April 2, 2023
  • 2:33 pm Area youth basketball players prepared for Muleshoe Youth Basketball League All Star Tournament
  • 2:28 pm Buddy Holly Hall to host Buffalo Grass Fest in April
  • 2:27 pm Multiple Mules, Lady Mules finish first at the Littlefield Relays
  • 2:25 pm Bailey County Senior Center: Where all who enter as guests leave as friends
  • 2:24 pm Plains Cotton Growers to host annual meeting March 28

                The Littlefield Wildcats’ JV football team pulled out a thriller over the Mules in Muleshoe on Thursday, 35-27, as they open the 2022 season in the win column.

                The Wildcats struck first in the opening quarter, with 6:05 remaining on the clock, quarterback, Nate Castaneda connected with Aaron Chapman for a red zone touchdown. Castaneda connected on the PAT to put the Wildcats up, 7-0. The defensive followed suit, as they forced a Muleshoe punt to regain possession for the offense.

                With 3:26 remaining in the first quarter, Castaneda dropped back and delivered a quick pass to Chapman on the left side, who broke back to the middle of the field, breaking loose for a 47-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion run by Brayden Redman was no good, leaving the score, 13-0.

                The Mules would not go down quietly, with under 30 seconds remaining in the quarter, as Ryan Dominguez hit a deep pass over the top of the defense to Johnny Hernandez for a 40-yard touchdown. The PAT by Javier Cereceres was no good, trimming the lead to, 13-6, with 27 seconds left to play in the quarter. Muleshoe booted an onside kick to the home sideline and it was recovered by Donovan Moreno.

                The Mules nearly capitalized on the big play, as Dominguez found Moreno down the home sideline for what would have been a 48-yard touchdown pass, but it was negated by a penalty, pushing the Mules back into their own territory. Littlefield would take a time out with 20 seconds remaining in the quarter and out of the break the defense would hold Muleshoe, forcing a punt to begin the second quarter.

                Littlefield was unable to put an offensive drive together to begin quarter number two. They lined up to punt the ball away with 8:03 remaining in the half, but on the return, the catch was muffed by Angel Cabrera and recovered by the Wildcats.

                Muleshoe took a time out with 6:45 remaining and out of the break, The Wildcats were able to drive across midfield, before Castaneda found Redman on the far side of the field for a 40-yard touchdown pass. The PAT by Castaneda was blocked, leaving the score, 19-6, with 3:42 remaining in the half.

                The Mules would strike back later in the quarter, as Cabrera took a run up the middle for a short touchdown with 41 seconds left to play in the half. Dominguez connected with Moreno on the two-point conversion to slice the lead to, 19-14. The score would stand going into halftime.

                The Mules struck first in the second half, with 7:30 to go in the third quarter, as Dominguez hit Hernandez on the left side for a 36-yard touchdown pass. The PAT was blocked by the Wildcats, as Muleshoe took their first lead of the game, 20-19.

                A pooch kick to the right side was caught by Donovan Gonzalez at the Littlefield 44-yard line to give the Mules an extra possession. The Wildcat defense would hold and force a punt, but later in the quarter, Castaneda threw a pick-six to Moreno, who ran it back 40 yards for the score. The PAT by Brayton Butler was good, stretching the lead to, 27-19, with 4:44 remaining in the third quarter.

                After a Littlefield time out with 3:20 to play in the quarter, Castaneda hit Chapman over the middle for an 18-yard touchdown pass with 2:10 remaining in the quarter. The two-point conversion run by Jerrius Ybarra was good, tying the game, 27-27. The game would remain knotted going into the final quarter of play.

                With 7:46 remaining, Castaneda would find Chapman again, this time on a 25-yard strike for the touchdown. The two-point conversion run by Zane Champion was good, putting the Wildcats back in front, 35-27. With 2:08 left to play, Dominguez was picked off by Chapman, who returned the ball up to the Littlefield 35-yard line.

                Champion picked up a first down, as the Mules took a time out with just under two minutes remaining. Out of the break, Champion ran the ball over the left side, but was stopped short of the sticks, as the Mules used another time out with 1:20 remaining. The Wildcats elected to go on fourth down and Champion was able to pick up the first down. Castaneda took a knee in the victory formation on the next play to ice the game and run out the clock, as the Wildcats picked up the victory, 35-27.

Derek Lopez

Muleshoe Journal Correspondent


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