last year and one coach Keith Lagocki said earlier this week that he wanted to avoid.
For more coverage, see Wednesday's edition of the Palm Coast Observer.