STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
MARBLE FALLS — The Marble Falls High School football team is opening its season against a squad that features a Slot-T offense, which the Mustangs saw during a recent scrimmage.
The Mustangs hit the road Aug. 31 to take on Canyon Lake at at Hawk Stadium, 8555 RR 32 in Fischer. The game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. If you can’t make the drive, catch the game on KBEY 103.9 FM Radio Picayune or at KBEYFM.com beginning with the Highland Lakes Coaches Roundup at 6:30 p.m.
Marble Falls wrapped up summer training camp Aug. 24 with a scrimmage against Liberty Hill, a team known for the Slot-T offense.
“This team will be no different,” Mustangs head coach Mike Birdwell said about Canyon Lake. “They’re similar with their base offensive and defensive schemes. We’re looking forward to this matchup.”
The Hawks are led by four seniors who were first-team, all-district players in 2017: running back Tristan Chacon, who had 1,100 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns last year; strong safety Trenton Lorett, who posted 79 tackles and, as the kicker, made 44 of 46 extra points; offensive lineman Josh Almond; and tight end J.T. Greene.
The Mustangs counter with senior linebacker Reece Vanhoose, senior lineman Ernesto Castenada, and junior defensive linemen Josh Whitecotton and Sam May.
“They’re flying around,” Birdwell said about the Hawk’s offense. “We want to be aggressive and play with an edge.”
Canyon Lake’s defense has four linemen, two linebackers, and five defensive backs led by senior middle linebacker Greyson Lee, who recorded 85 tackles with 10 for a loss and five sacks last season.
Birdwell said the Hawks are a physical unit that beats their opponents at the point of attackm sheds blockers, then swarms to the ball.
Leading the offensive attack for Marble Falls are senior running back Dillon Mayberry, senior receiver Brock Linder, and sophomore quarterback Luke Nail, who has solid rapport with the receivers.
Birdwell said Mayberry and the other playmakers must get the ball in their hands in order to get points. So their versatility in running and catching the ball is imperative for the Mustangs to have success. Look for Mayberry to move in different positions.
“We’re fortunate they have experience coming back,” the coach said of his returners. “We’re really leaning on those guys. We’re excited about the leadership and the play potential.”
Coaches emphasized the importance of breaking tackles and getting extra yards for explosive plays, two things the Mustangs are taking to heart.
“You have to be able to run the football effectively, have great pass protection that allows our quarterbacks to make plays and put us in great position on the field,” Birdwell added.