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.