June 2, 2023
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For the second week in a row, the Muleshoe football team shot itself in the foot with penalties. This time, it proved costly.

The Mules battled back in the fourth quarter before ultimately falling to Lamesa 24-20 last Friday. The score was close, but it could’ve been a different outcome had it not been for the yellow hankies that followed Muleshoe all game long.

Muleshoe committed 12 infractions that totaled 100 yards against the Golden Tornadoes. In the opener against Sundown, the Mules had 10 penalties for 80 yards. The Roughnecks didn’t make the Mules pay for their mistakes, but Lamesa did.

“Not taking anything from Lamesa, but the Mules did not help their cause to win the football game,” said Muleshoe head coach Jason Richards.

Richards applauded the Golden Tornadoes for outplaying the Mules in all three areas of the game. That being the case, and the score being as close as it was, leaves a bit of a sour taste.

“I think we have a really good football team,” said Richards. “We just can’t do things that hurt ourselves. We drive all the way down, have a false start, have a holding. I don’t care who you are, it’s hard to overcome a 2nd-and-20.”

Zeke Kassel was considered the team’s Offensive MVP of the game. Kassel had 156 yards on 17 rushing attempts. Zach Hasley was 12-of-32 passing for 189 yards and two touchdowns. Irvin Torres – the Special Teams Player of the Game – caught six passes for 67 yards and Judas Reyes one for a 47-yard touchdown.

Brennen Davis, the Defensive Player of the Game, had the other TD reception and led the team with 11 tackles, five of which were for a loss of yards.

Lamesa stuck to its run-heavy game plan, totaling 42 rushing attempts for 246 yards compared to just seven pass attempts.

Something the Mules avoided in the Sundown victory was turning the ball over. That wasn’t the case this past week. The Golden Tornadoes had three interceptions on defense, two coming from Luke Martinez, who returned one for a touchdown.

Richards believes the Mules are good enough to be 2-0 right now. The reality is a 1-1 record and a date with a 2-0 Friona squad that has won its first two games by a combined score of 73-14.

“Friona has a very good football team,” said Richards. “Very explosive on offense. They bring a lot of pressure and have a lot of speed on defense. We’re going to have to play our best football to go to Friona and get a victory.”

A series historically dominated by the Mules, Friona has won each of the last three meetings with Muleshoe, including last year’s 27-20 triumph. Richards expects to see a mixture of things on offense thanks to the Chieftains’ speed.

“They can run,” Richards said of Friona. “What really jumps out to you is their speed. They’re physical and they’re well coached.”

The game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. kickoff in Friona.

Nathan Giese


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