February 26, 2024
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The Muleshoe football team had its toughest challenge of the season so far last week against Friona. What was already a difficult task – stopping the Chieftains – was proved even more difficult with an untimely injury.

Muleshoe took a 13-7 lead on Friona but fell behind 24-13 at halftime. Head coach Jason Richards still felt good about his team’s chances, but an injury to Brennen Davis, as well as several others, caused things to unravel.

“We didn’t handle it very well, and Friona is a really good team,” Richards said of Davis’ injury. “Losing him was a big deal, and we made it a lot bigger deal than it had to be.”

Friona wound up scoring 48 unanswered points to run away with the 55-13 win, dropping the Mules to 1-2 on the season.

“I liked the way we started,” Richards said of the game, adding, “We had about five injuries to starters within the first three quarters. For us, that’s 10 guys, really.”

Richards also credited Friona with simply being the better team that has far more experience than Muleshoe.

“I look at Friona’s roster and they’ve got seniors and really good players,” said Richards. “We’ve got good players, they just don’t have quite the experience that they do. It wasn’t the result we wanted. I think Friona has a tremendous team.”

Zeke Kasel was the team’s Offensive Player of the Game, producing 145 yards and 2 touchdowns on 12 rushing attempts. Kasel had about half of Muleshoe’s total offense for the game, which amounted to 285 yards. Jaxher Lopez was the Defensive Player of the game with 7 total tackles while Zach Radloff was the Special Teams Player of the Game.

The game didn’t go Muleshoe’s way, but the silver lining is that the Mules were beat by the opponent rather than themselves for the most part.

“Sometimes losing by four hurts worse than losing by 34,” said Richards. “They were a better football team than we are and that’s who we need to continue to build our program to play with. We’re not making any excuses. We’ve got to get better. When we do what we’re supposed to do, we’re pretty good. When we’re not all on the same page we get exposed.”

The Mules now have to contend with a red hot Tulia team that’s outscored opponents by a total score of 121-19. Typically a run-heavy squad, the Hornets have taken to the air more often this year, which has led to about 1,000 yards of total offense over the last two games. The team is also filled with veterans, much like some of the other teams Muleshoe has played already this season.

“They’ve got one sophomore on their roster,” Richards said of Tulia. “They’re an experienced team. They’re scoring points. They’re enthusiastic on defense. We’re going to have to play our best game to get after them for sure.”

The game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. kick in Muleshoe.  

Nathan Giese, Muleshoe Journal


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