Mules vs. Slaton Bi-Dist (11-12-15)
Motivation comes in all shapes and forms. Normally motivation follows a positive event. However, there are times when a negative incident will spur individuals as well a team to new heights.
Thursday evening saw the later happen for the Muleshoe Mules when they battled the Slaton Tigers in Frenship’s Peoples Bank Stadium. The Mules were leading the Tigers 13-6 and seemed to be driving for a third touchdown during the first quarter.
Danny Campos rolled left and made a soft toss to Jason Florez along the Slaton sideline. Florez avoided one tackler and was weaving his way through the Slaton defense when he was hit from behind.
The tackler punched the ball loose and Slaton recovered at the Mule 29. One play later the game was tied at 13-13 with Slaton scoring on a 29-yard pass from Tiger quarterback, Ryan Sykora, to Slaton’s 6-4, 230 pound receiver, Jameson Jackson.
After that the Mules almost had the stadium scoreboard smoking as they unreeled 43 unanswered points. The scoring run culminated with 22-yard TD run by Evan Paez with 10.33 left in the third period. Bryce Mauricio tacked on the point after for a 56-13 Mule lead.
The JV Mules played all but a minute and a half of the second half. The Mules defeated Slaton 76-25.
“We got to play a lot of kids tonight,” said Mule coach David Wood. “I know it looks like we ran the score up on Slaton. But Coach Robinson was not upset and knew what happened.”
“I was proud of how all our kids played and Slaton showed a lot of sportsmanship tonight. Hopefully they are on the right track.”
Florez ran back the game-opening kickoff 10 yards to the Mule 27. He then took a wide-receiver screen pass from Campos and scooted down field for seven yards behind blocks by Dagen Dunham and Tony Castillo.
Paez galloped up the middle through a gaping hole in the defense for 12 yards on second down. Campos then connected with Florez running a hitch pattern for nine yards to the Slaton 45.
Campos faked the handoff to Paez to freeze the linebackers and passed to Dunham running a slant. Dunham made the catch at the Slaton 34 and was finally pulled down at the Tiger 29. Paez then pounded up the middle for four yards.
Campos rolled out of the pocket and fired a strike to Castillo at the Tiger 17. Jose Mendoza then blasted up the middle for seven yards on first down. Campos faked to J. Mendoza and tossed to Tre Villa running a post pattern. Villa hauled in the pass and took two steps to the end zone to put the Mules on top 6-0 with 9:54 remaining in the first period.
The two teams exchanged punts before Slaton scored a 51-yard touchdown with a pass from Sykora to Desreal Williams to tie the game at 6-6.
The Mules returned the ensuing Slaton kickoff to the Mule 39. Campos connected with Dunham at the Mule 45 and he ran behind a block by Villa for 20 yards. Campos then tossed to Florez for 12 more yards.
Slaton jumped offside to give the Mules a free play. The Mules made the most of it with Campos tossing to a leaping Castillo in the end zone. Mauricio’s PAT kick gave the Mules a 13-6 lead with 6:26 still in the first quarter.
Slaton tied the game at 13-13 after the Mule miscue.
Campos and Florez combined on a 56-yard pass and run with 4:33 remaining in the opening period. Mauricio added the point after for a 20-13 Mule advantage.
Tony Vasquez intercepted a Slaton pass to set up the Mules on the Slaton 42. J. Mendoza raced eight yards to cap the three-play 42-yard drive. The Mules faked the PAT and Campos came off the turf and fired a bullet to Javy Perez for the two-point conversion. The Mules led 28-13 with 1:20 left in the first quarter.
The Mules were back in the Tiger end zone when Dunham hauled in a Campos 12-yard scoring toss. The Mules had consumed a minute and 12 seconds on the six-play 56-yard drive. Mauricio’s kick was good for a 35-13 Mule lead with 8:42 left in the first half.
Vasquez picked off his second Tiger pass of the game and scrambled to the Slaton 24. Campos found Florez for his second TD of the evening. Mauricio added the point after and the Mules led 42-13 with 6:04 on the clock in the second period.
Mauricio demonstrated that he could do more than kick and snagged a 20-yard scoring toss from Campos with 2:52 remaining before the half. Mauricio kicked the point after for a 49-13 Mule lead at the intermission.
The Mule starters took the field when the second half started. But after Paez scored with 10:33 left in the third period and Mauricio kicked the point after the JV Mules took the field.
Slaton scored on a 15-yard toss from Sykora to Williams to cut the Mule lead to 56-19.
Mickey Lozano led the JV Mules to the end zone with a seven-yard run. Justin Carrion booted the extra point for a 63-19 Mule lead.
Lozano capped an 11-play 78-yard scoring drive with an eight yard scamper and Carrion added the point after for a 70-19 Mule advantage. The drive erased almost eight minutes from the clock.
Sykora and Williams combined for the final Slaton TD with 5:38 left in the game to cut the Mule lead to 70-25.
Tim Perez raced down the Slaton sideline to near the Tiger 10. He appeared to about to go down but managed to escape the grasp of the Tigers and sprinted to the end zone for the Mules final score.
The Mule offense rolled up a total of 613 yards with 260 yards being through the air and 353 yards coming on the ground. Campos completed 17 of 24 passes for 241 yards and six touchdowns to five receivers.
Paez led all rushers with 12 carries for 112 yards and one TD. Lozano carried six times for 64 yards and two touchdowns. T. Perez ran twice for 102 yards on one TD. J. Mendoza had four rushes for 50 yards and one TD.
Florez had five receptions for 89 yards and two touchdowns. Dunham made four catches for 55 yards and scored one TD. Castillo caught four passes for 50 yards and scored a touchdown. Villa made one catch for 10 yards and a TD.
The Mule defense held Slaton to 368 yards of offense with 208 yards being via the air and 160 yards on the ground.
Donovan Gutierrez led the Mules with nine tackles, with two being on special teams and one for a loss. Mario Flores finished with eight tackles with one being on special teams. Castillo made eight tackles, Javy Perez had six stops and Jessie Easiley made five tackles, two on special teams and hurried the quarterback twice.
Aaryn Ross made five tackles, two being on special teams and intercepted a pass. Conner Harrison had five tackles and blocked a kick. Vasquez made three tackles and intercepted two passes. Kevin Mendoza blocked a kick.
The Mules travel to Big Spring Friday evening to play the Breckenridge Buckaroos at 7:00 PM in Memorial Stadium.