September 30, 2022
  • 5:25 pm Roger Maris leaves behind a record without an asterisk
  • 5:24 pm Texas gubernatorial debate to be televised across Nexstar stations
  • 5:23 pm Muleshoe Journal/Plainview Herald South Plains Stats Leaders through week five
  • 5:22 pm Fair booth with local ties hopes for continued community support
  • 5:19 pm One Guy From Italy doing Pizza Roulette for Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month

Fresh off of a dominant effort against a physically big and historically tough Sundown squad, the Muleshoe football team is looking to maintain that momentum heading into week two.

The Mules (1-0 on the season) will hit the road this week for a meeting with Lamesa, which is coming off a thrilling victory of its own to open the season.

Muleshoe defeated Sundown 33-14 with an impressive defensive display. After all, it was the defense that scored the first points of the season when Davian McMullen forced a fumble, recovered it and ran all the way for a 90-yard touchdown.

That would be one of the few times Sundown’s usually methodical offense would threaten the Mules.

“We had a pretty short field all night,” said Muleshoe head coach Jason Richards. “I was impressed with our defense and our ability to run the football.”

Last season, the Roughnecks averaged 200 rushing yards per game. Against the Mules, they managed only 116.

“Our defense played great,” said Richards. “Sundown’s big and they’re good. That team’s going to win a lot of football games. I thought our defense did a tremendous job on the run, which forced them to do something they didn’t want to do, which was throw the ball.”

The Mules carved out almost equal yardage on the ground and through the air. The four-pronged attack of Zeke Kasel (31 yards on eight attempts, Zach Radloff (42 on eight), Uriel Vasquez (32 on seven) and Jaxher Lopez (10 on three) proved efficient in their respective times on the field.  Quarterback Zach Hasley also had a few solid runs, though his total yardage took a hit due to some unfortunate plays that went against the Mules.

“They all bring something a little different to the table,” Richards said of his runners. “It’s a good change up. And then our quarterback having the ability to run the football a little bit this year has helped us, I think.”

Lopez found the end zone on twice and Kasel once for the Mules. Hasley was 12-of-19 passing for 129 yards and a touchdown toss to Eliasar Cisneros, who showed big-play ability with 47 yards on just two catches. Brennen Davis (25 yards) and Judas Reyes (20) each caught two passes. Irvin Torres (28 yards), and Vasquez (nine) each had two catches.

Muleshoe got up 26-0 before Sundown found the end zone. By that time, the Mules got some of their non-starters some more reps.

Even with the solid effort all around, there’s still some room to grow. The Mules had 10 penalties for 80 yards and – even though they had the benefit of a short field all night – couldn’t quite get the offense to click on all cylinders.

“One thing I was proud of was we didn’t turn the ball over,” said Richards. “If you don’t turn the ball over and hold them under 150 yards rushing, you’re probably going to win the game.”

Stopping the run is something the Mules will have to do in this week’s matchup with Lamesa.

The Tornadoes pulled out a dramatic 26-20 win over San Angelo Lake View, scoring the final touchdown of the game to overcome a deficit in the fourth quarter. In that game, Lamesa passed a whopping nine times and ran the ball 46 times for 190 yards.

That doesn’t surprise Richards. Not with the parade of run-heavy opposition the Mules will see throughout the season.

“They’re very athletic,” Richards said of Lamesa. “You’ve got to play assignment football on defense. They run the option and they get after it. They’re in a tough district and they’re a playoff football game. , in my opinion. We’re going to have to play really good at their play to get out of there Friday with a V victory.”

Much like the Sundown game, Richards said the game will come down to executing on offense, something the Mules struggled with at times last week.

“We have to continue to improve our offensive output,” said Richards. “I was pleased the first week with 27 points offensively, but you’ve got to score to win in today’s football.”

NOTES

  • McMullen, who had a team-high eight tackles to go with his fumble return for a touchdown, was named the Defensive Player of the Game, according to Richards. Right guard Andre Alfaro was the Offensive Player of the Game and Kassel the Special Teams Player of the Game.
  • Tickets for the Lamesa game will not be available at the gate. Fans traveling to the contest are encouraged to go to the Muleshoe ISD website and Facebook page for the link to purchase tickets.
Nathan Giese

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