Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Mules vs. Kermit Bi-District (11-14-2014)

Mules vs. Kermit Bi-District (11-14-2014)

There are some things one just does not do. Never pull on Superman’s cape, look directly at the Sun or play a football team the second time in a season. But with the Texas State Playoffs taking four teams from each district it is getting harder to avoid playing a team a twice.

The Mules defeated the Kermit Yellow Jackets in September 41-13. The Yellow Jackets had finished the regular season with a 3-7 record and were the fourth place team from District 2-3A Division I with a 2-3 district record.

Jantzen Michel, quarterback for Kermit was the powerhouse that drove the Yellow Jackets. Friday night he rushed 16 times for 96 yards, one touchdown and completed six of 15 passes for 44 yards.

The Mules got off to a sluggish start in the first half. But the Mule defense took over the game after giving up a touchdown on a 55-yard run by Michel with 8:40 remaining in the opening period.

“It is very hard to come down from such an emotional high and then get right back up for another game,” said Mule coach David Wood. “We were wound up tight for Littlefield. Fortunately our defense stepped up and held Kermit down until we could get going.”

“We really did not do anything different in the second half than we did in the first. We were just better focused and put the ball in the end zone. Now that the kids have a taste of the post season I think we will be fine.”

The Mules shook off the adversity and took a 10-7 lead to the locker room at the half. They came back in the second half to score three more times for a final score of 31-7 to win the Bi-District gold ball.

Kermit kicked off into the end zone and the Mules started their first scoring drive from their own 25-yard line. Chamel Regalado and Josh Lopez led Keagan Gonzales wide around the left side for 27 yards and a Mule first down at the Kermit 45.

Isaac Luebanos and Dagen Dunham pulled and blasted a hole in the left side of the Kermit defense for Lopez to race through. Lopez was untouched until he reached the Kermit 12. Before he was finally brought down at the Yellow Jacket one-yard line Lopez was dragging four defenders.

That was the first time the wheels came off for the Mules. A bad snap sent the Mules back 13 yards. Felipe Guerrero had to enter the fray to boot a 27-yard field goal with 5:25 left in the opening quarter. The Mules trailed 7-3.

Kermit returned the ensuing kickoff to the Jacket 30. The Mules gave up one first down before halting Kermit at their 37. The Jackets did not have a complete crew on the field for the punt and a player came running in from the sideline.

The player was still in motion when the ball was snapped. Michel punted the ball and a flag came out. The ball took a Kermit bounce at the Mule 29 and went out of bounds at the Mule 22.

The officials returned the ball up field and marked off five yards against Kermit. Then after a long officials’ conference the ball was moved back down field and spotted at the Mule 19. No explanation was given by the officials.

The Mules moved 20 yards on two plays before the drive stalled. Wes Clarkson punted and the ball was allowed to roll dead at the Kermit 30.

Braden Bessire was blocked from behind and Kermit was penalized 10 yards. Michel tried to scramble wide left and used Bessire’s facemask to keep him from making the tackle. Fifteen more yards were marked off against the Jackets.

Chamel Regalado sniffed out the wide-receiver screen and made the tackle four yards behind the line of scrimmage. Kermit needed 32 yards for a first on third down. Michel gained 13 yards before Tony Vasquez tackled him.

Michel’s punt went almost straight up and the Mules allowed the ball to roll dead at the Kermit 29. It was a seven-yard punt.

Keagan Gonzales followed Lopez through a hole in the left side of the defense for five yards. Lopez then banged through the right side for three yards to the Kermit 21. Gonzales faked to Lopez but pulled the ball and scooted 11 yards before being touched.

He dragged a defender 10 yards to the end zone to put the Mules on top to stay. Guerrero tacked on the point after to give the Mules a 10-7 lead with 10:07 remaining in the first half.

The Mules had one other opportunity to score in the first half but misfortune struck again. The Mule defense held Kermit to three-and-out. The Jacket punt rolled dead on the Mule 38.

Lopez scooted up field for eight yards. Gonzales gained 12 yards to reach the Kermit 42. Vasquez ran a slant and Gonzales delivered the ball for a 23-yard gain. Regalado bubbled back on the snap of the ball and snagged Gonzales pass at the Kermit 20.

Regalado scooted to the Kermit 10 and appeared to be on his way to a touchdown. But the slick long handles he was wearing caused him to lose his grip and the ball came free. Kermit recovered the loose ball on the Mule nine.

The Mules had one last opportunity to score before the first half ended. Lopez caught a screen pass and raced 21 yards to the Kermit 15. The Mule offense stalled and Guerrero missed a 41-yard field goal attempt.

The Mules put the adversity of the first half behind them and scored three times in the second half.

The Mules strung together 15-plays for an 87-yard scoring drive. The drive contained two plays of 10-yards each and one for 20 yards. Cristian Paez followed Issac Acosta and Dunham through the right side and cut wide right to the Kermit seven. Gonzales scored his second of three rushing touchdowns from one-yard out. Guerrero’s PAT gave the Mules a 17-7 lead with 6:12 left in the third period.

Kermit got a big return on the ensuing kickoff. The Mules were also penalized for a hit out of bounds to move the Jackets to the Mule 30. Kermit gained a first down and reached the Mule 17 before stalling. The Mules took over on downs.

It took the Mules nine plays to travel the 83 yards. Lopez followed Dustin Smith and Triston Boehning through a hole in the left side of the defense. Lopez was untouched on the 11-yard touchdown run. Guerrero added the point after with a little over 11 minutes left in the game. The Mules led 24-7.

The Mules added a one-final score after Saul Sanchez got a hand on the flea-flicker pitch from Cris Stallings to Michel. Sanchez chased down the loose ball at the Kermit 12. Lopez gained 10 yards on first down and Gonzales punched the ball in from one-yard out. Guerrero added the final point with 9:13 left in the game.

The Mules rolled up a total of 487 yards of offense. They rushed for 384 yards and passed for 103. Josh Lopez carried 20 times for 164 yards and one score. He caught a two passes for 39 yards. Keagan Gonzales rushed 24 times for 159 yards and three touchdowns.

Cristian Paez carried three times for 31 yards, Evan Paez rushed twice for nine yards and Jason Florez ran once for 22 yards. 

Gonzales also completed six of 13 passes for 86 yards. Saul Sanchez completed two of three passes for 26 yards. Tony Vasquez caught one pass for 23 yards, Cristian Paez made one reception for 27 yards and Josh Lopez caught two passes for 39 yards. Jason Florez had two catches for 11 yards and Tony Castillo had one reception for three yards.

The Mule defense gave up 131 yards rushing and 49 yard passing for a total of 180 yards. The Yellow Jackets only gained 16 yards rushing and 18 yards passing in the second half.

Javy Perez led the Mule defense with 11 tackles, one being for a loss and broke up a pass. Chamel Regalado finished with 10 tackles with two being for losses. Ryder White also made 10 tackles.

Dominik Hasley made nine stops, had a quarterback hurry, caused a fumble and made two tackles on special teams. Dagen Dunham had seven tackles, with one being for a loss and hurried the quarterback twice. Jorge Martinez made three special teams tackles.

The Mules will travel to Snyder to play the Breckenridge Buckaroos. The Buckaroos held on to defeat Clyde in the Bi-District round and are 6-5 on the season.

“Breckenridge is better than their 6-5 record would indicate,” stated Coach Wood. “They played a very tough schedule. The are a big strong fast team that want to power the ball straight up the field. We will have our work cut out for us.”

The game is scheduled for Thursday night at 7:00 PM in the Snyder High School Tiger Stadium. Admission is $5.00 for adults and $3.00 for students. The Mules are the home team.               

9th L.Mules vs. Hereford (11-15-2014)

9th L.Mules vs. Hereford (11-15-2014)

The freshmen Lady Mules spotted the Hereford Herd seven points early in the first period. Cassidy Cage finally broke the scoring ice by driving the baseline for a basket. Lily Barrera made a free throw in the frame and the Lady  Mules trailed 13-3 at the quarter break.

The Lady Mules waked up and the battle was even through the next three periods. Despite battling back to lead 20-17 at the half the Lady Mules fell to the Herd 40-30.

Barrera was fouled shooting in the lane and made both charity tosses. She added three more baskets in the quarter. Brianna Barron drove the lane for her first points of the season and finished the quarter with a break-away lay up when she went coast-to-coast.

The Herd out scored the Lady Mules 13-5 to reclaim the lead for good in the third quarter. Hereford added 10 points in the final frame to only five for the Lady Mules

Barrera led the Lady Mules with 12 points with six being from the free-throw line. Noa Rojas and Barron added six points each. Val Ambriz and Cage dropped in three points apiece.

The Lady Mules opened district action Monday when they hosted the Dimmitt Bobbies. The Lady Mules will tangle with the Anton JV Lady Dawgs Friday evening.  

Lady Mules vs. Bushland & Brownfield (11-10&15-2014)

Lady Mules vs. Bushland & Brownfield (11-10&15-2014)

The Lady Mules tipped off their 2014-2015 basketball season with a 74-69 overtime win over the Bushland Falcons on Monday evening. Attempting to fit basketball games with the Texas State Playoffs in both football and volleyball still taking place is quite a feat.

The Brownfield Lady Cubs are preseason favorites in many polls and visited the Lady Mules Saturday morning. The Cubs out muscled the Lady Mules 50-36 to even the Lady Mules’ season at 1-1.

Daniela Diaz caught fire in the opening period against Bushland by making her first two free throws of the season. She was fouled driving in for a lay up and made both charity shots just 28 seconds into the new season to tie the game at 2-2.

D. Diaz finished a fast break with Sadie Sudduth feeding her the ball. The Falcons made the first 3-pointer of the game but Sa. Sudduth and D. Diaz both answered with trey each to put the Lady Mules in front 10-5 a minute and half into the first quarter.

Both teams were able to put up points as the time ticked away in the opening frame. But the Lady Mules Run-n-Gun offense out paced the Falcons 24-14 with D. Diaz pumping in 12 points that included a pair of treys.

The second period was not the finest eight minutes for the Lady Mules as Bushland came roaring back with the first 13 points of the quarter. D. Diaz finally broke the scoring run with a driving lay up from the left wing. The Lady Mules trailed 27-26 with 2:52 remaining in the first half.

Sasha Esparza put back an offensive rebound and Conley Niblett made two free throws as time wound down. Bushland led 31-30 at the intermission.

Sydnie Sudduth drained a 3-pointer early in the third quarter to keep the Lady Mules in the game. The Falcons poured in three treys to out score the Lady Mule 15-12 in the third quarter to build a seven point lead with just over a minute left in the third quarter.

D. Diaz sank a shot from outside the arc and finished a fast break to trim the Falcon margin to 46-42 with the final eight minutes remaining to be played.

Sa. Sudduth hit from the elbow on an inbound play to start the final quarter. Reagan Reynolds stuck back an offensive rebound to tie the game at 46-46 with 30 seconds gone in the fourth quarter.

Sy. Sudduth nailed a trey to put the Lady Mules in front and Niblett drove the baseline for a hoop to give the Lady Mules a 53-48 cushion. A pair of free throws by Sa. Sudduth pushed the Lady Mule lead to 57-52.

The Falcons would not go away and sank a trey with 48 seconds on the clock to take a 61-60 lead over the Lady Mules. Niblett was fouled pulling down an offensive rebound. The Lady Mules were in the double bonus and Niblett made one of two from the line to tie the game and send it to overtime.

D. Diaz passed to Niblett on a fast break and she laid the ball up for a hoop to break the tie in the extra period. The Falcons made a trey to take a one-point lead with three minutes left in the bonus period. That was the final lead the Falcons would see.

Sy. Sudduth drove to the hoop, scored and was fouled. She completed the old-fashion three-point play by making the free throw. The Lady Mules made nine of 11 free throws in the extended period to secure the win.

D. Diaz paced the Lady Mules with 23 points that included three 3-pointers. Niblett made eight charity tosses in making her 17 points. Sa. Sudduth made seven of her 13 points in the opening period.

Sy. Sudduth made two treys for her 11 points. Reynolds and Esparza added four points each. Yvonne Diaz made three free throws in the overtime period for her three points.

Saturday morning was different story for the Lady Mules. It seemed as if each time they attempted to run a Brownfield Lady Cub was in their path. The Lady Mules got off to a slow start and trailed 24-13 at the intermission.

The Lady Mules point production picked up in the third quarter but the Cubs managed to maintain their 11-point advantage in the third quarter and built it to 14 before the game ended.

Niblett led the Lady Mules against the Cubs with 11 points of which 10 came in the final two quarters. Sy. Sudduth finished with 10 points and Diaz added seven. Sa. Sudduth dropped in four points, Y. Diaz and Shenice Rosas chipped in two points each.

The Lady Mules traveled to Morton Tuesday to battle the Maiden. The Lady Mules are scheduled to return home on Friday to host the Anton Lady Dawgs. 

JV L.Mules vs. Bushland & Brownfield (11-10&16-2014)

JV L.Mules vs. Bushland  & Brownfield (11-10&16-2014)

The JV Lady Mules with stood a barrage of 3-pointers by the Bushland Falcons in the opening period. Defense became the Lady Mules strength as they held the Falcons to single digit production in the final three periods.

The Lady Mules defeated Bushland 57-31 in their season opener Monday evening.

“It was an awesome first game for our JV girls,” said Lady Mule coach Edie Niblett. “We played great defense and our offense had opportunities abound all night. This is a fun group of ladies and I am looking forward to a great season.”

The results were no different in Saturday morning’s game as the Lady Mules hosted the Brownfield Lady Cubs. The pace was not as fast, the production was not as high and the Lady Mule foul count was minimal as they caged the Cubs 26-17.

“Oh my, not sure, but I'm going to say our girls cheered so hard at the football game and they were really tired,” continued Coach Niblett. “We did come away with the win no matter how it looked. The girls never quit trying and it worked in our favor.”

Marissa Reyes scored on an inbound play from the sideline ten seconds into the game. The basket put the Lady Mules on top early. Hallie Myatt, Brittney Mendoza and Desi Gutierrez all scored to extend the Lady Mule lead to 8-2 three minutes into the game.

The first of three treys by the Falcons swished through the net and by the time the first quarter ended the Falcons led 15-13.

Reyes worked her way into the paint and put back her own shot to tie the game as the second period began. The Lady Mules seemed to have clamped a lid on the Falcon basket and only gave up six points in the second period.

Jasmine Garza got hot in the second period and out scored the Falcons. She made three hoops and free throw. Mendoza nailed the Lady Mules only 3-pointer of the game with 5:25 remaining in the first half. The Lady Mules put 10 points between them and the Falcons with a 31-21 lead at the intermission.

The Lady Mules only backed off a bit in the third and fourth quarters making 13 points each period.

Mendoza set the Lady Mule scoring pace with 17 points. Garza was just one point behind at 16 points. Karla Bustillos added eight points and Reyes dropped in six points. Yasmine Sandoval made four points. Gutierrez, Myatt and Marilyn Melendez chipped in two points each. 

Reyes scored in the lane to start the first period against Brownfield. It was the Lady Mules only two points of the period. The Cubs could only score one hoop as the period ended in a 2-2 tie.

Myatt scored early in the second period to double up on the Cubs. Mendoza put back an offensive rebound. Myatt made a cross-lane pass to Mendoza standing on the block. Mendoza turned and scored. Garza followed the fast break down the floor and put back the miss for a 10-4 Lady Mule lead at the half.

Garza scored in the paint to start the second half. Melendez passed Bustillos the ball on the base line. Bustillos drove to hoop to increase the Lady Mule lead to 14-4. Bushland scored twice before the quarter ended to trail 14-9.

Gutierrez picked a Cub’s pocket and passed to Mendoza racing down the floor. She laid the ball up and in for a hoop. A pair of treys in the final frame trimmed the Lady Mule win to nine points.

Garza led the Lady Mules with 10 points. Reyes added six points and Mendoza dropped in four. Gutierrez, Bustillos and Myatt chipped in two points each.

The Lady Mules traveled to Morton Tuesday to play the Morton Maidens before playing in the Hale Center Owl Tournament November 20-22.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Mules vs. Littlefield (11-7-2014)

Mules vs. Littlefield (11-7-2014)

When the Mules and Wildcats of Littlefield play football it is known as the ‘War on 84’. The 2014 chapter of the on going saga certainly lived up to all the hype that surrounded the game during the week prior to Friday night.

The District 1-3A Division I Championship was on the line as well as the number one seed for the Texas State Playoffs.

There were seven lead changes during the 48 minute contest with the final one coming with just 24 seconds left on the clock in Wildcat Stadium. Littlefield had scored with eight minutes and 38 seconds remaining in the game to take a 27-26 lead over the Mules. The Wildcats’ 2-point conversion attempt failed when the Mules stopped replacement slot back, Shawn Cristian, inches short of the goal line.

The Mules used 10 plays to march from the Mule 28 to the Littlefield 32 burning time off the clock following the Wildcat kickoff. The handoff from Mule quarterback, Keagan Gonzales, to running back, Josh Lopez, went awry and the ball was on the turf. Several players attempted to cover the loose ball before a Wildcat managed to scoop it from the turf and reached the Mule 45-yard line before being tackled.

You could have almost heard a pin drop in the visitors’ stands while the home Wildcat stands were exploding. But the jubilation was short lived for Littlefield as the Wildcats’ quarterback, Bryson Calloway, and tailback, Dontra Ewing, fumbled the handoff on first down. Saul Sanchez was there to claim it for the Mules at the Littlefield 46.

The Mules resumed their drive with about two minutes left in the game. Gonzales picked up a first down on a 14-yard run up the middle to the Wildcat 29. Misfortune again seemed to visit the Mules as they only gained one yard on three plays.

Needing nine yards on fourth down Jason Florez raced down field for 10 yards and cut to the Mule sideline. Gonzales zipped him the ball just before Florez stepped out of bounds at the Littlefield 18.

Chamel Regalado lined up immediately behind the Mules’ left tackle. Normally a sniffer-back is used for a blocker but this time Regalado ran a pass route straight down field. Gonzales faked a handoff to Lopez to freeze the linebackers and Regalado broke in the open at the Wildcat 10 to make a one-handed grab of  Gonzales’ pass. He drove forward to the one-yard line before being tackled.

Gonzales took the deep snap with time running down, side stepped a blitzing linebacker and found a hole the left side of the Mule line had opened in the Wildcat defense. He flashed through the opening to score with 24 seconds left in the game.

Gonzales is the holder on the extra-point kicks but the Mules ran a fake and Gonzales ran the ball in the end zone for the two-point conversion to secure the 34-27 win for the Mules.

The excitement did not end there because the Mules still had to kickoff and the Wildcats had 24 seconds for their offense.

Felipe Guerrero kicked the ball high to the Wildcat 30. The return man caught the ball, turned and pitched the ball back to Ewing, a speedster moving to Littlefield from Dimmitt a year ago. Ewing raced straight ahead to the Littlefield 39.

The Mules were called for pass interference on first down and the 15-yard penalty advanced the Wildcats to the Mule 49. Two incomplete pass left nine seconds on the clock with the Wildcats stranded at midfield.

Ewing took the handoff on a reverse that appeared to be going deep in Mule territory but the Mules managed to turn him back inside and made the stop at the Mule 35 with one tick still on the clock.

Calloway rolled wide toward the Littlefield sideline and launched a Hail Mary pass to the end zone. Regalado leaped high in the air and batted the ball to the turf to dash all hopes of a miracle win by the Wildcats.

“I have never been a part of a game where the excitement was so intense,” said Mule coach David Wood. “The stands seemed to crackle with electricity on both sides of the field.”

“There were a lot of highs and lows during the game. Probably the biggest let down was when we fumbled late in the fourth quarter but we were back on top of the world in just one play when Littlefield fumbled back to us.”

“Fortunately we were able to go on down and score to go ahead. Then our defense managed to keep them from scoring. Winning a district championship is always a big accomplishment for a team.”

“Now we must put all of this behind us and start getting ready for an improved Kermit team.”

The Mules had scored first after halting the Wildcats and forcing a punt. Gonzales capped a 10-play 91-yard drive by the Mules with a one-yard run to put the Mules in front 6-0 with 3:01 left in the first quarter.

The Wildcats answered quickly with Ewing scoring on a 61-yard run to give Littlefield a 7-6 Wildcat advantage with 2:09 on the clock in the first quarter.

Things were happening quickly as the Mules needed only three plays to go 70 yards. Florez was the outside receiver and appeared to ready to block the corner back when he broke down field. Regalado had run a crossing route that drew the defense to him.

Florez then flew down the sideline and Gonzales delivered him the ball at the Littlefield 41. Florez was 10 yards from the nearest defender when he made the catch and out raced the defense to the end zone. Guerrero added the extra point to put the Mules in front 13-7 with 48 seconds left in the opening period.

Littlefield scored twice in the second quarter. Da’Madrick Moore, a four -year premier running back for the Wildcats scored on a 60-yard run. Calloway went 36 yards to end the first half with Littlefield leading 21-13.

The Mules came back strong in the second half with Josh Lopez capping a seven-play 54-yard drive with a seven-yard run. The touchdown cut the Wildcat lead to 21-19 with 9:05 left in the third period.

Lopez was back in the end zone for the Mules with 11:41 remaining in the game with a 17-yard run. The three-play 50-yard drive put the Mules on top 26-21.

Littlefield’s final touchdown was on a seven-yard run by Ewing to cap a 58-yard seven play drive to put Littlefield on top for the final time 27-26.

“It was all about team for us tonight,” said Keagan Gonzales. “Everyone on the team contributed to this win.”

A Wildcat was heard to say after the game, “This was the most exciting and fun game I have ever played. It is also the most disappointed I have ever been after a game.”

The Mules amassed a total of 483 yards of offense. They rushed for 315 yards and passed for 168. Keagan Gonzales carried 26 times for 135 yards and two touchdowns. He completed 10 of 15 passing attempts for 168 yards, one touchdown and threw one interception.

Josh Lopez rushed 24 times for 167 yards and two touchdowns. Jason Florez carried once for four yards and made four receptions for 88 yards and one TD. Chamel Regalado made two catches for 52 yards and Saul Sanchez made two receptions for 18 yards.

The Mule defense gave up a total 331 yards to Littlefield with 308 being on the ground and 23 through the air on one reception. Ewing carried 20 times for 157 yards and Moore rushed 12 times for 109 yards.

The Mules held Littlefield to just 86-yards of offense in the second half and one touchdown.

Javy Perez led the Mule defense with 13 tackles. Dominik Hasley made 11 tackles, one quarterback hurry, caused a fumble, three special teams tackles and made a big hit. Roman Franco also had 11 tackles with two being on special teams. Ryder White made 10 tackles and one quarterback hurry.

Braden Bessire had eight stops, one for a loss and one quarterback hurry. Dagen Dunham made seven tackles, two quarterback hurries and a big hit. Issac Acosta also had seven tackles with one being on special teams. Saul Sanchez both caused and recovered a fumble. James Lutz recovered a fumble. 

Littlefield (6-4, 4-1) will play the (7-3, 3-2) Denver City Mustangs for a second time this season in Frenship’s Tiger Stadium at 7:00 PM Saturday night.

The (7-3, 5-0) Mules will host the (3-7, 2-3) Kermit Yellow Jackets Friday night at 7:00 PM in Frenship’s Tiger Stadium.