Mules vs. Brock (11-25-2016)
The Mules knew the old saying, "To be the best you have to beat the best." And with those words in mind, the Mules prepared to play the number one ranked Brock Eagles in the Regional round of the Texas State Football Playoffs.
The Mules planning and preparing for the power running team that included a running back, Tyler Gray, that had gained over 2000 yards in the 2015 season and had 1651 yards during the first ten games of the season.
The Eagles offensive front line averaged almost 221 pounds per man.
The Mules trailed the Brock Eagles 14-7 at the intermission but cut that lead to 14-13 with just over eight minutes remaining in the third period. It seemed as if the officiating changed after that. The Mules fell 48-19.
The Mule defense stopped the Eagles on the Mule 39 and forced a punt that bounced into the end zone for a touchback.
The Mules went three and out with Beto Diaz punting to the Brock 44 where the ball rolled dead. The Eagles needed five yards on fourth down and lined up to punt. The punter took the deep snap and rolled right. He completed a pass for 13 yards and a first down at the Mule 21.
Four plays later Zane Young dove over from two-yards out, and the kick was good for a 7-0 Eagle lead with 2:10 remaining in the first period.
The Brock kickoff sailed into the end zone for a touchback, and the Mule drive started on the Mule 25. Diaz was tackled by his facemask on first down to advance the Mules to the 41-yard line.
Diaz connected with Jason Florez on an inside receiver screen. Dagen Dunham and Cesar Olvera were blocking down the field. Diaz reached the Brock 39 before being pulled down. Two penalties backed the Mules up to near midfield and were forced to punt to the Brock 34.
Fidel Mendoza and Tre Villa hemmed T. Gray up in the Eagle backfield on first down. Mario Flores, Dunham, and Florez swarmed to the ball to make the tackle for a yard loss. Yoel Reyes broke up a pass on second down.
Fidel Mendoza had his legs chopped out from under him on third down, but he got up and pursued the quarterback. Moises Vasquez fought through a block and also gave chase. The Mule defensive backs had the receivers covered, and F. Mendoza and Vasquez met at the quarterback for the sack.
Brock punted, and the Mules allowed the ball to roll dead on the Mule nine-yard line.
Diaz pump faked before throwing to Florez at the Mule 12. Florez made one defender miss at the 23, and another grabbed only air as Florez went past. Brock finally tackled Florez at the Mule 44 after a 35-yard gain.
Michael Lozano took a pitch from Diaz for a gain of seven yards. Diaz kept up the middle for 11 yards with the help of a block from Carlos Meza. An inside receiver screen pass to Florez was good for 24 yards to the Brock 14.
Diaz rolled left and tossed to Tre Villa to advance the Mules to the Eagle 11 yard line. Diaz kept on a quarterback draw to the Brock seven. Dunham lined set up as a sniffer back on the right side.
Dunham blocked but released his man and rolled right with Diaz. Diaz tossed Dunham the ball at the Brock six-yard line. There was nothing but green grass between Dunham and a the end zone.
Arturo Contreras PAT kick was good, and the Mules had tied the game at 7-7 with five minutes remaining in the first half. The Mule scoring drive had taken the Mules 10 plays and covered 86 yards.
The Eagles scored before the intermission on a 16-yard run by Matthew Gray. The kick was good, and Brock led the Mules 14-7 at the half.
Brock kicked off to start the second half to Florez at the Mule nine-yard line. Florez managed to pick his way to the Mule 34.
Diaz passed to Dunham running straight downfield. Dunham made the catch over the defender attempting to tackle him before the ball arrived. Dunham was tripped up at the Mule 48 but managed to put down a hand and finally leaped to the Brock 41 for a 25-yard gain.
Lozano reached the Brock 30 before getting hit and fought for additional four yards. Dunham ran out of the Mule backfield and caught Diaz pass for a seven-yard gain. Florez was on the receiving end of a Diaz pass that went for eight yards to the Brock six.
The officials were confused by the Mule offense and threw a flag. The ensuing penalty cost the Mules five yards on second down. Dunham fought off a defender to reach the end zone and had to continue to battle his way to Diaz throw.
Dunham caught the ball seven yards deep in the end zone with a defender hanging on his back. The kick was off the mark, and the Mules trailed 14-13 with 8:25 remaining in the third period.
The Mules halted the ensuing Brock drive at the Mule 34. The Eagles faked a punt and snapped the ball to a blocking back. He went straight up the field and was tackled short of the first down marker. The ball carrier extended his arms with the ball after being down. The officials gave the Eagles a very favorable spot that was half a ball over the first down mark.
"That was a situation that just takes the wind out of a team's sails," said Mule coach David Wood. "We were still in the game up to that point."
"Brock does not have many flaws, but we were able to do more against them than most teams have been able to do. For the most part, we hung with them and fought them tooth-and-nail. Our kids never gave up the fight, and that is what I am proud of."
"We have the best fans in Texas that follow us where ever we play. The Mules and coaching staff appreciated their support every day, not just on Friday night."
The Eagles scored four plays later on a 12-yard run. Brock went for a two-point conversion but the attempt failed, and the Mules trailed 20-13 with 6:07 left in the third period.
It is easier to make blocks if you grab pads and stretch jerseys to prevent defensive players from making plays. That seemed to make it much easier for Brock to score three more touchdowns to take a 41-13 lead over the Mules with 11:51 left in the game.
The Mules had to battle through defensive holding and pass interference to score one last time. Diaz tossed to Florez with a 15-yard touchdown throw to cap a 10-play 78-yard drive. The score cut the Brock lead to 41-19 with 7:18 left in the game.
The starters for the Eagles remained on the field in what appeared to an attempt to pad stats.
Beto Diaz completed 22 of 39 passing attempts for 299 yards, three touchdowns and had one pass intercepted. Jason Florez caught 11 passes for 195 yards and one touchdown. Dagen Dunham caught four passes for 52 yards and two touchdowns. Tre Villa made four receptions for 43 yards.
The Mules accumulated a total of 362 yards of offense.
The Mule defense held to Tyler Gray to 6.9 yards per carry. That is nine yards per carry below his season average.
The Mules check in their gear and move on to basketball and offseason workouts to prepare for 2017.