Mules vs. Childress (9-16-2016)
The long trip to Childress along with playing in hot and humid condition on natural turf seemed to wear down the Mules Friday night. The Mules led 28-24 at the intermission but could not hang on in the second half.
The Mules fell to the Childress Bobcats 45-28.
“Even as bad as the score looks,” said Mule coach, David Wood. “This game will make us better. We suffered a couple of injuries and now the guys know when that happens they need to step up and do even more. We are still growing in our knowledge of the game.”
The Mules led 28-24 at the intermission. The Mules’ lead could have been more except for a muffed snap on the final play of the first half from the Childress one-yard line.
Childress took the opening kickoff at their own 36-yard line and marched 64 yards on 12 plays. The Bobcats scored on a two-yard run by their premier running back, Bo Lott. They added the two-point conversion to lead the Mules 8-0.
Isaac Mendoza returned the ensuing Childress kickoff 12 yards to the Mule 35. A screen pass to Yoel Reyes gained five yards and Michael “Mikey” Lozano found a crease up the middle for eight yards.
A bubble screen to the right side to Y. Reyes resulted in in a 35-yard gain to Childress 17. Jason Florez cut the legs from under one defender and Fidel Mendoza sealed off another to spring Y. Reyes.
Beto Diaz rolled right and hung on to the ball for seven yards. Diaz was forced to scramble on fourth down and Javy Perez managed to shake his defender in the end zone and reversed his route.
Diaz laid the ball in his hands for the Mules first touchdown. Diaz then tossed to Florez for the two-point conversion to tie the game at 8-8 with 4:37 left in the first quarter.
The game quickly turned into a track meet with the Bobcats scoring one minute later on a 37-yard pass. The two-point conversion was good and the Bobcats had regained the lead 16-8.
I. Mendoza returned the Childress kickoff 14 yards to the Mule 34. Diaz connected with R. Reyes on first down for nine yards. Diaz then tossed to Florez over the middle at the Childress 43. The ball floated over Florez shoulder and dropped in his hands. He dragged a defender to the Childress 28 for a 34-yard gain.
Tre Villa scooted up the middle for a six-yard gain. Diaz hit Villa with a swing pass to the left side. Florez pancaked a defender and Villa reached the Bobcat nine. Villa covered the final seven yards on a pitch wide right from Diaz for a touchdown. Diaz found Mario “Boo” Flores open in the end zone for the two-point conversion to tie the game at 16-16 at the end of the first quarter.
The ensuing Childress drive started just inside Mule territory. The Mules held the Bobcats on first down but gave up seven yards to the hard running Lott on second down. Dagen Dunham put heavy pressure on the Childress quarterback forcing him to throw the ball away.
The pass did not reach the line of scrimmage and a flag came out for intentional grounding which not only cost the Bobcats yards but also the down. The Bobcat punt took a Childress bounce and rolled to the Mule 11.
The Mules fumbled on first down and the Bobcats recovered on the Mule 17. A middle screen to Lott scored from 17-yards out. Childress led the Mules 24-16 with 11:50 remaining in the first half.
I. Mendoza returned the Childress kickoff to the Mule 26. Diaz emptied the backfield and tossed to Florez for 16 yards. The Mules pulled out some razzle-dazzle and ran a double reverse flea flicker.
Diaz launched a pass down field to R. Reyes for a 27-yard gain to the Bobcat 23. Villa cut through the Bobcats for 15-yard pickup to the Childress eight-yard line. Diaz made two yards before Villa went the final six yard up the middle. The two-point conversion failed and the Mules trailed 24-22 with just over 10 minutes left in the first half.
Lozano kicked off to the Bobcat 37 and there was no return. The Mule defense shut down the potent Bobcat offense and forced a punt on fourth down. The punt rolled dead on the Mule nine.
A screen pass to R. Reyes went nine yards. Diaz pump faked to Florez to freeze the defense. Florez raced on down field to make the catch at the Mule 46 and he dragged a defender to the Childress 39.
Lozano gained four yards up the middle. Diaz tossed a screen pass to R. Reyes and Perez made a block for a six-yard gain. Florez was the inside receiver and ran a slant over the middle. Diaz fired him the ball at the Childress 20. Flores made two tacklers miss and out ran a third for a touchdown to give the Mules a 28-24 lead at the half.
I. Mendoza forced a turnover by punching the ball loose from a Childress receiver. R. Reyes scooped up the ball and returned it down field but a penalty stopped the Mules at their own 20.
Lozano found room to run through the left side of the line and galloped 15 yards. Diaz connected with Y. Reyes for five yards. Diaz tossed to Villa five more yards and a first down at midfield. The Mules ran a reverse and R. Reyes was jerked down backwards by his collar.
The ensuing horse collar penalty gave the Mules a first down at the Childress 30. Diaz made a high throw to Florez on a slant over the middle. Florez leaped high in the air for the catch and his feet were cut from beneath him. He slammed hard to the turf flat of his back but held on to the ball at the Childress 10.
Diaz connected with R. Reyes and he was tackled at the Childress one-yard line. The final seconds were ticking off the clock as the Mules hurried to the line. The snap never made it back to Diaz and the period ended with the Mules knocking on the door.
The Mules could never score in the second half but the Bobcats found the Mule end zone three times.
The Mules accumulated 479 yards of total offense with 119 yards being on the ground and 360 through the air. Villa carried 11 times for 71 yards and two touchdowns. He caught four passes for 30 yards for a total of 101 yards.
Lozano rushed seven times for 40 yards and caught one throw for 13 yards. Diaz connected on 28 of 47 passes for 360 yards and two touchdowns. Florez caught nine passes for 147 yards and one score. He also caught a pass for a two-point conversion. Perez made two catches for nine yards and one touchdown.
Y. Reyes made seven receptions for 67 yards and R. Reyes had three catches for 52 yards. I. Mendoza made one receptions for 33 yards.
Boo Flores led the Mule defense with 16 tackles. Dunham made 14 tackles, one for a loss, one sack and had two quarterback hurries. Donavan Gutierrez also made 14 tackles. Moises Vasquez had 10 stops, three special team tackles, one tackle for a loss, one sack and one quarterback hurry. Y. Reyes made 10 tackles.
The Mule Players of the Game as chosen by the Mule coaches were: Jason Florez, Offensive Player of the Game; Dagen Dunham, Defensive Player of the Game; Player of the Game, Donovan Gutierrez; Lineman of the Game, Fidel Mendoza; Slobber Knocker, Jason Florez; and Special Teams Player of the Game, Moises Vasquez.
The Mules will host the Idalou Wildcats Friday night in Benny Douglas Stadium at 7:30 PM.