About halfway through the fourth quarter, Marshall junior quarterback Ben Haug found sophomore Logan Deal for a 50-yard touchdown to push Marshall to its first lead of the game. 

Mexico had kept the Owls scoreless for most of the first half, allowing just one early touchdown. The Bulldogs also added points off of a high snap-turned-safety by Haug and went into the locker room at halftime up by 10 points.

But the second half was a different story Friday night in what turned into a 33-19 loss for Mexico.

Marshall scored the only touchdown of the third quarter on a 13-yard pass from Haug to sophomore Axavier Reed. Trying to make up for an unsuccessful PAT attempt from the start of the game, the Owls tried for two but were intercepted in the end zone.

It didn’t stop their momentum, though, and after a field goal by Bulldogs senior Gage Gilmore, Haug threw for a Marshall touchdown to tie the game at 19 early in the fourth.

"Mistakes hurt us,” Mexico coach Steve Haag said. “When you make mistakes, you don’t win football games. Marshall took the momentum and they ran with that momentum.”

Those “mistakes” Haag was hung up on following the game were two turnovers: a fumble and an interception by Marshall sophomore Esvin Umwech near the end of the game.

Haag also counted the Owls’ breakdown of his pass defense as one of those mistakes as well. Marshall sealed its win with another Haug-to-Deal touchdown in the final minutes of the game. Deal was wide open in the end zone.

“For us to be a good football team, we gotta do things right,” Haag said. “I tell my team that all the time: If we make mistakes, we’re not a good football team. Tonight, we made mistakes.”

Mexico was unable to match Marshall’s offense in the second half despite its early lead, which included a touchdown by junior fullback Dante Billups.

“We just didn’t answer,” Haag said.

You could argue the sudden Marshall takeover in the second half had been foreshadowed by a 41-yard touchdown pass from Haug to Deal that was called back for holding.

Haag believes there’s still a lot to learn from the loss.

“We’ve got a young team,” Haug said. “We’ve got young guys out there. They’re learning. They’re gonna get better from each game.”

Mexico’s next game is a home matchup against Clinton, which has yet to score a touchdown this season. The following week Mexico goes on the road to play North Central Missouri Conference rival Hannibal.

There are games coming up for Mexico to win, but Haag doesn’t like to get ahead of himself.

“It doesn’t get any easier in our conference,” he said.