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It took three overtimes to do it, but the Muleshoe football team ended the season on a high note.

Already locked into the No. 2 seed in District 1-3A Division I, the Mules didn’t have a ton on the line in Friday night’s regular-season finale against Littlefield. The Wildcats, on the other hand, had plenty to play for and pushed the Mules to the brink.

A penalty-filled contest needed to be decided with three extra sessions, which ended when Zach Hasley converted a two-point score to give the Mules the 38-36 victory.

Winners of three straight games, the Mules (5-5 overall) now turn their attention to the playoffs, where they’ll take on Brownfield on Thursday at 7 p.m. right back at Littlefield. Having that tough test against the Wildcats could be a blessing in disguise for Muleshoe.

“Nobody understands this, but I think if we would’ve went in there and wore them out, that would’ve been a negative for us,” Muleshoe head coach Jason Richards said of the Littlefield game. “I think having some adversity, especially coming off that Dalhart win, was good. Having some adversity and winning on the road was good. Beating Littlefield for the first time since 2015 was good.”

Brennen Davis was the defensive player of the game with 22 total tackles. Daniel Sianez rushed for 215 yards on 22 attempts to earn offensive player of the game and Ramzee Martinez was the special teams player of the game.

Irvin Torres caught five passes for 124 yards and 2 touchdowns. Jeremiah Barron brought in four passes for 63 yards and a score. Hasley was 11-of-23 passing for 190 yards and the three scores.

The final game of the 2021 regular season will also be the site of the Mules’ first playoff game since 2017.

Muleshoe and Brownfield, according to Richards, are two teams playing their best football of the season right now.

“We’re going to have to play really, really good to come out on top,” said Richards.

The Cubs have played three similar opponents to Muleshoe – Friona, Tulia and Lamesa. Brownfield closed the season against Lamesa – which beat Muleshoe 24-20 in the second week of the season – by rushing for 502 yards.

Overall, Brownfield had ran for 1,526 yards (over 169 per game) but 1,088 of that has come in just three games. The Mules averaged 181.8 yards on the ground during the regular season.

Richards said his attention is on the Brownfield passing game, highlighting receivers Jeremiah Tealer, Jaden Gonzales and Kaydyn Moore as players to keep an eye on defense.

“They’ve got some real athletic receivers,” said Richards. “Quarterback (Zarius Garcia) does a good job. They’re a really athletic football team, maybe one of the most athletic we’re going to play.”

Over the team’s three-game winning streak, the offense has produced its best stretch of the season, having the three highest-scoring games of the season and the three of the four best games in terns of offensive yardage.

The Mules will need to keep that type of production going to advance to the second round.

“You’ve got to play good to keep moving on,” said Richards.

Nathan Giese, Muleshoe Journal

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