Mules vs. Perryton (9-18-2015)
There are many ways to win a football game and the Mules seem to find a new tactic that works each week. The Mules made kickoff returns of 95 and 49 yards for touchdowns. One capped off a three-touchdown scoring flurry that took just 18 seconds of the final period.
“My Dad told me a long time ago that if you won your Homecoming game, no matter what happened, it was a good game,” said Mule coach David Wood. “There are numerous distractions during Homecoming week and keeping the players focused is difficult at best.”
The Mules never trailed during the game and claimed a 52-37 win over the Perryton Rangers to top off the Homecoming festivities.
Danny Campos followed Jaxon Lee’s block to the end zone. The run completed a 13-play 62-yard drive to put the Mules on top 44-29 after Bryce Mauricio split the uprights with 2:46 remaining in the game.
Perryton refused to quit and 11 seconds after the Mules had scored: Hadley Allred connected with Dalton Rigdon streaking down the sideline for a 75-yard touchdown. The Allred-to-Rigdon combo tacked on the two-point conversion to trim the Mule lead to 44-37.
The Rangers had recovered an onside kick earlier in the contest and attempted a second. The Mules were ready and Jason Florez stepped forward to receive the ball at the Perryton 49.
He split a pair of Rangers and out distanced the field to the end zone 18 seconds after Campos had scored. The Mules lined up to boot the point after but it was a fake. Dagen Dunham snapped the ball high so Campos could catch the ball standing up.
Dunham and Mauricio sealed off the Rangers and Campos scooted through for the two-point conversion to end all scoring.
The Mules seemed to catch a break during the opening kickoff. Jesse Easley ripped the ball away from a Ranger and Evan Paez recovered on the Perryton 45.
The Mules were forced to turn the ball over on downs and the two teams exchanged possession of the ball four more times. Paez sniffed out a Ranger screen pass and ripped the ball loose. Lee recovered on the Perryton 12-yard line.
An interference penalty on first down moved the Mules to the Perryton two. Josh Lopez powered in for the TD. Mauricio tacked on the point after and the Mules led 7-0 with just over two minutes remaining in the opening period.
The Rangers returned Tony Vasquez kickoff to the Perryton 22. It was three and out for the Rangers with Matt Flores breaking up a pass on third down. The Rangers punted to the Mule 43.
A holding penalty backed the Mules up 10 yards on first down. Campos made the most of a bad situation when an unexpected snap hit him on the leg and dropped to the turf. Campos quickly picked up the ball and fired a strike to Vasquez streaking down the field.
Vasquez was brought down at the Perryton 14 after Vasquez’ 53-yard gain. Lopez went up the middle for nine yards on first down. Lopez powered in from the five. Campos carried the two-point conversion over to give the Mules a 15-0 lead with 20 seconds left on the clock in the first period.
The Rangers broke the scoring ice with a 29-yard field goal with nine and half minutes remaining in the first half. The Mules led 15-3.
Tre Villa took the ensuing Ranger kickoff at the Mule five-yard line. Easiley raced back across the field to make the block that set Villa free to race up the middle of the field 95 yards for a touchdown. Campos tossed to Ross in the end zone for the two-point conversion and a 23-3 Mule lead.
The two teams exchanged possession and the Mules punted to the Perryton 31.
The Rangers gained a first down before Vasquez hit the intended receiver as the ball arrived. The ball was tipped up and Jose Mendoza ran under the loose ball for an interception to give the Mules the ball on the Mule 46.
The ensuing Mule 15-play drive consumed four minutes and 40 seconds. Campos tossed it up to Castillo in the end zone from eight yards out. The Mules extended their lead to 29-3 with the half winding down.
The Rangers only had 35 seconds to make something happen before the intermission and were 58 yards from pay dirt. Allred hit Rigdon with a 53-yard scoring pass to cut the Mule lead to 29-11 at the half.
Torres got the scoring started for the Rangers in the second half following a successful onside kick. Torres booted a 24-yard field goal after the Mule defense stalled the Perryton offense.
The Mules answered with a four-play 59-yard drive. Lopez returned the kickoff 10 yards to the Mule 41. Campos hit Vasquez over the middle for a 34-yard gain. Lopez bounced off tacklers up the middle for 12 yards.
Lopez added five more yards before Campos kept up the middle behind blocks by Conner Harrison and Lee for a TD. Campos tossed to Ross for the two-point conversion and a 37-14 Mule lead.
The Rangers scored twice more on with the Allred-to-Rigdon connection. On score was from 17 yards out and the second covered 67 yards. The Mules still led 37-29 before the 18 second scoring flurry began.
The Mules were short of their average offensive explosion with a total of 361 yards. Campos completed 14 of 29 passing attempts for 203 yards and threw for one touchdown. He rushed 12 times for 45 yards and two touchdowns.
The Mules rushed for 158 yards with Lopez carrying 17 times for 77 yards and two TDs. Paez ran four times for 32 yards. Vasquez made two receptions for 83 yards, Florez caught four throws for 58 yards and Castillo snagged three passes for 36 yards and one touchdown.
Donovan Gutierrez led the Mules on defense with 15 tackles, one on special teams and two quarterback hurries. Mario Flores finished for 12 tackles, Paez made 11 stops and forced two fumbles.
Dominik Hasley made 10 tackles. Dunham had eight tackles, two for losses, two sacks, one big hit, two quarterback hurries and blocked two passes. Lee made eight tackles one for a loss, one sack and recovered a fumble.
The Mules will board buses early Friday afternoon for a long trip to Kermit. The Yellow Jackets are currently 0-4 on the season.