Productive first half puts Marble Falls over Navarro 42-32

STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO

GERONIMO — The Marble Falls Mustangs got their second win in row, beating Geronimo Navarro 42-32 on the road Sept. 14.

“We did some good things on the field. (I’m) super proud of our kids,” Mustangs head coach Mike Birdwell said. “We made plays on third and fourth downs. I thought our defense made necessary adjustments in the second half.”

The Mustangs (2-1) offense was flawless in the first half, scoring on all four of its drives for a 28-12 lead at the end of the half. Senior running back Cooper Wilson had three of those touchdowns on 1- and 2-yard scores.

The other score came when sophomore kick returner Andrew Rodriguez scampered 70 yards to the end zone thanks to a key block by junior Evan Kroese.

Meanwhile, the Marble Falls defense had its own moments.

Navarro scored touchdowns on its first two drives, but the Mustangs didn’t allow the Panthers to convert on their two-point attempts.

The first half ended when a Panthers’ 35-yard field-goal attempt went wide right.

Navarro scored a 57-yard touchdown on the second offensive play of the third quarter to trim the deficit to 28-18.

But the Mustangs answered when senior quarterback Andrew Stripling found senior running back Dillon Mayberry for an 18-yard touchdown pass on fourth down. The kick was good for a 35-18 advantage.

Marble Falls junior defensive back Zack Hill then got an interception.

Stripling converted the turnover into points when he found Wilson for a 47-yard touchdown and a 42-18 lead with a second left in the third.

Navarro senior running back Josiah Salinas scored the last two touchdowns of the game from 9 yards and 44 yards out. He finished with 206 yards and four touchdowns on 16 carries.

Stripling completed 15 of 23 passes for 256 yards and two touchdowns. Senior receiver Brock Linder caught seven passes for 124 yards.

Wilson finished with 19 carries for 70 yards and three touchdowns and had a 47-yard touchdown catch.

Birdwell was pleased to see six running backs and six receivers touch the football for Marble Falls.

He also liked seeing his units respond to big plays and scores from the opponent.

“We swung the momentum back,” he said. “We’re going to do everything we can to put us in a position to be ready for Georgetown East View and contend for a district title.”

The Mustangs take a bye Sept. 21 then travel to East View on Sept. 28 to open district play.

You can listen to the game on KBEY 103.9 FM Radio Picayune or at KBEYFM.com starting with the Highland Lakes Coaches Roundup at 6:30 p.m.

jfierro@thepicayune.com

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