The Glen Rose Tigers (0-3) lost more than a game Friday night.
Despite being in a good situation to take a late lead, a missed extra point and two failed two-point attempts were the difference as the Tigers fell 25-27 at Mineral Wells.
"Mineral Wells is a very good team," said Glen Rose head coach Tommy Dunn. "Remember they played a close game with the No. 4 team in the state last week. They are very talented with a lot of speed, and I thought we did a great job of playing with them.
"Our defense was outstanding in the first half (holding Mineral Wells to seven points)," he added. "No one is complaining about the effort. These kids have a lot of heart and they're going to keep getting after it."
After the loss, however, another loss was just around the corner.
Senior quarterback Frank Brandenburg will have surgery in the coming weeks to repair a break in his wrist, likely ending his season and Glen Rose career.
"It happened during the game apparently," said Dunn. "He started feeling some pain after the game and he went and had it looked at. The doctors said it is possible to return this season, and he's keeping his hopes alive.
"He's been a great leader and has worked extremely hard," he added. "He's still a part of this team. I'm going to put him to work on the sidelines and he's going to help us win football games."
Friday's game began as a defensive battle.
After forcing a three-and-out, the Tiger offense took over at their own two.
On the second play of the series, Brandenburg attempted a pass to Colton Bretton up the seam. Bretton bobble the ball in tight coverage before eventually dropping the pass.
A questionable call by the back judge ruled the incompletion a fumble, giving Mineral Wells the ball on the 37-yard line.
The Glen Rose defense still wouldn't break.
Blake Eschbach picked off QB Hunter McCoy for Eschbach's first interception of the season, giving the Tiger offense new life.
With just under three minutes left in the first quarter, Brandenburg was picked off by Adrian Colbert, who took the INT to the house for six points. Fortunately, a Ram penalty brought the score back and the Rams eventually turned it over on downs.
Mineral Wells finally broke the Tiger D with a 23-yard touchdown run by Colbert with 8:19 left in the first half. Gilbert Castorena hit the point after for a 7-0 Ram lead.
With 4:12 left, Glen Rose strung together 10 plays to set up first-and-goal from the Ram 10-yard line.
After a Brandenburg incompletion, Cody Burtscher ran it to the one with two plays to get it in. The Ram defense came up with stops on the next two runs to keep the Tigers from tying it before halftime.
Out of the break, the Tiger offense came to life.
Glen Rose opened the new half with a 10-play, 3:32 drive that was capped off by an 18-yard run by Brandenburg. The drive was saved by a third down run by Burtscher on the Tigers' own 37-yard line.
Mineral Wells answered when A.J. Poole broke free on a sweep and was off to the races on a 41-yard touchdown run to regain the Ram lead.
On the next drive, Glen Rose converted three third downs and a fourth down - a completion to Justin Weatherley, who held on after Colbert tipped the pass - en route to their second scoring drive of the game - this one lasting 5:48 and 15 plays.
Glen Rose couldn't convert on the point after kick, bringing the score to 13-14.
Mineral Wells broke free for runs of 13, 23 and nine yards to add another score on the ensuing possession. The point after was blocked, bringing the Tiger deficit to seven at 13-20.
Glen Rose scored on their third straight possession after a 46-yard completion to Weatherley set up a three-yard run by Burtscher.
Despite trailing by an extra point, Glen Rose went for the lead with a QB sneak that was stopped short. The Tigers remained behind 19-20.
"I went for that for a couple of reasons," said Dunn. "First, our kicker was still a little upset. He's a young kid and this was the first time he had missed (an extra point). I didn't want to put that kind of pressure on him, so we decided to try to catch the defense off guard.
"Also, we had the momentum in our favor at the time," he continued. "It was risky, but it would have been a big momentum shift for us if we converted. (Mineral Wells) made a good play."
Mineral Wells scored once more to lead 27-19 with 4:54 left in the game.
Weatherley set up another score with his third big catch of the contest - a 24-yard reception on third down - which led to a five-yard option pass from Austin Gibson to Tyler Linderman.
This two-point conversion also failed as Colbert played tight coverage on Weatherley in the end zone.
Glen Rose forced a punt, giving the offense one final chance with 1:30 left and 83 yards to cover.
The two-minute offense sputtered, as the Tigers only managed 28 yards before Brandenburg had to tuck and run on the final play of the game.
Brandenburg was 20-38 passing for 256 yards and an interception. The senior also just missed the century mark in rushing with 99 yards and a score on 16 carries.
The QB's favorite target was Weatherley who snagged six passes for 100 yards, while Burtscher and Linderman each caught four passes for 59 and 39 yards, respectively.
Burtscher did top the century plateau with 122 rushing yards and two scores on 16 trips.
The junior running back was expected to be hindered with a hamstring injury.
"Cody played great," said Dunn. "We were trying to limit him, and we're still going to limit him and watch him closely. He was able to play a little more than expected and really stepped up for us."
Thomas Simpson ran the ball 10 times for 51 yards.
On defense, the Tigers were led by Adam Rios with 13 tackles while Burtscher and Ben Munguia made 11 stops each. Munguia had one for a loss.
Ian Valdez (10) and Jared Thames (9) were also top tacklers.
Glen Rose hosts former district foe Gatesville Friday night with Bretton under center.
"It always hurts to lose your starting quarterback, but the coaches and the team have confidence in Colton to get the job done," said Dunn. "He's a different kind of quarterback, and we're going to have to adjust to that. He a big, intelligent kid with a good arm, and he'll be just fine."
Gatesville, however, is currently riding a two-game win streak over Mexia and Salado.
"They have a new quarterback and he's very athletic," said Dunn. "He's not as good a field general as their last kid, but his athleticism can make up for it at times. They have good athletes and they're big up front."
Kick off is set for 7:30 p.m. at Tiger Stadium.