9th Mules vs. Sweetwater (9-3-2015)
The freshmen Mules made it clear Thursday afternoon they had not enjoyed the tie they had experienced in the Levelland game. The class 4-4 Sweetwater Mustangs fell victim to a 36-0 thumping by the Mules.
Ryan Rodriguez served notice on the first play of the game that the Mules were ready to defend their home field. Rodriguez blitzed and made the stop for a Mustang six-yard loss. Sweetwater never seemed to recover and turned the ball over on downs at the Mustang 43.
A strong dose of power running by Corbin Hardwick and Rodriguez pounded the Mules down the field despite having to overcome a holding penalty. A wide-receiver screen from Luke Del Toro to Rodriguez was good for nine yards to the Mustang six.
Del Toro kept the ball for the final yardage and the Mules first touchdown with 2:44 remaining in the opening period. The two-point conversion failed and the Mules led 6-0.
The Mules had a miscue early in the second period when the Mustangs intercepted a fourth-down pass on the Sweetwater 15.
Two plays later the Mules returned the favor with Izaiah Hurtado picking off a pass and returned 23 yards for a defensive touchdown with 7:24 left in the half. Del Toro connected with Hurtado for the two-point conversion and a 14-0 Mule lead.
The Mustangs continued to struggle to get their offense untracked and were forced to punt. The ball rolled dead on the Mule 18.
The Mules gained a first down on a run by Rodriguez. On the next play Yoel Reyes stepped back from his wide-receiver position and raced back toward Del Toro going the opposite direction.
Reyes took a soft pitch from Del Toro and continued on a wide loop around the opposite end of the Mule offense than where he started. He scampered 70 yards for a touchdown with 4:05 still on the clock in the first half. Keaton Myers stepped in at quarterback and found Hurtado in the end zone for the two-point conversion and a 22-0 Mule lead.
Following the intermission, Hardwick made runs of 11 and eight yards to start the third period. Rodriguez stepped in at quarterback and zipped up the middle for a 47-yard touchdown to extend the Mule lead to 28-0 with 6:34 left in the third period.
The Mustangs gained a first down before Rigo Mendoza and Ean Hasley set them back. The defensive pressure may have led to the Mustang second interception of the game on the Mule 31.
Brady Martinez found a crease up the middle and zipped 39 yards to the Mustang 30. Then Del Toro spun out of a tackle for six yards before Hurtado kept wide left for 14 yards. Del Toro capped off the drive with a 10-yard toss to Reyes over the middle for the final Mule TD. Del Toro added the two-point conversion with 3:13 remaining in the third period for a 36-0 Mule lead.
The Mules were content to just allow the final period to run down and ended the game with a victory knee.
The Mules will hit the road for the first time this season and will travel to Idalou to play the Wildcats Thursday afternoon at 5:00 PM.