Playoff spot up for grabs when Muleshoe hosts DalhartNathan Giese, Muleshoe Journal October 29, 2021 0 COMMENTS
Over the past few weeks, Muleshoe head football coach Jason Richards has said the key to the Mules’ success would come down to making plays. The Mules heard his words and delivered in a big way on Friday night.
Before their District 2-3A Division I game against Amarillo River Road, Richards told his players “big time players make big time plays in big time games,” and that’s exactly what his team did. It started when sophomore Daniel Sianez took the opening kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown and ended with a scoring drive late in the fourth quarter to secure the 42-38 win.
“In that final drive where we had to go down and score, we converted a 4th-and-6 and a 4th-and-3 to go score,” said Richards. “That was pretty big.”
Sianez’s 3-yard score with less than four minutes left gave Muleshoe the lead and the defense held on, giving the Mules their first road win of the season.
As Richards put it, the Mules made plays.
Sianez was the Special Teams Player of the Game for his returns. It was the second time this season Sianez has taken the opening kickoff of the game in for a touchdown and his third overall of the season. He also had 2 touchdowns and 76 yards rushing.
Irvin Torres put up another big receiving game, bringing in 13 passes for 174 yards and a score to be named Offensive Player of the Game. Brennen Davis totaled 19 tackles, three for a loss of yards, to be named Defensive Player of the Game.
Elsewhere, Zach Hasley was 25-of-42 passing for 307 yards. Sebastian Kirven (39) yards and Andre Alfaro (an offensive lineman) scored rushing touchdowns. Davian McMullen had 16 stops and Nic Reyes 11. Judas Reyes came up with two interceptions.
Muleshoe did cough up the ball three times on big run plays, but the team was able to rebound to pick up the victory.
The victory was big in many factors, the most obvious of which is that it puts the Mules firmly in the playoff race.
The Mules can now clinch a playoff spot – and the No. 3 seed in the district – with a victory over Dalhart. That game will be at home where Muleshoe has fared well this season.
In the district, only Bushland has clinched a playoff spot. By the end of Friday night’s games, the four playoff teams could be decided in Muleshoe beats Dalhart and Bushland handles Littlefield. Then it would be down to deciding the seeds.
Should Muleshoe win its final two games, it’ll be the No. 2 seed. There’s also the possibility of a three-way tie for the final two playoff spots, but Richards would rather the Mules handle their business themselves.
Muleshoe is looking to make its first playoff appearance since 2017. To do that, it’ll have to find a way to deal with Dalhart’s size.
“They’re huge,” Richards said of Dalhart. “They’re huge everywhere. I don’t think their record reflects the type of football team that they have.”
The Wolves feature 11 players 6-feet or taller. That includes 6-foot-6 sophomore tight end Yiovani Orrantia and 6-foot-3 quarterback Thomas Meyer. To combat the size, the Mules will look to use their speed to their advantage.
“That’s kind of the one thing that sticks out to me is make them run, make them chase us,” said Richards. “We’ve got to stop their run. Our secondary is really good. If we force them into throwing the football, I like our chances. That’s what we want to do. We’re going to have to make some plays, for sure.”