Mules vs. Shallowater Football Regional Round (11-30-2015)
The Muleshoe Mules were scheduled to play the Shallowater Mustangs in the Regional Round of the Texas State Playoffs Friday November 27. An ice storm changed those plans and the game was changed to Saturday afternoon at 2:00 PM.
The ice storm did not let up. In fact the storm worsened and the game was once again postponed until Monday evening at 6:00 PM. The weather had warmed by Monday, the ice had melted and the two teams finally met in Levelland’s Lobo Stadium. The night was cool but the wind was calm.
The Mules kicked off to start the game and the Mule defense held the Mustangs for three downs to force a punt. Tre Villa returned the punt 20 yards to midfield. The Mules marched 44 yards in five plays. Danny Campos scored on a quarterback draw and Bryce Mauricio kicked the point after to put the Mules up 7-0 with 8:49 remaining in the first quarter.
The contrasting styles of offense may have sold the tickets to the game. But it was the defenses that put on the show for the fans. The game was in question until the Shallowater defense broke up a Mule pass in the end zone that would have tied the game with just 2:21 left in the game.
Shallowater led 28-21 at the time and went on to a 35-21 win over the Mules.
“We executed the game plan about as well as we could have,” said Mule coach David Wood. “(Cooper) Ogle did not have any big, big runs until late in the game when we had to get more aggressive to try to get a stop and he popped a big one on us.”
“We were where we wanted to be up until near the three minute mark of the fourth quarter. We knew it would be a tight ball game. Shallowater gave (Evan) Paez a little more room to run and he did a good job tonight by rushing for 177 yards.”
“You have to take what the defense is giving you and they were dropping linebackers and that opened up the run game for us. The ball just did not bounce our way tonight. You have to be a little lucky and have some momentum swings. That just did not happen for us.”
Shallowater mounted an 80-yard 12-play drive that took four minutes and forty-one seconds to complete. The drive culminated with a three-yard Ogle plunge. Davis Mason tied the game at 7-7 with the PAT kick. There was four minutes still on the clock in the first period.
The two team battle up and down the field taking almost 12 minutes off the clock. The Mule defense made a goal line stand at the Mule three yard line. The stop on fourth down gave the Mules the ball.
Paez broke up the middle from the three to the 15-yard line to get the Mules out of the shadow of their own goal post. It took the Mules 11-plays to go 97-yards in just less than three minutes. Campos tossed to Tony Castillo from 12-yards out and Mauricio added the point after to put the Mules up 14-7 with 6:12 left in the half.
But the first half battle was not over. Chris Contreras scored on a 12-yard run to cap an 83-yard 10-play Mustang drive that consumed four minutes and 23 seconds. Mason added the extra point and the first half ended in a 14-14 deadlock.
The defensive battle continued through the third period and neither team could gain an advantage.
It was not until two minutes into the final period that the Mustangs took the lead over the Mules. Contreras tossed a seven-yard TD pass to Conner Smith. Mason’s point after gave the Mustangs a 21-14 advantage with 10:17 remaining in the game.
Aaryn returned the ensuing kickoff 60 yards to the Shallowater 30-yard line. The Mules need four plays and one minute and 14 seconds to punch it in. Paez lunged over from one-yard out and Mauricio’s kick was good.
Shallowater took the lead for good on an eight-yard run by Ogle that put the Mustangs up 28-21. Ogle broke his longest run of the night with 1:58 left in the game, an 86-yard gallop.
Despite all the defense the two teams combined for a total of 935 yards. Shallowater finished with 487 yards and the Mules had 448 yards. Ogle led all rushers with 35 carries for 262 yards and three touchdowns.
Paez led the Mules in rushing with 19 carries for 177 yards and one TD. He also caught two passes for 26 yards. Campos rushed seven times for 27 yards and one touchdown. He also completed 22 of 37 passes for 217 yards and one TD.
Villa led the Mules in receiving with seven catches for 102 yards. Castillo caught seven passes for 82 yards and one touchdown. Dagen Dunham made one reception for 16 yards and Mauricio caught four passes for nine yards.
No defensive statistics were available at press time.
The Mules will now turn their focus to the hardwoods and start their basketball season in December.