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JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF

MARBLE FALLS — Don’t let Marble Falls High School head football coach Matt Green hear you say last week was an open date for the Mustangs.

“This is a bye,” he said. “There’s a huge difference. On an open week, you just rest, and you don’t do much. To us, it’s a bye. So it’s a practice week.”

The Mustangs (3-2 overall, 1-1 in District 25-5A) had six practices to get ready for a road game at Georgetown (4-1, 1-1) on Oct. 10. The game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. at the Georgetown Athletic Complex and Birkelbach Field, 2275 N. Austin Ave in Georgetown.

“We needed that,” Green said, referring to the bye week.

The Eagles are led by senior quarterback Ben Bottlinger, who has completed 82 of 146 passes for 1,047 yards, 13 touchdowns and five interceptions this season. He has rushed for 140 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries. His favorite target is junior receiver Jo’Vonta Grimble, who has caught 38 passes for 404 yards and five touchdowns. Junior running back Dakota Cahill is the top rusher with 77 carries for 333 yards and two touchdowns. He also has 11 receptions for 184 yards.

Senior Matt Ray leads the defense with 54 tackles, while senior Dylan Blackmon is second with 45.

The Mustangs had the afternoon of Sept. 29 off but practiced the rest of the week. Only one practice, Oct. 3, was a light day, during which they worked on special teams because of rescheduled subvarsity contests.

“We lifted heavy weights and watched a ton of film,” Green said. “We didn’t have a game, but we still practiced the same number of times.”

Usually, coaches ask players to lift on the Saturday after games and then watch film, but Green gave the Mustangs Sept. 27 off.

He said sticking to a regular schedule is important.

“I don’t want the kids to get out of the routine of working hard,” he said.

Cedar Park Vista Ridge (5-0, 2-0) is the only undefeated team remaining in District 25-5A, while Leander (0-5, 0-2) is still searching for a victory. That means six teams — Marble Falls, Cedar Park, Georgetown, Georgetown East View, Leander Vandegrift and Dripping Springs — are 1-1 with five games left.

“I know how competitive the district is,” Green said. “Any team can beat any team on any given night. When you get in the playoffs, you’re battle-tested. I don’t know you face anyone better (to prepare for this district.)”

To him, this district and District 16-5A with Corsicana, Ennis, Jacksonville, Tyler John Tyler, Lindale, Lufkin, Nacogdoches and Whitehouse are the top two divisions in the conference.

Green said the Mustangs have not looked ahead to any opponent. Their focus is on the Eagles.

“It’s a one-game series,” he said. “That’s it, there’s nothing else.”

Listen to the game on KBEY 103.9 FM Radio Picayune or at KBEYFM.com. Pre-game starts at 6:30 p.m.

jfierro@thepicayune.com