Mules lose to Wildcats 24-19

Photo by Norman Brantley

By Delton Wilhite

The 3-0 Mules traveled to Littlefield Friday evening to play the 0-3 Wildcats. But records can be thrown out the window when the Mules and Wildcats meet. The Mules made back-to-back goal-line stands early in the first period.
But the Mules centered the ball through the end zone to spot the Wildcats two points with 3:05 remaining in the opening quarter. Littlefield made a goal-line stand of their own early in the second period and scored on a 10-yard run by Daniel Stinson to lead the Mules 10-0.
The Mules answered back with three and half minutes left to play in the first half. Luke Del Toro connected with Yoel Reyes in the end zone for an 18-yard scoring strike. Brady Martinez tacked on the point after to cut the Littlefield lead to 10-7 at the intermission.
Romeo Reyes saved a touchdown after time expired in the first half when he chased down Chris Douglas and forced him out of bounds at the Mule one-yard line.
The Mules briefly took the lead on a six-yard run by Mikey Lozano late in the third period. The Mules could not hang onto the lead and lost the game to the Wildcats 24-19.
“It was one of those nights that things just never seemed to go our way,” said Mule coach, David Wood. “Records do not mean much when the ‘War on 84’ breaks out.”
Littlefield kicked off to start the second half but the Mules were forced to punt on fourth down.
The Wildcats were driving down the field when Douglas dropped the football, and Jacob Kettner pounced on the ball at the Mule 26. The Mules were pushed back four yards on first down.
Lozano spotted a crease up the middle for a 13-yard gain on third down. Littlefield jumped offside and Y. Reyes ran a fade down the Mule sideline. Luke Del Toro sent the ball Y. Reyes direction and he leaped high to snag the ball between two defenders for a 29-yard gain.
Del Toro kept the ball for three yards on first down. Lozano carried up the middle for runs of five and four yards for a first down. Lozano took the helm and emptied the backfield. Lozano scampered wide right for nine yards.
Lozano kept left and Y. Reyes made a knocked down the defensive back at the nine-yard line to send Lozano to the five. Lozano followed Ryan Rodriguez up the middle for three yards on first down.
The Mules lost four yards on second down. Littlefield jumped offside, and Lozano started right. He reversed his field, gave ground, broke a tackle at the 14 and powered over the goal line to give the Mules their only lead of the night. The Mules led 13-10 with 3:17 remaining in the third quarter.
The Wildcats scored on a
21-yard run by Stinson to retake the lead at 16-13 with 24 seconds left in the third period.
Littlefield kicked off high, and short and the Mules mishandled the ball, and the Wildcats claimed the ball. Douglas scored the Wildcats final touchdown with a 28-yard run for a 24-13 Wildcat lead 52 seconds into the final period.
The Mules did not quit, and Lozano tossed a 19-yard pass to Y. Reyes in the end zone to end all scoring.
The Mules rolled up 305 yards of offense with 139 coming on the ground and 166 being through the air. Mikey Lozano carried the ball 29 times for 120 yards and one touchdown. He completed one of four passes for 19 yards and a touchdown.
Luke Del Toro rushed twice for five yards and completed nine of 19 passes for 147 yards and one touchdown. Ryan Rodriguez rushed twice for 16 yards. Yoel Reyes caught six passes for 137 yards and two touchdowns. Romeo Reyes made two receptions for 28 yards.
Isaac Mendoza led the Mule defense with 16 tackles, one special team’s tackle, three tackles for losses, one sack, and caused one fumble. Julian Astorga made 13 tackles, one tackle for a loss, and one sack.
Corbin Hardwick had ten tackles, one special team’s tackle, and two tackles for losses. Jacob Kettner made ten tackles, three special teams tackles, and recovered one fumble. Jordan Vela and Yoel Reyes each recorded ten tackles. JoJo Rejino finished with nine tackles and caused a fumble.
The 3-1 Mules will host the 4-0 Shallowater Mustangs for the District 1-3A Division I Championship Friday evening in Benny Douglas Stadium. It is Senior Night for the Mules.

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